Looks like the Netherlands got some of the 'interesting' weather we had over in the UK recently.
I really like both your shots, and I particularly like the tonal range you have managed to get in the sky with the 'weak' sun.
Of the two, I prefer the second I think. The foreground is brighter and more in balance with the lighting from the sky.
The first shot I'd have been inclined to concentrate on the tree to the right using the track to the left to draw the eye into the image, (and minimise the impact of the fencing),
That said they are excellent captures in difficult lighting conditions, which I would have been pleased to get.
I shot a sequence of images Christmas Day when the snow was a bit more fresh. Like you I decided on a tone merged approach for the images. I've attached an example and would be interested in any feedback you have to give
I'm a user of Photomatix and CS4 myself and am very interested at present in finding out how sucessful other members are with HDR workflows and tone mapping and particularly if they have been able to generate presents in Photomatix that are truly usable across similar images.
My experience has been that saving and using presents has not really been effective and that it is probably better to start 'clean' with each image. I'd be interested in your views.
I've also attached a summary of my workflow which has developed over about a year. It was put together inn this form because I am involved with a small group of friends who have recently started serious image making as an adjunct to their rambling and hill walking hobby. They have been seriously challenging me as a mentor. There have been so many discussions about different ways of doing things I decided to lay down formally my 'preferred' workflow. Again I'd be interested in your preferred ways of doing things.
(using Canon450D, Sigma 50mmm Photoshop CS4/ACR5 Photomatix)
I need to get my head around these settings used by these landscapers. Failing light, cloudy and a wide aperture that does not seem to give a deep DoF and 1.2500th sec shutterF3.5 1/2500s ISO 100 @21mm
The first image seems a little dull but I actually think it adds to the atmosphere of the shot. I can see where the 2nd is coming frombut that midway horizon does not work for me
At first, do not call me a landscaper as I wouldn't compare me at all to some really great landscapers around here. I'm at the very beginning of the learning curve and still try to get my head around these settings.
The basis of my settings at landscaping is a low ISO and a low # Fstop. This to reduce noise, reduce the visibility of dustparticles on the sensor and lens and increase sharpness. I prefer ISO-100 and F/3.5 for that reason if depth of field isn't an issue.
The increased amount of light by the snow's refelctions really amazed me (these are my first real snowshots with this camera). Therefore I concentrated on the correct exposure by differing the shutterspeed more, and didn't pay that much atention to the F#.
So don't blame me for weird settings as there is still so much more to learn for me.
The dullness of the first shot is an issue due to the great dynamic range I had to cope with. With my photoshopskills this is about the best I can get.
Thanks for your long comment. I'll reply to it later, when I'm on my home pc.