thanks night86mare for your comments. your guess is 90% correct and i have to agree. i do not have nd grads to balance out the difference so was using pp to try and bring out shadow details, which made the foreground lose contrast, so bump up contrast overall and lost the shadow details, although to a lesser extent than the original shot
for 3 and 4 yup good suggestions. will try it out the next time i am there again thanks!