Rick Sammon is one of the top pro shooters in the field. I always recommend Rick's books, workshops and presentations to my workshop students. A great teacher with an enthusiasm for photography that is contagious.
A couple of years ago he was in Columbus for an evening presentation hosted by Midwest Photo and Canon USA. It was very motivating to see his work and more importantly, hear him talk about his creative approach, working seamlessly with light and subject.
And by the way, the HDR program that Rick recommends - Topaz Adjust - is a great program. I've been very pleased with the results. A fun thing to do is to take an HDR image that's already been processed in Photomatix Pro and then apply additional adjustments in Topaz Adjust.