Let's just be honest here, standard HDR photo processing techniques are about as relevant as dial-up Internet these days. There are many other ways to achieve better dynamic range in the final edit of an image and one of the best ways is that of using luminosity masks.
Using luminosity masks is essentially a much, much cleaner way of taking control over different areas within a photograph so as to either edit those areas specifically or, as demonstrated in this video, to composite different sections from a metered stack of shots. If you're not already familiar with layer masking within Adobe Photoshop, then you might want to get caught up first, I'd recommend checking out “The Ultimate Guide on How to Use Photoshop Layer Masks.”
The desire to pull more out of an image for more dynamic range is a pretty natural one. The human eye can see so much more than what a camera is capable of capturing in a single frame. We have to rely on advanced techniques and even blending different exposures in order to accurately depict what we were actually seeing there in person. Granted, technology has come a long way, but it's still not quite up to the quality of the human eye. Until cameras get to that point, using techniques like luminosity masks is a great way to create the shot you actually want to see instead of merely the one that the camera was able to record.
Do you have any successes with using luminosity masks? Make sure to share by commenting below, we'd love to see what you've created.