In some other news, Rick Sammon is coming out with another book, "Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter". You can see this and more at his blog site.
I haven't seen this one but his approach to learning is always informative and fun. Check it out.
I'm almost finished with my "basic" HDR tutorial. I should be able to post it right after the first of the year.
The above image was finish in photoshop using Color Efex Pro filters. Tonal Contrast is my one of my favorites. I strongly suggest you give it a try.