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Jason writes –

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is the process of taking several images at different shutter speeds and combining them into a single photo that contains no washed out or underexposed areas.  The result is a surreal, almost too perfectly lit photograph that contains a high level of detail throughout the image.

Photoshop has a built-in HDR photo merging tool which produces some incredible results without too much effort.  The image above, from Ryan McGinnis’ excellent Photoshop HDR tutorial, is pretty surreal.  It reminds me of a high-res rendering from a video game.

If you’re using the GIMP, you can get similar results by carefully masking and merging layers, or you can download and use the exposure-blend plugin which will simplify the process a little.  Below are links to both processes – you can see which works best for you.

Whatever package you use, the important thing is to use a solid tripod and only adjust the shutter speed between shots.  For the best results, you’ll also want to set your camera to RAW mode.

More:

  • How to Create Professional HDR Images in Photoshop – Link
  • HDR photos with the GIMP – Link
  • Using the GIMP exposure-blend plugin – Link