It's a Hugh Dynamic Range photo. Different people use different processes for making them, and there are certainly much more experienced folks who can probably shed lingt on their processes. That said, what I do is shoot 3-5 bracketed shots with my camera of the same thing. I usually space them by 1 or 2 stops. So, what I end up with is one perfectly exposed image, 2 underexposed, and over exposed. Then I merge them into one 32 bit image in Photomatix (Adobe Photoshop does this too) and then I use Photomatix to create the somewhat surreal effects.
Different people shoot it different ways and use different software to achieve their own desired results. It sounds slightly complicated, but all you really need is Photoshop, and either a quick camera on a bright day, or a tripod, and you're all set.