Here are two photos from the same location, the first is in a portrait orientation the second in a landscape orientation. Both are HDR images taken from a selection of 5 Raw files from the Nikon D300 and shot with the Tokina lens the 11-16mm f2.8. The photos were then edited in the HDR software called Photomatix and the bottom one was then also cropped a little in Adobe Lightroom and had its blacks and lightfill pumped up.
After the break I shall add one of the original photos that this photo was created from for you to see how the dynamic range is increased with HDR editing.
Here is the same photo but without having the Blacks and the Lightfill pumped up in Lightroom, this is more how it came straight out of Photomatix after it tweeked it. (its kinda got a magical storytale look/feel to it)
Here is the photo straight out of the camera this was the most (correctly exposed) image out of the 5 but as you can see the sky is totally blown out, a lot of the tops of the trees are impossible to see from the glare of the brightness of the sky and also a lot of the foliage in the forground is very dark and some has no texture.
Its also the kind of Image that a ND filter would not have helped all that much as the skyline and ground line are not smooth like in a mountain picture or a seascape shot, and that is where HDR can come in handy.
Here again you can see the sky being blown out and the forground not having all the detail that the HDR shot has.
Amazingly on the Friday night after driving all the way through the rain up to the Highlands of Scotland the clouds dispersed and the wind stopped. Even though I was tired after a full days work and a long evenings drive, the power of a good photo took ahold and I marched out the house at 12.30am with my camera and lightstand, because stupidly I didnt think i would need my tripod this weekend!,however I am able to stick the camera on the lightstand and leave it still as there was no wind.
Some of the best shots out of the camera were shot at high iso (3200 or 6400 (H1) settings).
Yes the lighter bit in the middle of the image is infact the MILKY WAY! OUR GALAXY! amazing
Shot at f4 and iso 3200 for around 30 seconds which when you are shooting in total darkness (no moon light either) this is a very quick photo.