I’ve got a lot to learn on making high dynamic range images—please send me your tips and questions, so I can share them here with other DL’ers. I do have The HDRI Handbook, which I’ve found a bit difficult to approach for getting started (and it may equivocate too much on the various options). As I learn more, I’ll share it here at diglloyd.com.
My most common application is to to combine 2 or 3 exposures, one for bright highlights, and another for dark shadows and one in-between. The Photoshop tools don’t seem to make this easy; I failed to create an acceptable image using the HDR feature, trying all sorts of variants. Instead, I was successful masking off the highlights using a mask based on the brightness of the highlights—see below. But what I want is a one-click tool that does the dirty work for me—isn’t that what computers are for?
Exposed for shadows (maybe not enough)
(EOS 1Ds Mark III is very noisy in shadows even at ISO 200)
Exposed for highlights
Combined manually using a layer mask