This shot was taken at Tuscania during our tour at Southern Tuscany, Italy. This is a highly difficult scene to photograph due to the very contrasty lighting condition. However, it is amazing how the modern digital camera can do. This is the most Natural look of the scene, taken using my D700 then worked in Nikon Capture NX2 to lighten the shadow and darken the highlight.
This one is an HDR image using three different shots with three different exposures. The images were merged and tone mapped by Photomatix Pro. This is the most Natural looking imaging that I can get from the HDR. Actually for me, to get a natural looking image from the HDR is much more difficult than to create the more dramatic HDR image.
As I said that I was not too good at HDR and on how to use the Photomatix Pro. After seeing a partner in the photo tour on how he used the Photomatix Pro, I realize my program was very much outdated. After back to the US, I updated my program and it now consists of several presets that I can choose from as a starting point of manipulating the HDR image. This is the "default" setting that I worked a little bit more with Capture NX2 for contrast and saturation.
This one is from "Painterly" preset. It got this more Unnatural look, almost like a painting.
This one is from "B&W" preset. Either the Natural look or the Unnatural look, I like them all. Which one do you prefer?