So let's begin, in this instructable I'll show you a powerful way to improve your panorama style (..all right, your style could be already better than mine... let's say it's for anybody loves my panoramas!).
[UPDATE: for a full hand-book about making 360° pictures see here: the-Ultimate-Guide-for-easy-awesome-VR-panoramas]
Step 1: Bracketing?!
Exposure bracketing is essential in photography to save a wide range of details, each one in different light conditions, at least until someone will invent a sensor with a very wide dynamic range... but that's another story.
Step 2: Shot the Serie
With the bracketing function the three photos will be taken in a very fast interval, so in my opinion you can take them hand-held (obviously only in daylight), but you'll need in that case to align them in post processing. If you use a tripod your work will be faster and more precise. For best result set the continuous drive mode H (the faster you have) and the bracketing function, turn on the lens stabilization (if you've it and if you shot hand-held, if you use a tripod set the 2 sec delay), and take your shots. Use RAW for best quality.
Step 3: Exposure Parameters
To decide the best couple of parameters you can let the camera decide in P mode, or set manually them to center the exposure meter. Pay attention to misure those parameters in a direction which is about corresponding to the medium luminosity of the full scene.
Step 4: Group Images
You need to process your raw file to keep out the best details quality you can, and this has to be done for each group. The underexposed photos will be necessary to show details of the lighter area of the scene (usually the sky and the clouds), and overexposed pictures will be for the shadows and dark areas, so focus on those zones to check each group quality.
Step 5: Improve Details
Only a few recommendations:
The corresponding pictures of the three sets will be merged together, so try to use same style for the three groups (you can syncronize all of them) and vary only a little the exposure, the contrast, the black level, and other parameters due to reveal details of the image, but keep e.g. the same white balance. You can also darker the blue channel to make the clouds more visible, and vary the levels to make same clouds much detailed.
Step 6: Align the Frames
With Photoshop load your three images as layers, go to: Edit > Auto-Align Layers > Auto, and save them with the new orientation.
if you notice that a little irregular frame has appeared, you also have to crop them a bit, use the same crop dimensions for all the pictures.
With DynamicPhoto you can use the auto-aligning feature or manually do it, then check the "export aligned images" box it will save the selected picture, do it for both (you don't need to modify the middle one). Using this program maybe you would put back all the three sets in same folder, because it's faster load them into the program.
Step 7: Set Up the Cheat
You're now ready to create your panorama from the first group with Hugin, Autopano, or other softwares. The method I use to perfectly align the three panoramas works with these two software, but you can try that with any other.
Step 8: First Panorama
Make your panorama with your favorite tecnique. This is not a tutorial about stitching methods, anyway i can suggest you to use Autopano if you want to make it faster and simpler, or Hugin if you're meticulous and want to be more precise.
When you're satisfied with your panorama position (don't look light and colour for now), render it and save the project.
Step 9: Let's Cheat the Machine
So, I fell back to a trick, cheating the program making it believe to elaborating again the first pictures, but substituting them with the new ones.
Step 10: Perfectly Aligned
Step 11: Masking
Step 12: That's Another World
The two pictures of this instructables are for now the only about which I've kept the process steps, I'll add some much detailed steps next time I'll shot a bracketed panorama. Hope it will be useful, ask for any doubt.