Some of you know I take astrophotos. I'm going to be doing Orion Nebula soon and it poses a very nice problem. It has a very bright central core and also very faint outer details. To take astro photos we take as an example 50 1 minute exposures then stack them into a single frame. Problem here is that the central core highlights can get blown out. The way we deal with this is to take another set of exposures of maybe 30 seconds each then use them as a mask over the blown out area. Usually by creating a layer and doing some nifty bluring techniques to hide the fact that you used the mask. Question, is there a better way of doing this? All this talk I hear of HDR seems interesting and I wonder if it could be applied in a similar way to get a nice result in my case. Any takers?