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Here is the result of my first crack at HDR and Tone Mapping.
There is a great tutorial by Trey Ratcliff at stuckincustoms.com that explains this process much more clearly than I ever could. In short, a few pictures are taken of the exact same thing. Each vary the shutter speed slightly so the images are all of the same thing from washed out bright to very dark. A program is then used to combine all of the exposures to bring out the fine details and colors that one image might contain but not another. Photoshop finally cleans up the photo into its final form.
The tutorial was really easy to follow and I'm looking forward to creating more of these images in the future. It adds a surrealistic effect that at first glance makes you wonder if the pieces are really even photographs. This can be controlled by limiting the amount of post processing done.
This first attempt was of my Element in the freshly shoveled driveway after we got a foot and a half of snow. The sky was overcast and I am thinking that might be the reason all of the snow turned a pink tone. I kind of liked it so I left it to finish the rest of the tutorial.
The tutorial can be found here: Stuck in Customs HDR Tutorial