Originally Posted by BikeWNC
I have Photoshop Extended and will probably add a plug-in to that. I'm most interested in blending multiple exposures to increase DR but not all the way to an HDR look. I want it to look on paper as it looked to my eye. The test will be my trip through the Grand Canyon in a week. I keep telling myself to bracket, bracket, bracket each shot. Since I'm taking a tripod I'll set the camera up to auto bracket +/- 2ev 3 exposures. Hopefully that will cover the range I need from rim to river and I can blend them to print what I saw at the time.
HDR can look very natural - there are a lot of variables. The tonemappers are the culprit - not HDR itself. There is a difference. Tonemapping
are two different things. You do HAVE to tonemap a HDR image, as a HDR image has too much info to be displayed properly otherwise. Tonemappers 'guess' how you want things to look. They usually give you a lot of variables to control that will affect how natural/unnatural the tonemapped final image will look. Of course that is subjective.
The tonemappers in Extreme HDR (there are two) both produce much more natural effects/images than Photomatix (one of the more popular editors around). Photomatix is particularly bad about producing halo effects. Extreme HDR is much much better about that. Exteme HDR is also faster and cheaper than Photomatix - plus it can produce a HDR image from a single RAW file.