There was a Russian MMO I used to play. Decent graphics (obvious steampunk-ish influences, at least on one side), free to play, and moderately fun.
There’s a specific moment when you are aboard an airship – which reminds me of this photo. Clouds out of the windows in every direction. When I loaded up this photo and rotated it, I couldn’t help but be reminded how great that looked.. And was unable to rotate it back to it’s original state.
How much more interesting that would’ve been, instead of a ceiling inside of an abandoned industrial warehouse. 😉
Original image, regular exposure
The exposures have been merged in Photomatix Pro, the settings tweaked. Saved and loaded into Photoshop, added a b&w gradient map, adjusted the blend mode. Added a levels adjustment mask to get very heavy contrast and a ‘darker’ feel.
Opened the original regular exposure file again in Camera RAW -> Photoshop, paste as a new layer to the HDR image, change layer blend mode and opacity to dull the colors down some. Adjust as necessary to avoid that “over HDR” look.
I’m sure there are plenty of easier (and better) ways to do this – I had received an email asking about how I edited a previous photo.
With the above said, I still prefer the original, just a b&w version of it! I fall victim to HDR when clouds are usually involved though.