When High Dynamic Range Photography (HDR) first came onto the scene I wasn't certain I cared for it. The images had a more painterly quality and in some instances were just not believable. But as with most things new I became accustomed to it, learned to accept it, and finally grew to like it so much that I had to learn how to do it. After all one wouldn't want to be left behind would one?
With HDR you can take an image like this:
Throw it in the stew pot, cook it awhile, stir , and serve up something like this:
It's almost that easy, but not quite. The beauty of HDR is that it allows you to take lighting conditions that would usually make horrible photos (high contrast, a lot of shade and bright sunlight mixed together), take 5 to 7 shots at different exposures, run them through the software and get one (hopefully) perfectly exposed photo. The fun really enters the picture when you take that photo and play with the adjustments. The result can be realistic or funky depending on how playful or creative you are feeling that day.
You can also take a single image, something like this:
Throw it in the stew pot. Cook it awhile, stir quickly, cook it some more and finish with a dash of funk. The result might look something like this:
And while I don't always like the results, the process is great fun. You just never know what might come out of the pot at the end of the day.