I have become a fan of HDR
HDR or High Dynamic Range photography has become a contentious issue in the photography world. You either love it or hate and there seems to be no middle ground. HDR can be either surrealistic or photorealistic but the one thing each technique has in common, is the final image is a result of several shots being merged into one. HDR typically reveals much more detail in the shadows and within the highlights, than would be visible with a single shot. If you expose for the shadows, the highlights would be blown out and conversely, if you exposed for the highlights, the shadows would be in darkness.
The simplest method is to set your camera to Auto-Exposure Bracketing. This allows you to take one shot overexposed, one shot underexposed and one shot with a normal exposure. I typically set the bracketing for -2, +2 and normal. These three shots are then “merged” using a plug-in for Photoshop, called Photomatix. Once merged, you save it as a tif or jpg and then process as normal. In my case, using Adobe Camera Raw and then Photoshop. CS5, the latest version of Photoshop has a new HDR Pro which eliminates the need for Photomatix, but I still prefer images merged with Photomatix.