A month before I flew out to Hawaii for vacation, I picked up a little book to see what all this HDR stuff was about. I'd seen plenty of overdone overprocessed examples of HDR, so I'd assumed it was only capable of tacky results. The book totally changed my view on that. I spent a few hours learning the ropes and playing with camera settings, and picked up a copy of Photomatix.
Weeks later, I was in hawaii and the perfect scenario presented itself. Foreground detail, great sky, and shooting into the sun...that's a formula for exposure bracketing and HDR for sure. This shot was taken at the summit of Haleakala a bit before sunset. We'd just got back from hiking around in the crater and this scene greeted us. The Haleakala Observatory being in the shot just make it feel that much more sci-fi.
I've tried to reproduce what we saw in person as faithfully as I could in HDR, it really was like being on another world.