My first attempts at HDR... I processed in Photoshop CS5. It is very difficult to make anything that looks "real" with Photoshop's HDR processing.
They have potential. I'd reduce exposure a bit and maybe increase contrast or combo of both. One thing that makes photographs look real is some black clipping needed... HDR's expose everthing, that seems unnatural to some people.
I did a 3 minute PP on it... not sure if it looks better to you... but the idea was to make it a bit more natural.
yup, off to a pretty good start.
PS is not quite as easy to use for HDR as specialized SW but it's flexible, even when combining multiple bracketed images.
Messing with the tone-mapping you CAN create a fairly photographically realistic looking image by keeping the DR compression to reasonable amounts; there are a few ways to do that. All depends on how "cooked" you like your HDR final image to look.
I still prefer to expose to retain hilite detail then push all the shadows in post using one good raw file.. but that requires using a very noise-free camera system like, dare I repeat myself yet again, a D800 or D5100. In the same area as the shot above I took another one of a charred black tree, with the charcoal parts in the shade. I shot it with both the 60D and a D800. I can make a "realistic" HDR from either shot but with the D800 there is far more crisp textural detail in the dark areas because no noise reduction is required and I can still lift the darkest areas much more if desired without seeing pattern noise like the 60D produces.