Despite the initial complaints about your first post, I think a nice discussion about HDR can take place. I am interested in high dynamic range scenes; I am not so interested in tone mapping.I have a question to the forum: why people trend to call "HDR" (High Dynamic Range) to what actually is Tone Mapping?
everytime I speak about high dynamic range captures, I cannot refer to the term "HDR" as people quickly think of Photomatix tone mapping, which usually looks unnatural to me. And when they look at my high dynamic range pictures they say: "mmm it doesn't look HDR".
High dynamic range simply means that you captured a wide luminance range of detail in your scene, where the deepest shadows are many f-stops far from the highlights. There is no need of tone mapping to be able to talk about high dynamic range at all, they are linked but different concepts. You can apply tone mapping to a low dynamic range image (for instance Photomatix allows to tone map one single RAW file, which cannot be high dynamic range for today's sensor limitations), and you can have a high dynamic range image without applying any tone maping on it.Would you think of these pictures being "HDR"?
they indeed are, both accounting nearly 13 f-stops of real dynamic range. They are not tone mapped however that's why they don't have the local microconstrast look provided by that technique.
BTW flyingpanther, in your tutorial you claim: "Remember a single camera shot can hold detail in about a 5 stop exposure range at best."
This is not true in modern cameras. A modest DSLR as the Canon 350D can, if properly used (i.e. exposing to the right), register with a good detail up to 8 f-stops.