Ah, I understand your question now. I think it's just that your not seeing the benefits of the HDR at full size. Here is a comparison of the HDR in the "shadows" (not really shadows, it's definitely midtones, since it's the sunflowers, which are the primary subject of the image), and a single-frame shadow pull:
If I wanted to print this (I do, actually), the single-frame shadow pull is entirely unacceptable for that purpose. I already have people who want prints of this, family and friends, and I'm sure others will as well. At 13x19, the size I usually print at home, the difference in detail and detail clarity between the HDR and the shadow pull is totally obvious. There is a huge difference in detail, the HDR version has TONS more, and it's crisper and sharper and has more color fidelity. For larger prints, even gallery wraps up to 48x36", the better detail of the HDR is that much more important, because of the need to upsample.
Thank you jrista for your comprehensive and lushly illustrated and demo'd breakdown of your fantastic HDR image. As I fancy shooting at night or indoor under subdued lighting I have been eager to incorporate hdr into my workflow but haven't been able to grasp the technique by reading up, you-tubing, kelbying, and ps-usering the subject. Your verbosity, along with the gifs and annotated
gifs have opened my eyes quite a bit more than before. Thanks much...