Five minutes before I took the series of shots that I used to create the HDR image to the left, I took a handful of shots to judge composition and exposure.
The sun was still in the sky filling the shadows with a lot more light. So the dynamic range (the difference between the brightest and darkest tones that I wanted to record) weren't so extreme yet. That of course would soon change, as the lighting during dusk or dawn change rapidly and often dramatically as well. One of several advantages of HDR photography can be seen in the shadow detail. Look at the shadow side of the boat in both pictures. Even though there was more overall light to work with in the non HDR image, owing to the sun still being up in the sky, the shadows are darker and show less detail, because I had to cut the exposure time in order to not blow out the highlights.
The colors in the sky weren't so dramatic yet, but if they were, I probably would have had to let the shadows go even darker if I wanted to record the colors in the sky, depending how bright they were. HDR let's you capture everything.
Still for those who find HDR photography a bit too dramatic for their tastes, this shot taken under less extreme lighting conditions provides a nice natural way to capture this scene.