I've been playing a little with a program called called Photomatix. The idea is that you take multiple shots of the same scene with different exposures and then this program combines them into a "High Dynamic Range" (HDR) image. Many cameras - even my old Olympus C404 will do this automatically. The Olympus calls it "bracket" mode. When I turn this on I get 3 (or 5) shots, one at the "right" exposure, one darker, and one lighter. The above image is basically the defaults from Photomatix. Below are the original images
It's a pretty neat program. There's a free trial - the only thing is that the free version watermarks the image. (If you're wondering why my sample image doesn't have the watermark, it's because the watermark happened to be outside my crop. There's even both a Windows and OS X version.
The only real downside is you should really use a tripod. I shot these just holding the camera, but well over half the shots I try that with get too blurry to use.
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