lol love your spirit little one and you are right to always learn and I also agree one need not have a mentor to achieve greatness. Just gotta have the eye for composition and the taste for good editing. like i said before, keep working it, and you will go far
anyway here's a recent edit that i did in 5 mins, to show a friend how to do "HDR" like images manually from scratch in photoshop. It's very rough and not the type of edits that i usually like to do, but it shows just what amazing things you can squeeze out of a dull jpg file, with a little bit of know how.
After / Final Process
The very last process in Silver Efex Pro - High Structured with fine adjustment..
you can buy better gear but you can't buy a better eye
HDR basically means high dynamic range. you just need to lift the shadows out of dark areas.
A raw file typically covers 4-5 stops of light. say you shoot a properly exposed image, you can increase exposure by 1 stop or down by 1 stop. which you then save and now you have 3 images of 3 exposures, each differing by 1 stop.
these can now be used to create your HDR.
alternatively with lightroom, one can lift shadows, then increase overall saturation, contrast, dodge and burn, and bump up clarity, add deep blue to skies and should produce similar image style.
here's what i did some years back...