HDR, or "high dynamic range" images have amazing color, shadows, and highlights compared to an ordinary image.
The effect is achieved through combining multiple shots of different exposures and then tone-mapping them.
In this post, NullCoding showed how simple color balancing and highlight adjustment in Photoshop can bring out details you couldn't even see otherwise. The original picture and its result after processing can be viewed in that post.
However, using the program Photomatix, the two images can be combined to create an HDR image. Since they will be read as being of different exposures, the highlights and shadows will be combined. While this isn't really the best example, it shows what tone-mapping can do.
It took about five minutes for this. The only problem is that the more involved the job is, the more processing power it will take...
Here is the image obtained by processing the original.
Now here is the image obtained by generating an HDR of the washed-out original AND the Photoshopped one.
There will be more of these in the near future. Until then expect more from NullCoding while the rest of the "team" waits around...