As the sun cleared the Panamint Range to the east, it lit the rocks and textures of the Alabama Hills and the snowy elevation of the High Sierra crest all the way up to Whitney. I was in position below the location of this night shot of Alabama Hills. Camera on tripod, I shot three exposures at 1/10 of a second, 1/30 of a second, and 1/80 of a second. Each capture was taken at 48mm, f/8 and ISO 100.
The 1/30 of a second exposure became the background layer in Photoshop because it was the best overall exposure, although the sky was too light and the foreground rocks were too dark. It was easy to use the 1/80 of a second exposure to darken the sky, and the 1/10 of a second exposure to lighten the foreground.
In each case, I achieved the combination in Photoshop by aligning the image as a layer on top of the background, and using a layer mask and a simple gradient to blend the different exposures seamlessly—an excellent example of how hand-HDR techniques can avoid the artificial look of many HDR landscapes.