Oh I meant to mention previously a great utility to speed up masking especially for fixing sky halos is to use topaz remask
its worth trying out the free trial and if you buy it I think trey ratcliff still has his 20% discount code "STUCKINCUSTOMS"
also I am still not a fan of the excessive photomatixing those wild colourshifts! and the photomatix fuzzies
there are other ways to do it that look cleaner however none are as fast as cookie cutter HDR
Something no one has mentioned but a technique I often use in conjunction with traditional tonemapping is exposure fusion. If you are really so averse to color shifts and "fuzzies" (both of which can easily be controlled with good tone mapping) you should really check exposure fusion out. I often do a tone mapped version and a fusion then mask together my favorite parts of each, but you could opt for just the fusion. Fusions actually decrease noise where tonemaps often increase it. There are dedicated fusion programs such as enfuse, but photomatix has one of the best fusion algorithms builds in....
i'd have to agree that fusion is ok for certain things
unfortunately i think many of the images you posted still suffer the "fuzzies" and colour shifts
that give off that tell tale photomatix look.
still good shots, I think less processing might benefit them but thats a personal taste thing again.
there seems to be a good HDR fan base on this site and I think sharing techniques and being open to each others suggestions will help develop each others techniques. One thing that shits me to death with the "HDR pros" is they dont fully explain their techniques even when you pay for their information so its largely a waste and "the look" they have is tired and over processed
I've been having some good chats with revup and sharing ideas, I've got the latest tony kuyper photoshop panel which i have to admit i need to sit down and try out. Unfortunately it's impossible to get HDR to appeal to everyones taste, some like the surreal look alot others dont its very subjective.
I still shoot bracketed sets alot evn though i may just end up processing a single exposure from the set
I havent done much HDr lately as I think i have HDR fatigue and got tired of the surreal dreamy look everything gets. I need to sit down and have a look at revups presets and see how they go too.
there is great potential if we all share ideas and stuff here to develop a really solid HDR technique, thing with this site is you will get some solid critique where as places like flickr are just full of people that will goo and gah over stuff which give skewed perspectives.
There are many great photographers on this site much much better than I
I'm still searching for the HDR holy grail