It’s a fundamental premise for well exposed photographs. if you want detail throughout the spectrum of highlights to shadow areas you must retain the detail in the highlights first. You can lessen detail in the shadows and midtone areas easier than trying to add detail that’s blown out in the original exposure. I teach my photography students that to expose for the highlight area before pressing that shutterbutton you’re saving a photograph from the delete button.
The photo below was taken at Pleasant Street Church where I attend services as often as I can. -16 degrees doesn’t count. I used no flash in the shot, preferring to take advantage of the adequate window light. In post processing there was no need to layer duplicate copies of the original to bring out more detail in the outside view. Simple adjustment of the highlights, midtones and shadow detail in Adobe Camera RAW was all that was necessary to expose this shot for what some my refer to as HDR or High Dynamic Range. My photographs are often confused ny the multiple shot layering technique used to get perfect exposure throughout a photograph. It’s all done in the camera by understanding how your metering system works and exposing for the highlights rather than the midtones. It works for me!