Maybe you have seen a picture on the internet or in ads that just catches your eye because the details look surreal and just too good for a camera to capture. Chances are that picture is an HDR image. The Wiki link explains it better than I can but I'll just give you the short and dirty of what I did for my own shot at a High Dynamic Range Image- this new technique in photo editing (for me anyhow).
I took three pictures of the same image within half a second. I didn't use a tripod but I should have. Luckily I stayed still enough for a good turn out. I set up my camera to ulter the three shots exposure by almost 2 stops above and below a "good" exposure.
Here are my 3 shots. You can see the first one is pretty light and shows more details in the gravel and building, the middle was what my camera told me was a balanced exposure and the third is underexposed and dark, but shows nice color and definition in the sky and clouds.
Then I take these three images into Photoshop. There's a feature in there where you can merge the three pictures into one, and do minor adjustments for color and contrast. Here is my collaboration of the 3.
Just for kicks, here's a total "grunged" out edit.
Anyhow, I'm pretty excited about the fact that it actually worked for me. I have seen HDR imaging for a while and just been so overwhelmed and discouraged when I even thought about trying it. Just another building block in learning more about photography and broadening my skills as a photography enthusiast!