I still play with HDR occasionally. I think that it has some potential when it’s done well. Too often, though, the results look like rather surreal:
It’s an interesting effect but I’m not sure one can still call it photography at this point.
Today I took a photo of the front of my workplace in the late afternoon. Normally, when the sun is low in the sky, the other side of the building is in deep shadow, as this normal exposure shows:
HDR produces a characteristic flattening of tones when it brings up the details in the shadows. I tried for a more natural result in this photo (gotta watch that halo-ing!). Photomatix was used for the HDR image generation and tone-mapping. I’ve never gotten the hang of HDR tone-mapping with Photoshop CS2, which also takes a much longer time to generate the 32-bit image.
The last time I tried HDR, I used a Canon Powershot S5 and Photoshop. I think I’m getting better results with the Rebel XSi and Photomatix.
Almost every HDR tutorial I can think of has been collected on Tutorial Blog.