I recently saw some examples of HDR (high Dynamic Range) images. The process involves combining images with different levels of exposure and then Tone Mapping them with particular software to get a resultant images that can be truly nice to look at. Monitors are generally not able to display the level of dynamic range available in an image and the process of tone mapping helps create images where a higher dynamic range can be rendered on a normal display.
Since finding a good free software to do tone mapping in Windows is not easy. Luckily I don’t have that problem, since I use Linux. Linux has just the right package available for this activity and its called Qtpfsgui. This software provides you with a workflow to create HDR images. The interface of Qtpfsgui allows you to use either 1 or more images to create an HRD image out of. If you choose more than one image (generally images of the same subject taken at different exposures), the editing tool allows you to line up the images to the best of your abilities. There is also an automatic alignment tool but I found the manual method to be the best.
Once all that is done, you might get results to something like I did below. These are just the first images that I have attempted.
The next thing I am going to do is try and photograph a nice landscape and see what I can make out of that. For some really stunning examples of HDR imagery you can head over to Smashing Magazine’s collection and some more over at Smash and Peas.