28 Oct 11. Since I've been discussing the HDR approach to imaging for a couple of days I thought I'd comment on one aspect of this form of photography of which a lot of individuals find less than appealing, and here I'm not addressing the "grunge" look, but rather, the generally flat, i.e., lacking in contrast, appearance to the images. This should not be surprising as the HDR process is one of toning down the bright highlights and brightening the shadows, hence the term "tone mapping." While this process allows the photographer to capture a wider dynamic range in the original scene, it does leave the final image looking somewhat synthetic. Newer HDR programs are offering controls to overcome this, but many users apparently either don't understand their use, aren't aware of what the controls provide, or just imply like the flat look of the HDR output. There is obviously nothing wrong with the flat look, or the grunge look for that matter, it is simply a matter of taste. But for those individuals who prefer there be more contrast, and thus a somewhat livelier image, the solution is simple, either use a curves adjustment layer to brighten the highlights and darken the shadows, or use a shadows / highlights adjustment tool to achieve a similar effect. The two approaches differ a bit in how they achieve the goal, but either tool works equally well. To illustrate the point, I'm including two images for today's mailing. The copy of the photo that says "adjusted" has had a curves adjustment made to it; the other copy is the direct HDR output without enhancement and is much flatter. My intent is not to place emphasis on either image, but rather to illustrate why some folks don't like the HDR "stuff" and a simple solution to the problem; you pick what you prefer. There is no correct choice. ISO 200; 1/200 sec @ f / 7.