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In this paper, new k factor decision method and highlight compression operator are proposed to enhance the appearance and naturalness of rendered High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. The retinex algorithm is one of the outstanding local operators, which well preserves local contrast in highlights. However, the retinex algorithm gives a worse overall appearance and undistinguishable dark area contrast than global operators or other local operators in some cases. The most prominent improvement of the proposed method is that the decision method of the k factor, which is one of the parameters in retinex algorithm, is proposed by using the dynamic range in images. The proposed parameter decision method enhances the overall quality and preference of the image and solves any parameter setting problems. Also, dark area details become more distinguishable by the highlight compression operator. According to the results of many HDR image experiments, the proposed method shows better rendering in terms of naturalness and dark area details than the previous tone-mapping algorithm.1.