Originally Posted by Hardyreels
What are 'HDR' edits? Is this something a caveman could figure out? I admit to being confused by my Photoshop Elements 10 program and so if HDR is even more intense I'm at a loss here.
HDR works best with a bracket of shots (-1EV, 0EV, +1EV, is a rudimentary 3 shot bracket of under, metered and over) . How big that bracket is depends on the intensity of the light source and how dark the dark areas are in the shot. HDR uses the bracket of shots and spits out a usable image balancing the exposure from all shots in the bracket. Some of the brackets I use are 9 shots with 1EV steps through the bracket, especially if there's a setting sun in them.
As for HDR edits of origional shots...hmmm, I'm not a big fan of them. Basically you get the origional RAW, then save a copy with the exposure nudged up (another reason shooting in RAW should be first choice), save another with the exposure nudged down, then use some HDR software such as Photomatix to create a HDR image with all three shots.
HDR can leave some terrible tell-tale signs, big halos around areas of differing contrast, flat images with lacking in contrast. To get a really good HDR shot, you need to do a great deal to it after producing the HDR. A well processed HDR can be very striking, and if you do decide to try it you don't have to faff about with filters as much. But it's very easy to create bad HDR.