You've probably seen a few of those seemingly-impossible high dynamic range (HDR) photos. They reveal magnificent details by combining a series of differently-exposed pictures of exactly the same subject, using image editing applications such as Adobe Photoshop CS2 to bring out the highlights, midtones and shadows.
Get in on this specialized style of photography with help from a $7.99 58-page PDF by Jack Howard entitled HDR: An Introduction to High Dynamic Range Photography. Here's how to get it, along with some free alternatives and helpful links:
Howard's PDF book looks like a great place to start, or you can just search the web and find lots of free tutorials on how to shoot and edit HDR photos, lens to screen. To get you started, here's the HDR group on Flickr, and here's a good HDR tutorial. Go ahead, violate that large-scale tonal hierarchy.
HDR: An Introduction to High Dynamic Range Photography [O'Reilly, via boing boing]
HDR: High Dynamic Range Photography [Cambridge in Color]