I can tell you how to get an HDR look.
If you have an image where you have a really bright sky and/or a really dark foreground, do this in Photoshop:
1. Duplicate image to a second layer.
2. Image->Adjustments->Desaturate second layer. (Make it black and white.)
3. Image->Adjustments->Invert second layer. (Make it a negative.)
4. Do a 64 pixel gaussian blur on the second layer. (Low pass filter. Prevents loss of high frequncy contrast on surfaces.)
5. Set the second layer to soft light.
And voila, bright portions of the image become darker, and dark portions of the image become lighter. And it looks a lot more realistic and better than those crappy HDR images most people put out.
Use a larger radius, like 128 on the gaussian blur if your images are very high res, and you see light halos around stuff.
This also works great for fixing up flash photography images. Kills the highlights, brightens up the background.
Monday, May 14, 2007
While digging I came across this post, which produces images that I don't think look so good. But I came across this recipe in the comments (credit goes to Elliuotatar). I am reprinting it here for my own convenience: