I recently joined the Anaheim Camera Enthusiasts club for photography and am learning a lot at meetings.
Last week, though, we had a guest speaker, a fellow named Eric Curry. There is only one word to describe his work . . . exquisite. Listening to him, you can very much hear the passion he has for his art and it shows in his photographs. These are NOT HDR shots - instead, he individually shoots separate elements of the shot with its own lighitng, and then painstakingly combines them in Photoshop.
Go to his website and see a master's work. Even better, buy his book because although every picture tells a story (don't it), there is a story behind every picture.