Photoshop isn't too hard to learn just by playing around with it. I started with Corel Photopaint 8.0. I got photoshop 7.0 from a class in highschool. It took me about 2 weeks to apply what I knew in corel to adobe. What i'm saying is that once you understand the concepts of what you can do with images, you can use any program.
if you work in photoshop, try to put the darkest image to background layer, and the lighter images to put over this layer and manipulate in this way the image... i think it will be better (sorry for my terrible english)
I love this shot. Everything just looks so surreal. And everything just came out great. I've just gotten into hdr and was wondering how you tweaked it in photoshop, because i can do the merge, then convert it to 8-bit while messing with the curves, but my shots never come close to this.
I had to independently tweak each shot to make it pop.. using a curves adjustment layer. The secret to a good HDR is in the initial exposure.. experiment to find what the right exposure latitude is for the shot. A good guess it's +/- 1.33 stops.
The only advice I have is use a tripod and take as many different shots as you can (widest exposure range). When you'r blending them together in photoshop, it's more difficult to get jagged horizons, So i prefer landscapes without trees.
It depends which kind of steps you mean. It depends on the step unit you're talking about. The common unit is the F-stop, or just "stop" if it's applied to things other than F-number. One stop means double or half the previous increment. If you're are 1/3rd stops (from 1/60 to 1/80 to 1/100 to 1/125 to 1/160) then 4 of those increments is probably not enough. Four whole stops (1/60 to 1/125 to 1/250 to 1/500 to 1/1000) might be a little excessive. It think for this shot I used +/- 1 stop (three 1/3rd stop increments in each direction, for a total of six increments)
ok i see where ive been going wrong ive only been combining 2/3 shots at rather small incrments maybe 1/3 stops which would explain why they sttill look rather plain and ordaniry i shal arm myself with this new information and go forth
What is 'HDR'?
It looks as though you have merged to of the same image into one. I can see some funky effect above the tree line where the color of the clouds from one image don't quite match the other.
Most people use exposure braketing, where the camera shifts the exposure up and down by a fixed amount... and with the fast burst rate that these digital SLRs have, you can almost hand hold 3 consecutive shots of the same thing while you're bracketing.