Oh! I just saw this post. I lost my modem in the storm last night and had to pick up a new one.
You can do HDR's in PhotoShop as well. There's a lot of info on how to do HDR's on the net.
If the photo looks like a cartoon then you've went too far with the processing.
They are fun and interesting to do though.
This is a 5 image HDR of my truck.