Some HDR Images are fine with max color saturation and contrast. Sometimes being more cartoony is ok...in fact awesome. I do enjoy holding back on color saturation and contrast for a more subtle yet still electric Image at times. I find the editors in this superb venue by and large dismissive of HDR as being too funky and un-natural. Would like others input on this. Here's an extreme saturation & contrast landscape vs a Saguaro with less contrast and color saturation.

Colorful Superstitions by John Fliss

Colorful Superstitions by John Fliss

Colorful Superstitions

HDR Saguaro on Labor Day 2012 by John Fliss

HDR Saguaro on Labor Day 2012 by John Fliss

Painting Like HDR Phoenix Saguaro on Labor Day 2012

I suppose it's just a matter of what you like, The web site "Stuck in Customs" by Trey Ratcliff has some great pointers and tips on HDR. When I use HDR I try to get my landscape photos to have a Kodachrome look to it but HDR photos of Motorcycles and cars I've seen posted on CMA, have a pretty cool look with the "I"m on LSD" processing. One thing that can be difficult is "Halos" around the subject in the sky, like what's happening in the Saguaro photo. This is an inherent processing problem that the software just seams to have a hard time with, so, what one can do is after processing an HDR image, move it over to PS or Perfect Layers and slide one of your original photos (one with a darker sky usally) under the HDR image and paint out the sky and get rid of the nasty Halo. Landscapes with heavy cloud cover is perfect, I try to avoid brite blue sky in HDR photos. All in all I think HDR is here to stay and is a very effective tool, makes me wonder if the first people that used enlargers in the Darkroom were admonished for using dodging tools and the like... Gasp!

Thanks for the Feedback Alex. Your method of removing "Halos" looks to be a great way to go. HDR in some fashion has been around since they were shooting portraits of Lincoln in the 1800's. They had to layer negatives to get an appealing exposure..i.e. some tone in highlights, detail in shadow areas for an improved dynamic tonal range. As proof CMA does give attention to HDR they've created this HDR Group for us. However, I would think one of the many quality HDR Images could earn a Photo Of The Day some time.

Well said Gary !

Super Good Stuff Gary...Thanks for Engaging !

If you have the Topaz plug-in Adjust 5 you can eliminate the halo effect by going into details.

Although I don't do much with HDR, I do enjoy seeing it. I think some over do it and others don't seem to know what they are doing. It seems to me that one person submitted an HDR processed image and then people got on the band wagon. It's all about creativity, you have to go with what you like and enjoy.

Alex, if Ansel Adams had not spent hours in the darkroom manipulating his images, he wouldn't be so famous. I don't think any of his images were printed as is.

I agree with Gary, that the degree of processing is a matter of individual taste. I have some clients at the car shows that go nuts for the "liquid" look in HDR processing. Some like high detailed looks while others like a subtle. more natural look. Some photographers seem to feel that HDR has no place in "true" photography. I disagree. Photography, which is an art form, allows us to be creative and to think outside of the box sometimes.

Thanks for Sharing folks....good stuff.

All of my recent work has been either HDR or 180 degree panoramas. Which means I always have to use a tripod. I'm beginning to love the discipline this involves. Am currently using Luminance HDR 2.3.1; a free download that works well with JPEGS. I got involved with HDR because I didn't want to wait dawn or dusk to take landscapes.

I agree with most of the people here that the type of HDR processing chosen is an artistic choice made by the photographer/artist. Pretty much everyone on this site would agree that photography is an art form, but some seem to believe that the camera is the only tool to be used. That is their choice. As for me, I tend to stick to more subtle HDR processing with high contrast landscapes, and more extreme processing on cars/trucks/selected other subjects. This is my personal choice, not that I would say this is for everyone. Obviously, I feel people who can't enjoy HDR processing are missing out to some degree, because no camera sensor can interpret light and dark as well as the human eye, and HDR allows us to compensate for that in a small way.