What Makes an HDR Image Pop
Generally speaking, I don’t like HDR pictures. They look … kinda dirty and messy. The need to take multiple exposures of the same scene and to blend them in a special software is also a hassle in my opinion.
However, there ARE many beautiful,stunning HDR images throughout the internet, and I find one thing common to these good HDR images: the structure that was brought out by the HDR process.
Which means, a good candidate scene for HDR process is one that has a nice and fairly complicated structure. It could be the structure of the clouds, the buildings, the various objects (usually in an urban background) or, as in most cases, the combination thereof.
It seems to me that HDR is not about, or not only about, equalization of light. It is more about elimination of the effect of light in order to make the structure of things stand out. If an image does not have a built-in artsy structure (which, without HDR processing, is somewhat weakened by light or lack of light), it cannot become an eye-catching image even if processed with an HDR software.
It follows, I think, that a simplistic image is not suitable for HDR processing because it has little structure to be brought out.