I take a lot of pride in my Photoshop retouching skills. Mainly because I try really hard to make my shots not look like they’ve been retouched.
For architectural interior shots like this cover image for Oregon Home, I often do something I call, “Dropping in the Windows.” During the shoot, I’ll take several brackets that are under my main exposure. Later on in Photoshop, I will pick a darker exposure that I like the look out the windows and overlay it on the main exposure. I then hand cut out the windows using a mask and blend it together a little with the paintbrush. It’s subtle, time consuming, but the look can’t be beat.
The alternative to this is to do and HDR photograph or overlight the room with artificial light. I, personally, never like either of those ways look, so that’s why I do it the hard way.
Here’s time-lapse of the whole process: