I created my first HDR style shot last night using the method from this website … Basically, I just took 3 shots, 1 -2 EV, another @ 0 EV and a third at +2 EV. The software then takes the 3 shots, combines them and allows you to tweak the level of surreality to your liking… My basic 0 EV shot was crappy, but it still ended up coming out much better than I expected.
Here is the Wikipedia entry on HDR(I) :
In computer graphics and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of exposures (the range of values between light and dark areas) than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to shadows. HDRI was originally developed for use with purely computer-generated images. Later, methods were developed to produce a high dynamic range image from a set of photographs taken with a range of exposures. With the rising popularity of digital cameras and easy-to-use desktop software, the term "HDR" is now popularly used to refer to the process of tone mapping together with bracketed exposures of normal digital images, giving the end result a high, often exaggerated dynamic range. This composite technique is different from, and generally of lower quality than, the production of an image from a single exposure of a sensor that has a native high dynamic range. Tone mapping is also used to display HDR images on devices with a low native dynamic range, such as a computer screen.
I am going to tinker around more with this method using Photoshop instead of the full PhotoMatrix software that the link above used. PhotoMatrix has a Photoshop plugin that is compatible with Photoshop CS2 according to their website. I run CS3 though, so I’ll have to find out if it’ll work with it.
There are some really cool sites out there with some amazing HDR photos.