There are hundreds of filters and presets available for making photographs into “something else” in Photoshop, Lightroom or with other software packages. One of my favorites comes from from HDRsoft the maker of the outstanding HDR converter Photomatix Pro. Allow me to introduce you to Photomaitx OneShot.

HDR effects for single images

Traditionally, High Dynamic Range or HDR, requires at least three exposure bracket of photos two or more stops apart. The information in the bracketed set of pictures provides the HDR conversion software an extended data set to process into a finished photograph. The effect can range from natural to surreal and beyond. Photomatix OneShot emulates these looks. It works with most RAW files from popular DSLR cameras and with JPEG files. It will not read TIFF in either 8-bit or 16-bit modes. To me, this is strange since RAW is a form of TIFF. Ah, well…

The best part is there is no multiple image dance to do. Open a file in Photomatix OneShot and have fun exploring.

Getting started Photomatix One Shot Open File Dialog

Drag a JPEG or a RAW file onto OneShot’s default window to open it. I use Bridge to choose photographs I want to “OneShot.” I drag it from the Content pane on to OneShot’s dialog. Another option is to click Browse… then navigate to the location of the photo on your computer then click Open. OneShot displays a preview of the image. Presets are shown on the right hand sidebar. Click one to see its effect. Click Show Original to see that version. I wish there was a side-by-side view of the original and the new version. No matter. It’s still lots of fun. The presets in One Shot are similar to those in Photomatix Pro. Each has adjustments to tweak the look.

Photomatix One Shot's adjustments and presets dialog

Presets can be shown by category or all together. Choose a category to show its presets. Once a preset is selected, it can be modified using the settings. By default these are hidden. Click the Show Adjustments button. It’s located where Hide Adjustments is in the screenshot above. Two additional adjustments, Denoise & Finishing, are in menus below the Settings adjustments. There is a lot to explore. Let’s have some fun with this photo I made in Manila, Philippines.

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Row one: Original, Grunge preset modified, Enhanced preset medium contrast
Row two: Enhanced preset strong contrast, B&W1 preset add saturation & medium contrast, B&W3 preset strong contrast

Available now for Macs

Photomatix OneShot is available now as a free trial from HDRsoft. The free version applies a watermark until the software is licensed. Photomatix OneShot is available on the App Store.