(Below is the original photo from the moving bus.) The HDR is little funny looking,
but notice the under-the-bridge dark area details become visible.

HDR = high dynamic range

The programs I use

HDR is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight.

High-dynamic-range photographs are generally achieved by capturing multiple standard photographs, often using exposure bracketing, and then merging them into an HDR image. I didn’t do that, because I didn’t (yet) know to take bracketed photos of MORE than just very dark scenes. I actually took my single .jpg photos, and using XnView, my fav (open-source, which equals FREE!) photo-handling program, made copies with a raised exposure (lightened) and a lowered exposure( darkened). The lightened ones let the details in the dark sections become visible The darkened ones kept lighter areas from being “blown out” – all white and without details. (Obviously the very expensive Photoshop can do this, but I don’t have it, and I like XnView!)

Then, I used my new program Photomatix Pro 3 to merge the three "different" photos. (Photomatix is only $100, and you can get info (and a $20-off coupon! which I didn't {sigh}) at the great HDR site – where there are also tons of tutorials and amazing exmaples at StuckinCustoms.com.) (See his portfolio of the best of the best!)

Looking down into the side harbor

Before HDR (the original photo)
This one I tried to keep relatively "normal" looking when I ran it through the HDR process; didn't quite succeed.  
You can also use HDR to “deepen” a photo without making it look weird.
Or you can use HDR to push a photo out into kinda wild looking.
I expect, once I get to know what I'm doing with Photomatix, I'll be able
to make photos look much more realistic, but also deepened and not weird.
Right now? Kinda weird!
The original photo
The realistic HDR version
I think this is the “painterly” version from Photomatix (or possibly the “grunge” version).

My fav of favs!

This one is my absolute favorite of all the HDR pix I've played with, I LOVE how this turned out!!

Blah blah blah. Dark. Rainy. Taken through the bus windshield. As many wires as buildings.
Dark boring cars. Dark boring building. Dark. Boring. Only the cathedral is mildly interesting.

And this? I LOVE! The amazing colors. The “noise” all over the sky.
The change in “rain-blurring” down the windshield! (Even the movement of the blurring across the windshield!!).
Notice in the arched windows facing us, that the shutters even “show up” in the HDR pic!
The street surface and sidewalk become interesting!