After reading an article in a 2020 magazine about how one photographer made his HDR images, I decided to do a test outing. The photographer said that he only bracketed three files, plus and minus two or three EVs.
My practice is to bracket five files with +/- one EV. I did a test with some of my files from last weekend only processing the three files with normal and plus and minus two EVs and it seemed to work fine. An advantage of the fewer files is that it takes less time to capture the files with less subject movement. My camera bodies capture at five frames per second.
Long story short, it didn't work out in practice. The lack of the intermediately exposed files seems to be a bit much for the HDR software I use. I think that my tests from last weekend's files involved scenes with far less exposure variations in the scene.
Only about half of what I shot ended up useable and some of that far less than ideal. The location was the Long Pond trail at Grafton Lakes State Park. While the state's trail map says the trail is 2.5 miles, my phone navigation app tells me I walked 3.5 miles from my car and back to my car.
Here are a bunch of not great images from the experiment. Next time I visit the park I'll try a different trail and go back to five file bracketing.