HDR, high dynamic range imaging, an imaging technique developed in the 1930s and 40s by Charles Wyckoff, using tone mapping with bracketed image exposures for a resultant image with a very high dynamic range. Various methods for HDR and HDR-like effects are now popular with digital photography. [wiki] [google]
Notable HDR images and image galleries
Smashing Magazine’s “35 Fantastic HDR Pictures” (scroll down). You can click on them and they’re pretty breathtaking when seen large.
Good gallery of NYC in HDR.
Need more? Here’s 20.
This HDR tutorial also discusses when and why to use it.
The document “Recovering High Dynamic Range Radiance Maps from Photographs” contains many links to HDR programs and tools.
“Creation of HDR Images in CinePaint“ (2005)
On Flickr, you have to see this short, simple tutorial that shows “the technique that Dave Hill and Jill Greenberg use on their photos with PhotoShop.”
An easy, quick way with Photoshop (and a tripod).
The GIMP, Linux, free software in general
The oddly-named Qtpfsgui is a true HDR imaging application.
There’s a blog post on exposure blending using only free software.
gimp.org’s tutorial on blending exposures.
Gimp has an HDR tools plugin, although I’ve yet to get it going.
There’s a Flickr discussion on how to achieve HDR effects with the GIMP.
There’s another discussion on faking it. See also these step-by-step tutorials on handmade tone mapping and simple photo blending.
You can do something similar by adjusting the intensity of the sky in a picture.
You can fake it by blending, if you only have one image: “How to create HDR images in Gimp with a single image” [more] [more] [still more]
Instructables.com comes through with “HDR photos with the GIMP.”
For further reading