I’m in the process of learning how to do high dynamic range photography. Even the fanciest cameras are fairly limited in the range of light and dark they can capture in one photo. The human eye can see over 20 stops of light, whereas a camera is lucky to capture 10. So if you want an image that has a broad range of light and dark, HDR is the way to go.
The idea is pretty simple. You take a normal exposure as the foundation. Then you underexpose to get the detail in the bright areas and overexpose to get the detail in the dark and shadows. Open those 3 photos into special software, and it will help you combine and adjust your final image.
This technique can often create eerie, almost surrealistic results. I’m pretty new to the world of HDR. I’ve had more failures than successes. But I am having fun making super spoopy images.
If you want to learn how to do HDR, I highly recommend Ben Long’s course on Lynda.com.