For our last assignment I experimented with HDR photography. I used my CHDK-hacked Canon camera to take the photos and Luminance HDR to create the HDR photos and perform the tone mapping from HDR to regular LDR photos.
I did quite a bit of experimenting with my camera and the software to understand how all of this works. I also read all of the Luminance HDR documentation. The documentation clarified a lot of details about HDR photography and helped me understand all of the steps to making photos like this.
All of the below HDR photos were created with 8 photos with exposure settings ranging from -3 to +4. The HDR photos were created using the Debevec model with a Gaussian weighting function and a Gamma response curve. I used Mantiuk '08 to tonemap the HDR images to the LDR JPG image format. There were other possible choices for these settings and although I did experiment with them I don't claim to have a full understanding of what they are or what they do. I used these settings because I was happiest with the results. I will have to look for other online resources provided by professional photographers to get better guidance and intuition about how to use these tools.