As you might guess, we here are fascinated with high dynamic range images. We may be an 8 bit per channel paint app, and there are some good things about that, but sometimes you want to squeeze as much dynamic range into a single image as you can. Enter the local contrast filter.
No, it's not a magic bullet, but it can do some amazing things with certain kinds of images.
What it does is examine an image, and apply a dynamic range enhancement to local parts of the image. If a part of the image has a low dynamic range, it is stretched out to the full range.
Local contrast can also ruin an otherwise fine image, so editing may be required via selections. It seems to have trouble with skin tones, but boy oh boy does it ever seem to work brilliantly with pictures of bicycles!