I haven’t been a big fan of Single Image HDRs or more precisely Single Image Tone Mapped images, but I am softening my view and it can be great fun
I do still believe if we want to do a true High Dynamic Range image, it should be done right and the time taken to do just that but I have softened my stance on single image HDR.
We do have to be honest ab0ut what it is. We are NOT extending the dynamic range of an image but rather just Tone Mapping the dynamics that are there. In other words we are placing a tone in a different part of the spectrum then it may have been before. Usually this means bring some areas that were lost to shadow up into the midrange and lowering some highlights. Some programs also add some sharpening to bring out detail.