Ok. I feel like I may be in over my pay grade. I read the paper and it is fairly understandable. However, I do not really understand how one gets started on image processing on such I granular level. If he is using IDL to process the images, we will have to get up to speed with raw processing of files in IDL. Is the IDL code you posted the one mentioned in the Morgan/Druckmüller paper? If you can get that running, what would you practice on? I do not have any corona images in tiff/bmp format to play with.
I don't know if the NASA code is related to the Morgan/Druckmüller code, but both are using IDL. I don't know if it's completely necessary to use IDL to produce a reasonable high dynamic range and structure corona image, but at least with that paper and code, you can see what processing steps they are using. Photoshop actions are just so many black boxes to me. I have access to IDL, and I might try to get the NASA IDL code running with some other high dynamic range images, just to see if I can actually implement the code, regardless of whether or not the output makes sense. There is a GNU version of IDL, but I don't know how comparable the code is between the two.
Best thing would be if someone had available a series of solar corona images to practice with, but I don't know of any visible image datasets from previous eclipses. The Solar Dynamics Observatory may have UV datasets that would work as analogs, I'd have to delve into their databases to look. I'd firstly like to see what a run of the mill HDR program can produce. Of course, the Megamovie project images will be available after the fact.
If I'm not driven out of my planned eclipse location by fires or persistent thunderstorms, I'll have two cameras shooting landscape images to work with first, and working on the telephoto corona images as a stack will probably be something I work on for a few months, more for my own satisfaction and curiosity than because I think I'll be able to duplicate the pros' images. My landscape images will, I think, be fairly unique. I'm sure my location will have a fair number of people, but I'd like to think my practice with partial solar, and lunar eclipses (mostly, learning from my mistakes!) will let me produce a couple of pretty good full sequence images. I do have a really ugly, and large, air conditioning vent on my ceiling, that we never use, that I'd love to cover up with a big beautiful solar corona image though. I figure I can work up some way to attach a foamboard print with magnets so it could be removed for the three days a year we want to use the AC.