HDR or High Definition Range solves the age old problem of trying to get what we see in a photo. Since our eyes can take in a much great range of light and shadow than any camera the resulting photo can often have blown out a blown out sky or a shadow area that is too dark. One exposure can not possibly capture all of the tones that we see. With HDR multiple photos are taken at different exposures and then merged in post production. Even an iPhone has this feature. It takes three photos one darker one lighter and another average. It works pretty well and I would recommend it for scenic subjects. HDR does have a tendency to flatten images so a little increasing of contrast will help greatly ... All said, sometimes the best photo is still a carefully composed, well exposed good photo, but HDR has it's time and place . Bellow are a few HDRs taken on an iPhone 7 -
For maximum creative and technical control with HDR a DSRL is a big advantage. I use a Nikon D300. This also has the advantage of a much bigger sensor than in a point and shoot or smart phone, resulting in sharper images with less digital noise that can be printed large. For most subjects I will shoot three images, one a stop too dark, one a stop too light and one in the middle. For some subjects I will go up to five different exposures. This is where things start to get tricky. While this can all be done in Photoshop, I've found HDR dedicated software much easier to use, One of these is Photomatx Pro 5, but there are plenty of new ones out there. Bellow are a few examples
Getting fancy with five separate exposures - This was a tough one to get any other way. If you look at the photos you see if the sky comes out the building goes dark. If the building is exposed right the sky gets blown out,,,This is a perfect candidate for HDR. Photo Nikon D300 Tokinoa 11-16 f2.8 - set at 11mm of Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Maryland during a stunning concert of the DC Flutes.
A collection of HDR images...Enjoy...