These two images were captured from the seventh floor balcony of the Hotel Jagua in Cienfeugos, Cuba.
Cienfeugos is a relatively prosperous city by Cuban standards, as you can see in the sunset view of the place. I created the image from five captures with shutter speeds ranging from 1/80 of a second (darkest) to 1/8 of a second (lightest). I combined the captures in Photoshop using layers and masking.
I didn’t use software specifically intended to create HDR imagery, but the hand combining I used here is an example of hand HDR. Contrary to what some people seem to think, you don’t need to use Photomatix or Photoshop’s Merge to HDR to create HDR imagery—and HDR can look relatively natural. See Tone Poem for a comparison of Hand HDR and Photomatix.
The night photo is of the Palacio del Valle, a rather tasteless neo-Moorish confection at the end of the Punto Gorda peninsula in Cienfeugos. The Palacio is now a restaurant and nightclub.
If you are wondering where the power for all the lights is coming from, look no further than the view of Cienfeugos (above). In the distance, a power generator is burning cheap Venezuelan crude and belching smoke into the sky.