Since these images appear to be the same other than the exposure, you might try doing a File / Automate / Merge to HDR Pro, which will create a single image that is the combination of the two exposures that is 32-bits, then you’ll want to “tone” the image, perhaps in Camera Raw and convert to 16 or 8-bits.
Did you use a tripod? The mad professor Russell Brown may have something that as a process might help you get there. See:
CS6: The Perfect Panorama
This tutorial gives you some easy to use tips and techniques for merging multiple images into a panorama. It will also discuss the importance of using the new Adaptive Wide Angle feature to enhance your results.
Around the 5th minute some relevant material shows up.
Load up Tips Page, forums.adobe.com/thread/1503186?sr=stream&ru=541680, this together with some later calculation to make masks might help, I hope. Good luck!
Good idea, let me give that a go. The two images are two separate images captured moments apart but they are in registration with each other, shot on a tripod.
Yes the two images were shot on a tripod. Let me check that out. The HDR is not working well or I don't know how to get it to work well.
I was able to get something reasonably looking starting with the too smallish images you posted above, but since they didn't have an camera-embedded information about the original exposures, I had to guess, so my merge may not be exactly what happens when you do your with the original images, but the same basic process should be the same.
Starting in Bridge, I selected both image and choose the Merge to HDR Pro option in Bridge / Tools / Photoshop / Merge to HDR Pro...
After HDR Pro did it's think, I selected 32-bit output and click Tone in Camera Raw:
In ACR it started out a little dark so I boosted the Exposure, reduced the Highlights to make the clouds visible, and boosted the shadows to brighten things a bit more, then increased the Clarity to add some contrast:
Following this I'd click Ok and do any other work in Photoshop, itself.
The areas that might have problems are around the tree branches if there has been any movement between the two shots. The Remove Ghosts option in HDR Pro is supposed to help with this.
Ok, let me play with that approach and see what happens.
What version of PS are you using? I'm on CS6. When I select the two images in Bridge->Merge to HDR Pro and then select 32 bit I do not get the option to 'Tone in Camera Raw', I get either 'Ok' or 'Cancel'.
CC and CC 2014 have the Tone in ACR option because ACR can be used as a Filter in the subscription PS versions.
In CS6, you'll want to save the 32-bit image out of HDR Pro as a TIF without adjusting it in HDR Pro, then go back to Bridge and right-click and choose Open in Camera Raw... then you should be able to do the same things. It may start out a little brighter due to the Save/Open cycle that occurred, so instead of increasing the exposure, maybe decrease it, but still use the Highlights, Shadows, and Clarity to improve it. The toning is all "season to taste" anyway, so whatever looks good to you.
Ok, I gotcha!
These two images are of the same subject but different exposures so they respond well to an HDR treatment.
Another way to accomplish what you're trying to do would be to start with the brighter picture that has the blow-out sky, and put it on a layer above another picture that contained just a properly-exposed sky, taken at a different place and time, mostly likely, and then select the white sky and in the top layer, and convert the selection to a mask that hides the selection, which would let the sky from the lower layer show through.
The tricky part is to get the sky in between all the tiny twigs of that bare branch, which would probably not be easy, so your HDR blending is a better route for this particular example. Sky replacement works better when the skyline is less complicated and it's easier to select exactly all of the sky and none of the non-sky.
Search YouTube for (Sky Replacement Photoshop) and you'll find all sorts of tutorials.