Experimenting with HDR photos on a $200 camera

I've been giddily experimenting with high-dynamic-range photography over the past few days. Unfortunately, I don't own any professional photography equipment, and my best camera is a Canon PowerShot A570 IS for which I paid the equivalent of $200 last year. But thanks to the custom CHDK firmware for Canon cameras, I've been able to produce HDR photos without too much trouble.

The firmware lets you hijack the burst shooting mode to quickly shoot the same scene at different exposure levels. A little software trickery in your favorite image editing software, and you can produce impressive and sometimes surreal shots that transcend traditional exposure limitations. The only downside is that you have to keep the camera steady for a second or two (longer if you're shooting at night), so you can generally rule out moving subjects.

Check out the image gallery below for some of my first attempts.

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