(Im)possibilities of post-processing

I want to show today an image which would probably look great as HDR, but was not shot this was . The very bright sun just made it impossible to render both sky and the building, but the sun flare was just lovely.
At the same time, the image I shot has a simple silhouette of an interesting old architectural detail. It is a view on the Barbacan, old town walls, in Warsaw.

I liked it, but a the same time I wanted to explore how the image would look like if I went for HDR (or at least used a grad filter). And I remembered the recent tutorial from David Ziser. The trick was – Fill Light all the way, Noise Reduction Color slider all the way.

I did not any other Noise reduction slider. And just look how it smoothed the colors. LR3 just proves that you can in fact recover far more from you seriously underexposed image! I mean, just look at the black original. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the effect. I am not promoting not paying attention to how you expose, not to bracket and such- but you can go back to some older images, and redo them on your computer with just two clicks.
So, which image do you like more? The mysterious silhouette or the full of detail “normal” exposure? Leave a comment below!