A tripod would help with sharpness especially with hdr,and a remote release also.As for the lens a canon 10-22 is a good choice.Thank you all for the comments. I suppose countless hours of reading tutorials, tips, how-to's,camera basics,composition,etc on the net paid off.
I have a question for you all. I noticed my raw images are not coming out as sharp. I know it is partly due to my kit zoom lens (18-135mm). Many articles I've read suggest some ways to get sharper images with your kit lens. I have follow them but still am not satisfy with my results.
I do not have a tripod yet and am still deciding on which one to get. Actually, I do know the tripod and head I want to get, but where I live do not have it available readily. I found a few internet stores locally, but the cost is double the price for some reason. Nevertheless, I know to achieve a sharp image, a tripod is essential. Thus, most of my shots, I find a sturdy object where I can place the camera on when taking my bracket images. I turn off the IS and my f-stop is anywhere between 7-11. When I merge my images together using photomatix, I have the align check box on just to be sure the camera didn't have any shakes when firing off the shots using the 2 sec timer. I know about the mirror lock feature, but I haven't tried it. Since I need to press the shutter button multiple times, it is not a good idea to use this feature without a remote shutter.
Is there anything I am missing or am I being OCD and it is time for me to get a faster lens? Many photographers suggest the prime 50mm f1.8 as a second lens to start off. The price is right. Can someone suggest a second lens for landscape with a price range under $1k?