Is the sun too bright on this picture for easy viewing? I know it is burned out. Apart from HDR is there any way when can control the light in such a way that the sun is not burned out but the foreground is not too dark?
The sun may be a little burned out, but we expect that in a sunrise shot. Actually, I think the foreground just needs a bit more contrast, rather than being lighter. Give it a try - I think you're very close here.
I like this, Aart. I think it's pretty close to how your eye would see this scene. It looks like it might have been hazy that morning. I do agree with Dave that it could use a bump in contrast and perhaps just a little sharpening. The foreground bushes in the lower corners, especially the right, are a bit of a distraction. I say only a bit because my eye does go right past them quickly and on to the sun and hills in the distance. The only way I know to control the light from the rising or setting sun without using HDR is with reverse graduated nd filters.