To HDR or not to HDR ?

In my last photography tips post, I promised that I would share some HDR and non-HDR photos from my outing to Nymphenburg Palace, which is located here in Munich. I was there two weeks ago. You can read about my outing and the Nymphenburg Palace in general on my Living in Munich blog. Here's the link to that particular post. Overall, the outing was fun and I'm pretty content with most of the shots I took.

Above is a HDR image of the Palace's facade and the beautiful lake in front of it. To the right is the regular version. I find the colors to be more vibrant and dream-like in the HDR version. The regular one looks less vibrant, but more realistic. Most photography tips I've gotten point out that this is a general characteristic of HDR images.

To the left and below are slightly tighter shots of the facade. The one on the left is the HDR version and the one below is not.

Like the pair above, I find the HDR version to be more idealistic and less realistic as compared to the regular version.

Here we have pictures of the palace's rear. To the far left is a HDR image of the palace and a pond behind it. Next to it is the regular version.

The regular version has a slightly over-exposed sky and because of that there is almost no detail visible in the clouds. The HDR version on the other hand has successfully kept the sky correctly exposed (for the most part) and much of the detail intact.

Now we come to the final set. Once again we have pictures of the palace's rear but this time in landscape composition. To the left is the HDR version and below is the regular one.

HDR photography, high dynamic range, photography tips

In this set, I find the regular version to actually be more outstanding. Contrasts are stronger in the regular version and this accentuates the reflections in the pond.

Tell me what you think. Hope you enjoyed this photography tips posts on whether to go for HDR or not.