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I have seen some fake HDR tutorials for Gimp but I havent had much luck getting the
effect I was looking for. This tutorial has quite a few steps but is very simple. Before
you begin you will need the dodge and burn script. Here is a link to the file:
Open your image. If you need to adjust the brightness or contrast of the image do it

The first step is optional but I find that about half of the pictures Ive tried this on
could use it. From the menu go to Colors\Auto\White Balance. The image may look a
little better. In the example image it does.

Next you will duplicate the layer. Select the new layer and from the menu go to
Colors\Desaturate. Set the option to average and click desaturate. This will give you a
grayscale image.

Now from the menu go to Colors\Invert.

Next apply the soft glow filter. From the menu go to Filters\Artistic\Softglow. Use
the default settings.

Now set the layer to soft light and the layer opacity to 50%. Duplicate the layer and
set the new layers opacity to 75%. The image should look like this:

Now select the original image layer and duplicate it. Move it to the top of the other
layers and make sure it is selected. From the menu go to Colors\Levels. Set the leftmost
field of the input levels to 100 and click ok. This will darken the layer.

Set the layer to darken only and set the opacity between 30% and 50%. For this and
most images I find 35% to be the best setting. Now merge the layers.

Now from the menu go to Script-Fu\Enhance\Dodge and burn. Set the thin amount to
10 and the thick amount to 25.

You will now have two new layers, one called Dodge and the other Burn. Select
the first layer and from the menu go to Colors\Hue-Saturation. Set the master saturation
to 50 and click ok.

Now for the last step: from the menu go to Colors\Levels again.

For the input levels, set the leftmost value to 25 and the rightmost value to 225.

Thats it. Every picture will be different and you can play around with the settings in
the dialog boxes to achieve the desired effect. If the HDR look is not for you then this
tutorial can still be helpful in enhancing your images. Try skipping the dodge and burn
step and/or the color saturation step. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
Here are some more examples:


All images used in this tutorial were obtained from and
are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation license, the Creative Commons license
or exist in the public domain.