Hydra = HDR images made simple.

adams.jpgFor some real dynamic photography, I’ve often appreciated Ansel Adams photographs in Yosemite National Park in the USA. His images seem to offer more detail than what I could just point and click. Part of this has to do with Adams’ printing techniques which often entailed dodging and burning the image to give more detail in the dark areas without washing out the light areas.

Today, this is call “high dynamic range” or HDR photography and a new software tool called Hydra will make this much simpler to achieve for mere mortals- or those of us who want the same results just by taking three bracketed photos, even while handheld…

hydra128_sidebar.pngHydra is a new software package from Creaceed that enables you to not only mix and blend the light and dark areas of up to four images, but it also enables you to have the software visually morph the images together based on numerous anchor points you set in each of the images.

Many digital still cameras have a setting to enable the camera to take three images in quick succession with lighter and darker exposures. This would enable you to then import all three images into the software and combine them into one image were the bright sky and the dark ground both hold their details.

Hydra uses a number of regular photographies (up to four) with different expositions (darker and lighter) to create a superior one which is much closer to what one’s eye can see. This is because a single photography cannot represent the full gamut of light because of physical limitations in the sensor. This process is also known as a high dynamic range, or HDR, imaging. See the screencast tutorials (1) (2) for more information on how to acquire such images with your camera.


Blending in Hydra is easily achieved through an automated process. However, blending parameters are exposed so that you can tune the desired output, by changing the overal influence of individual images, soft or hard transitions, as well as other mixing coefficients. Let Hydra do it, or tune it yourself with full control. You choose.

Soon you could be making images like this one:

New York City At Night by Paulo Barcellos Jr. (cc-by-sa-2.0)


Not bad for $40. Expected ship date is the start of Macworld… um… that’s today.

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