I’ve really fallen in love with the incredible detail that results from tonemapping a multi-exposure HDR image. The two images shown here were created by merging seven different exposures that were taken using the techniques that John O’Connor explains in his Raindrops and Ferns-HDR post. The first image was converted to grayscale after tonemapping and the second was processed “normally” in Lightroom 2.
In the past few months of playing around with high dynamic range processing I’ve found that the secret to obtaining a really detailed HDR image is in eliminating any camera or subject movement “during and between each exposure”. This can be accomplished using the techniques that John explains or by using the High Speed HDR technique popularized by Uwe Steinmueller.
I’ve also found that (for me) Photomatix Pro 3.1 gives me the most realistic looking results and the lowest noise in my images. One final thing to remember is that almost every tonemapped image still needs some final “tweaking” in Lightroom or Photoshop to obtain the best results.