The picture above is copyright of John Burgreen, who I think is based in Okinawa and who (I think) has a website of HDR images here. I have to say I think because I can`t work out if he runs the site or is just a member. John let me know!
Anyway he very kindly visited my website so to return the favour I can wholeheartedly recommend his as a place to find stunning HDR images of Japan, like the one above of a samurai warrior.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range imaging and basically combines a series of different exposures to allow all areas, both dark and light, to have full detail and impact. Sometimes the effect can be too strong and gives images a cartoon look, but stunning none the less. Done well however (as above) it creates photos that are simply mind-blowing. Have a look at John`s site and also other examples here and here.
I not sure where this technique actually takes photography; even the mundane can now be given some serious interest with a bit of clever trickery on Photoshop. Myself, I prefer not to play around with the images I take too much, I hope to get them right in camera (not that HDR is a correction of a mistake, it is more a kind of uber-bracketting). But there are times when the light in a scene is tricky and the choice as to which parts of the image you are going to burn out or underexpose, and which parts you are going to try and keep is a difficult one. I haven`t tried HDR yet, which effectively removes that dilemma, but fancy giving it a go.
Talk to you soon