I was at PhotoshopWorld last week in Boston and sat in on Rick Sammons Plug-in class as he showed a software program called Topaz that can give you a HDR effect with only one shot instead of taking three or more. After the session was done I went down to the trade show and brought the program. I have not had much time to play with it, but did try it on an image I use in the surreal class I teach. I wanted the grunge look and with messing around with the different sliders and very little time I was able to create this version of my cyborg image. From what I have seen so far it looks as if you could enhance an photo and bring out detail without giving it that illustrative or grunge look, I let you know how that goes when I have some time next week.
By the way I showed Rick some of my HDR photos and he liked them so much, he asked me to be the Artist of the month on his web site: Plugin experance. Take a look and see some of the other plug-in out there. Here is the link: www.pluginexperience.com/Portfolio.html