Practical HDRI book
I have always liked photo books from the publisher Rocky Nook. The titles, the format, the layout. It just talks my language, and this book entitled Practical HDRI by Jack Howard further enhances that feeling. Like other Rocky Nook books on my shelves it's concentrated and right to the point, and manages to get a lot of practical information over in a fairly compact number of pages.
Jack Howard focuses on the practical side of shooting high dynamic range (HDR), and covers both gear selection, seeing an HDR-option, shooting and the critical post processing. He lines up many different ways of getting from the field to a finished product, and shows in detail how to use a number of techniques and programs. Far the majority of illustrations in the book is screen shots from the different programs he uses. He shows in detail how to work the most popular HDR-tools: Photoshop's built-in system, Photomatix, FDRTools and Dynamic Photo HDR, and each program's features are highlighted and demonstrated.
The number of screenshots illustrating this are one one hand almost numbing, but also serve to point out the effect of every little adjustment, and emphasize the fact that HDR is as much a result of choices made by the photographer during the postprocessing as it is the result of the physical capture on location.
If you have started fooling around with HDR and want to really break into the realm of deeper understanding, finer control and better and more individual results, Jack Howard's book has a lot to offer.
Whether you aim for the cartoon-like exaggerated look that some HDR-images display, want to make more artful (and sometimes bordering on the artificial) images or simply want to document scenes, which have more dynamic range than your camera can capture, Jack Howard has some advice for you.
The 170 page, soft cover book is 33 US$ from most sources, and can be bought directly from O'Reilly - the order-processing mothership of Rocky Nook.