I'm starting to feel like I'm getting a handle on this HDR thing. I tried some more last week in the Black Hills and got these results that I'm happy with. For me it's a balancing act between the "hyper real" effect and actual realism.
Both of these photos were taken at the Washington profile scenic turnout at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
If you aren't familiar with the HDR process (High Dynamic Range), it involves shooting one photo at a proper exposure, one very light to brighten up the shadow areas, and one very dark to bring out details in the brightest spots. The three images are then blended together with computer software to give a unique look.
I found that doing this while heavy snow is falling makes it look like it is really snowing when three layers of snowflakes are blended together. It was unintentional, but this shot from the Spokane ghost town reminds me very much of some of artist John Crane's watercolor paintings.