I’ve been shooting HDR for some years now, here’s a good, if somewhat extreme, example. Shot at 6:30 AM this morning in VERY dim natural light.
Two images, a single frame using matrix evaluative light metering and a 5 frame HDR covering +/- 4 EV. Using the spot metering the shadow areas needed a shutter speed of 15 seconds (it was that dark ) and the highlight areas a shutter speed of 1/8 second and the evaluative light reading was 1/2 a second. To save some mental arithmetic it can be useful to use the exposure compensation dial in both directions to quickly see how many stops either way of the evaluative reading are required to achieve the required two shutter speeds (remember to reset it to +/- 0 EV before taking the shot).
I chose this because at 1/2 second it was pretty obvious that the highlights would be somewhat over exposed and the shadows drastically under exposed with a single frame exposure, a loose-loose scenario. In borderline situations the Olympus OM-D’s great on-screen highlight/shadow display is a very useful indication as to if, and to what degree there’s any advantage to using HDR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goEhh1n–hQ
The power of HDR
Chalk: In the single frame shot the highlights areas, as seen in the white text box on the top left monitor, nearly completely blown out and the shadow areas have lost all detail, where they’re visible at all that is.
Cheese: Detail in both the highlight and shadow areas.