Nice shots. I took the liberty of adjusting the top photo to lighten the shadows while leaving the highlights alone.
Using PS7, I duplicated the layer and changed the mode to "Screen." This makes the entire image lighter, including the highlights. So I added a layer mask and brushed over the water to mask out the effect. I also selected other portions of the image to mask out so there would be a nice mix of shadows, mid-tones and highlights. Finally, I increased the color saturation a bit. The nice thing about this method is you can also use the layer opacity slider to fine tune how much "screen" effect you want.
While I'm sure there could be some camera adjustments you can make to expose the shadows without blowing out the highlights, it sure is nice that with just five minutes of Photoshop a nice shot like this can be made better.