According to author Rafael Concepcion, there are two secrets to High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. First, there are the settings you use to build the HDR, and these are mostly based on taste. Second, when you process your HDR image in any software that you choose, you're only half way done — the real key is in the post processing.
In The HDR Book you will learn, not only how to set up and shoot for HDR, processing your HDR image using three different programs, and the post processing techniques, but you also work 10 projects that you can follow along with, plus four additional projects that you only see the final results. It is up to you work through out how they were processed. The HDR Book is 336 pages in length and is contained in 13 chapters.
Chapter One, "Tools & Techniques," begins by taking a look at what you need to successfully create HDR images. These items include a camera that can do bracketing, a tripod, a cable release, the use of mirror lockup, and more. Here you will learn the what, whys, and how to work with all this equipment.
Chapter Two, "What to HDR," now looks at what to shoot when working with HDR. Because of the nature of HDR imaging, not everything works for processing this type of photograph. This chapter looks at quite a few subjects that do work. These include dimly lit interiors, urban scenes, low light situations, and much, much more.
Chapter Three, "Creating a Tone Mapped File," is really a two section chapter in which the first part looks at working with HDR processing using three products — Photoshop HDR Pro, HDRSoft's Photomatrix Pro, and Nik Software's HDR Efex Pro. The second section is titled "Things You'll Do a Lot in Photoshop," and it consists of just that: the post processing techniques that really make an HDR image pop.
The remainder of The HDR Book consists of projects. The basic layout is first a discussion of the project and how it was conceived. Next, you will see how to HDR process the image in each of the three products. Finally, you will examine the Photoshop post-processing techniques in detail. In four of the chapters — four, nine, ten, and thirteen, you will get an additional exercise for you to complete on your own.