HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography involves taking a series of shots of the same composition with different exposure levels and merging them together into one image. This could be very useful when you come across a situation where there is too much contrast (too many bright and dark areas) to capture all the detail in one photograph
I took this first shot this past weekend specifically for the purpose of HDR experimentation. As you can see the detail on the Left side of the photograph is too dark, while the waterfall is over-exposed.
Medium overall exposure
To go along with this shot, I took (2) other exposures of the same scene:
Nice exposure of the waterfall, but way too dark throughout the rest of the photo
Waterfall is way overexposed, but much more detail on the rocks and rhododendrons
Charles recommended a program called "HDR Espose". Since they have a free 30-day trial, I downloaded the software to try out for a month. Here is the result of my first attempt at HDR:
I liked the way I was able to bring out the detail of the dark rocks and rhododendron without having the waterfall being overexposed. However, there is just something about this that doesn't look natural to me. Could be that I am just not familiar with the software and the best settings for different situations. I will keep experimenting for the next few weeks and then decide if it is something I want to continue to pursue.
Edit since original post: I went back and tried again. This time, I think it looks a little more natural.
HDR - take 2