These astonishing images are of course due to the effect of High Dynamic Range photography, they come from a book called 'The World in HDR' by blogger Trey Ratcliff aka 'stuck in customs'. With HDR photography now being made easy by digital SLR's and post production software there is no need for sandwiching negatives together.
HDR photographs use multiple exposures and sandwich them together to create an image that can represent a wide range of light sources and intensity levels of light. A photographer who is well known for doing this is Gregory Crewdson, I tried to reproduce a Crewdson image this year and found shooting multiple exposures and sandwiching them together an interesting experience. As I was trying to emulate Crewdson who has his own style of working, none of my images were quite as dramatic as these images by Trey Ratcliff. It would be interesting to try and emulate some of these more dramatic shots, but of course for the majority of these you need that dramatic landscape or subject.
You are seeing more and more of these HDR photographs around, I don't think I've seen a copy of Digital SLR magazine or something similar without a HDR image on the front. Although you can see why, the detail and quality of almost every part of the image is perfect, you get rid of the blown out or shadowed areas you would normally get with a single exposure. Is this the way forward? Or will people get bored of the 'perfectness' of the photos and long for the artistic imperfect colorless mess of polaroid, or the grainy elegance of high speed black and white film?