I photograph all different sorts of backgrounds for use in glamour composites, and nearly always shoot a bracketed series for HDR. These are then processed (usually in Photomatix) and imported into Lightroom.
Weeks, months or years later, when I revisit these HDR images, I often ask myself "What was I thinking?" What I see are images with over-saturated colors and too much contrast. On The Grid podcast, Scott Kelby explained how this happens. Our eyes get acclimated to intense color and contrast when we process a series of HDR images, so we tend to overdo the processing.
This renders such images useless as backgrounds for glamour composites: the vibrant colors and contrast draw too much of the viewer's attention and detract from the model.
There is an easy way around this problem, short of reprocessing the bracketed images. I will demonstrate using this studio image of Laurel:
Here is an HDR background taken at Singapore's Clarke Quay, and processed a few years ago. I like this background, but it is indeed overdone:
Simply add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, and desaturate (I used -84) and darken (I used -20):
After adding Laurel we can see that she does not match the background very well:
Run the image through Nik Color Efex Pro 4 to blend her into the scene better. I used Darken/Lighten Center to begin the vignetting process, Brilliance/Warmth to cool everything down a bit and better match the model and background colors, then a small amount of Pro Contrast:
Finally, I added a Curves adjustment layer set to the Multiply blend mode, then painted over Laurel with a large soft black brush on the mask to further darken those bright edges, thus vignetting, and emphasizing Laurel even more:
This is such an easy, straightforward technique, and really draws our eyes to the model, which is our goal.