Over on The Aperture Blog, I just read a post about Moose Peterson pre-processing his RAW files with Photomatix before processing them in any other image editing software -- in effect, using an HDR imaging application in place of Adobe Camera RAW, or some other RAW processor. Interesting... I thought I might try it with an image, just for kicks. But, instead of going all high-end like Moose, I thought I'd try it on the cheap. Instead of a RAW file, I'd use a pretty vanilla JPEG. Instead of Photomatix, I'd use LightCompressor ($0.99 from the App Store). Instead of Aperture, I'd use iPhoto (free!).
The results are ... interesting and fun. Now, Moose was using pretty landscapes, and I used a gritty cityscape. But, the result is interesting and fun. I'll probably try it on some other images down the road.