The best way to capture images for HDR processing is to mount the camera on a sturdy tripod. Set the camera to aperture priority and select a suitable aperture (aperture priority is used because if you use shutter priority, when you bracket the shots, each one will have a different “depth of field“).
If your camera has autobracketing, set it to 0, +2 and -2 – this should work for most although if the light source is very strong eg. including the sun in the image, it might be worth taking some extra exposures at – and + 4.
These are the steps I take when processing a HDR image using Photomatix.
Click on the “Generate HDR Image” button.
A new window opens – either, use the “browse” button to find the files you need or, drag the files from your browser directly into the window.
Use the following settings..
If images were taken without a tripod (not recommended) or tripod movement was suspected then select “align source images”
An image will appear – click ” tone mapping”
Use the following settings as a starting point..
I always leave “strength” at 100
“colour saturation” can be adjusted as necessary.
For “smoothing” I almost always use “max”. I sometimes use “high” but anything less gives terrible results.
I always leave the “gamma” setting at the default value of 1 and all the remaining settings can be set to 0.
It`s always worth experimenting with the various sliders but I find the above settings work best to give the most natural look.