So I guess the idea of Hdr is to insure that there is a large amount of information in the extreme tones. Then one manipulates as usual in Photoshop.
"HDR" can mean many things, depending on context. Most commonly it will mean the combined actions of:
1. Using exposure bracketing in order to capture more DR information than the camera image sensor is capable of in one go
2. Synthesizing a single, high-DR image from the raw files
3. Applying automated tone-mapping in order to make the HDR file viewable on LDR displays/prints
It is perfectly possible to do exposure bracketing in order to only "pick the best" afterwards, or to combine them using other techniques (e.g. blending). It is possible to massage a HDR image into LDR by manual tehcniques. It is also possible to apply tone-mapping techniques on single camera images.
There are also other techniques for capturing a wide-DR scene (e.g. graduated ND-filters), or for reducing the DR of a scene (timing the sun position, using flash etc).
I believe that the main point is to have a scene that is "pretty" or that interest you. Once you have that, applying good technique will only allow you to capture it better.