Following some discussion in the camera club I have had a quick look again at HDR, and it is a very quick look. I had used HDR software in the past but I have had several PC incarnations since then and it was no longer installed.
I have just installed Enfuse and used the EnfuseGUI which can create HDR images and, I believe, also do focus stacking. It is open source and so costs nothing. I believe it can also be used as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture. In that case you use Enfuse and a plugin.
I have put next to no effort into this and I think the results are quite presentable. Because it was so easy I thought I would share it. With a bit of experience who knows what is possible?
The image I have used is a view of the cricket pavilion in Robert’s Park.
The image above is taken from the RAW file. Looking at the settings it looks as though I had very slightly tweaked it – brightened slightly, the contrast increased and the shadows darkened. The sky is a bit (?) nondescript to say the least.
After installing the software I went back to the original RAW file and saved 3 JPEG images from it after changing just the exposure.
With this one I darkened the RAW image several f stops and then saved as a JPEG. The sky looks reasonable but everything else is too dark.
This one is saved as a JPEG from the RAW file with next to no adjustments.
This one is after brightening the RAW file and saving the resultant JPEG. You can now see a bit of detail on the scoreboard.
And the last one is processed through the HDR software accepting the default settings.
I then went through each image and changed the size to 1200×757 and saved at 95% quality. I think the processed one looks quite good. It doesn’t glare at you and was very easy to do. If I was serious about it I should have taken 3 or 5 photos of the scene at different exposures and then worked with loss-less image file formats throughout until the final save as JPEG, but as I said, this was a quick trial and I am quite pleased with the result.