This is one of the best written instruction books I’ve read for just about anything. It’s succinct, yet thorough. The particular examples discuss not just how to use the software, but also give an understanding of what approaches lead to certain results.
Nightengale discusses the HDR construction and editing process for three software tools: Adobe Photoshop, Photomatrix Pro, and FDRTools. He is careful to emphasize the advantages and disadvantages of each one, and how to exploit those, rather than make a blanket recommendation of one package over another. The book is divided into six chapters that discuss dynamic range, how to bracket your shooting for HDR photography, the general aspects of how to merge those bracket shots, the specific techniques in involved in creating hyper-real and photo-realistic images, and post production.
Much of the content is tied to the currently available software, so the book may not have the longest shelf-life as a reference. But it will get you started on the basics and allow you to evolve along with changes in the underlying tools.
The text’s print quality is quite good, and conveys the draw of this style of photography and photoediting.
There is a good deal of info in this book with respect to various HDR programs, such as Photomatix and Photoshop, and how to use these applications to create decent HDR photos.
There are too many photos in this book that, while impressive, offer no insight into how they were taken or how they were processed using any of the tools mentioned in the book. You can show me 1000 impressive HDR photos but without any info into how the shot was composed and how it was processed it won’t make me a better photographer, and that’s where this book suffers.