Nano> To better understand the difference on Bloom vs HDR (and we have already established that Bloom can be HDR but for now we say it's not, Think Oblivion)
Bloom, is a more simple aproach to do these "glare" effects, commonly seen in last generation of PS2 games as an example - a simple glare effect, where as HDR is to more acuratly simulate how we percive light or dark vs light. Or better yet, think of it as a camera effect. (read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging
for a good real life example of what hdr does in games) HDR also produces this "bloom" or glare effect, i guess it would look very odd if it didnt. Due to hdr being more advanced then a simple bloom/glare effect it also affects bright colors and it's exaggerated alot in games, else you prolly wouldnt see the effect.
It's fun to play around with the HDR effect in old Farcry with 1.2/1.3 or what not patch installed, to get a feel for it and what it does for the colors on screen and what vs when it applies.
I like "high" HDR to the point as where it glares/blooms alot, it makes the image softer and not as hard and contrast as games look without hdr.
When I create images in photoshop i always add a bloom effect to them so they look more alive.
Here's an experiment you could do in Photoshop.
Take any image or screenshot without HDR,
Copy first layer to second, add radial blur it and change the layer blending mode to "screen". - Typical "Glare" effect you see in for example Guildwars (unless real HDR was added in one of the expansion packs..)
2. new image again, select all white with a good treshold using color select.
Then create a second empty layer and fill that selection with white, duplicate that layer and then merge them but not with your background, add some blur and presto- Your average "Bloom" effect.
HDR on the other hand, ive no good tip for.. as it involves a bit of both, but only for bright colors in contrast to dark. If everything is bright, there will be less "bloom" in the screen ... so. The effect is more advanced.
Your typical HDR effect in games also simulates going from a dark room into a light one where everything is overbright untill your eyes adjust and vice versa. Bloom does not.
Can't think of more at the moment and I also must go back to work lol
Really nice shot's btw. I must go buy this game because Im missing out!
EDIT: Ok to create your own HDR effect in PS, you could take a second copy of any image, tonedown the shadowrange, and strengthen the bright ones, blur it and do as example 1, with the "glare" effect, but perhaps with layerblend Color Dodge or Color Burn, or just a combination with a layer of Screen. For true HDR, lookup "tone mapping" on wiki. That's how photagraphers do it.
Ive not tried it my self, but I suspect it will work, Ill try it later on some images.