Diamonds – Are a Girls best friend.
I wanted to further explore the capability of mental ray for caustics and came across information from “zap” detailed below.
Going for a different darker more saturated stylistic approach keeping in mind the realism to a certain degree.
I found that while using 3DSMax 2013 and Camera Glare, it was necessary to turn down the Glare Shader quite a bit, otherwise the image became very blown out.
There are some interesting things you can do using Photoshop and .EXR format. I used HDR Toning by tweaking the Levels and using Exposure and Gamma, also to get a sharper look you could use Equalize Histogram, although this would darken some areas of your image.
Thanks again to “zap”, it was a fun exercise.