HDR with a Single Image

The concept behind creating a HDR (high dynamic range) photo is to take several photos of the same image using varying exposures.  Then the images are used together with the right software to create a photo that captures more of the dynamic range that you would be able to do with a single photo.  This is best done with a tripod and a still image so the multiple photos are all the same.

Many times this is not possible.  We were driving along a Florida highway when the sun was setting.  There was no time to setup to take a photo and I was in the back seat anyway.  I captured a single image shooting through the windshield.  The picture looked nice, but as most sunset photos, the foreground was almost totally black.

After using Photoshop to remove some of the objects, using the content aware fill feature, I exported the image to Nik Software’s plug in HDR Efects Pro 2, selecting Tone Mapping (single image).  Selecting one of the presets this plug in offers, gave me a photo that was closer to what I recall see.  The effect may be a bit to much and it would be useful to reduce the amount of post processing, but I leave it as is to so you what is possible.