Get a DSLR. Take pictures. "Process" them a bit, you know—recover lost highlight and shadow detail, work your mouse with a bit of dodge and burn, clone out the unwanted, add in a little texture here and there, miraculously enhance the contrast.
Or, if you're really blatantly shameless, go for the full scam: HDR!
Did you learn some photography? Hell no! You learned some damn Photoshop trickery.