Ideally to start with you should have an image of -2 exposure, one exposed correctly, and one of +2 exposure. A new window will appear with options to align the images, reduce noise and attempt to match any moving elements – choose accordingly for your image. A merged version of the image will appear which looks highly unrealistic – this is because standard monitors cannot display all of the detail correctly and so we must further Tone Map the image.
Having pressed the Tonemapping button next to the merged image, a new, more realistic image will appear with lots of options.
Photomatix will automatically revert to the Default setting, though it also has some Presets and the option to save your settings for future use (once you get the hang of it!). Smoothing: This is key to the final look of the image, adjust this to change how dynamic the range of highlights and shadows appears. Add one or more of the original exposure images as new layers in the file and use Layer Masks to allow original areas to show through.

This is also particularly useful for HDR images with movement, for example trees blowing in the breeze between your original images, or people moving.
For examples of HDR images search online, this is a massively expanding area of photography and there is some beautiful work to be seen. As one-year DSLR beginner I am now beginning to feel reasonably confident with my SLR camera.
There are quite a few software, and you can download the demo for photomatix and see if you like it, but if you have light room 4 that also or photo shop. We are always looking for more interesting and insightful photography tips and techniques to share with our readers. This was an HDR experiment, photographed using my old point and shoot digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS75.
Below is a photograph from the scene as I attempt to take multiple exposure using a point and shoot camera to create a HDR photograph.

HDR will not suit all images but is very effective in bringing out the highlights and shadows in an image. To process an HDR image using this tutorial you will need Photoshop (or similar) editing software, and Photomatix (or similar) HDR software. Avoid setting this on it’s highest setting where the image can look extremely unrealistic.
For example if the blue sky on your original image was perfect, use a layer mask and brush to mask out that area on the HDR, allowing the perfect blue sky in the original shot to come through. Create high dynamic range photos with the look you want, from realistic to creative, using one-click presets and a large range of settings. When I  found out I was able to adjust the exposure manually on this point and shoot camera, I was excited.

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