I currently use Qtpfsgui 1.9.3 to assemble my photographs into high dynamic range (HDR) images. In this tool, I am currently using the Mantiuk algorithm. I find Mantiuk has only a few knobs to turn and yields great results.
I’ve developed a nice workflow in using the Mantiuk algorithm. I generally leave the contrast settings alone, crank up the saturation to around 1.8, and then vary the detail between 1.0 and 3.0 depending on the picture.
Recently, I’ve found a good use of the contrast adjustment of Mantiuk and want to share my findings. The image below shows my initial adjustments using Mantiuk.
Notice how the light is stratified vertically below the clouds. I found that turning up the contrast help alleviate this effect. In the following image, I turned it up a good amount to highlight the difference.