I was reading Trey Ratcliff's blog the first time I heard the term HDR. Can't remember how I landed in his blog. Immediately fell in love with the technique; when done correctly, the images come to life with dramatic contrast, incredible detail and vivid color. At the time I don't think I even had my first DLSR yet.
As someone with natural artistic talent, I was fascinated with the vibrant colors and making my images pop the way I wanted. To me is all about getting better color rendition in my photography.
Even though HDR photography has a lot of critics, I don't think is any different than processing and manipulating images in the darkroom. The difference, to me, is that now we don't have to deal with exposure to fumes and toxic chemicals. And is not messy.
There are lots of Frankenstein images out there. People take multiple exposures to create an HDR blend, then Frankenstein them together with over saturation and contrasting, just like I did with the above picture.
If there's one thing I've learned since I first began using HDR, is that adding this technique to certain images has given me more options. In my opinion, my photography is improving, and that is always a good thing.