Sorry Chris, whilst I really liked your photos of birds in the other thread, these pictures look too artificial, I'm not sure if it's a case of extreme tweaking of levels or HDR, but they aren't to my taste... Otherwise, some lovely compositions !
This statement alone reflects a shared opinion among many, albeit a very shortsighted one at that.
I realize it is an "opinion" (so pls don't flame back throwing that argument), but upon examination any forward thinking person would agree that it is somewhat obtuse - at best.
A camera is a machine, is it not? We know it is a rather sophisticated piece of a equipment comparable to a computer. That said, why do people apply rules and criteria on what types of images should be created using it?
HDR is nothing more than creative photographic postproduction executed on imagery that has gone on since the days of Ansel Adams and yes - Henri Cartier-Bresson.
HDR is simply one working example of today's digital darkroom. Yes, the output of applications such as Photmatrix my not be to everyone's taste, but when I see negative comments about dramatic uses of HDR it makes me cringe.
These comments above are not vile or mean (in fact they are tame compared to what I have read elsewhere), just closed minded.
Photography is an artform. HDR is merely one style of photographic expression -- akin to Pointillism, or Cubism, or Expressionism et al in the art world.
Enjoy it for what it is. If you don't prefer the style, move on. Making comments like "it doesn't look real" or it is "too artificial" are non-sequitors. Imagine if Picasso or Braque listened to those types of criticisms.
Ok, I now step down off the soapbox ... let me have it.