I’ve been putting in some time on shooting HDR panoramas which many consider to be one of the hardest photographic techniques to master. The main goal of this process for me is to use the HDR images to light 3D scenes. This is called Image Based Lighting but the panoramas look cool on their own.
These were originally shot with an HDR technique to create a 32 bit floating point image that can be used as virtual light source for rendering. But HDR images don’t look good on a normal monitor so they need to be “tonemapped” – the process of converting to an 8 bit image to look presentable on a normal monitor.
There is a huge misunderstanding in the photography world as to what an HDR image actually is. Theses tonemapped images are what most people think of when they think of HDR. But they are really just the result of the tonemap conversion to an 8 bit image. So when people say they hate HDR, they are really saying they hate Tonemapping. Some people don’t even know what the are hating!