After talking with a lot people, reading many tutorials, and experimenting myself with lots of HDR processing, I have learned that processing HDR images is a very personal thing. The most common answer to how people move the sliders is that they just keep moving them until it looks right. And I agree with that. But it sure would be nice if every once in a while if you could get some little tricks or tips to try. So here's one that has been working for me.
I struggled finding a way to brighten up my images without making the entire image washed out. My solution has been to increase the luminosity slider while bringing down the gamma slider. Moving these two sliders together in opposite directions gives you powerful control over the brightness and strength of the HDR effect in your image without changing the overall brightness. Next time you use Photomatix, give it a try. Or go process one of you old shots right now. Let us know how it worked for you in the comments.
Daily Photo: Bloomingdale's at Christmas