The Easiest To Use HDR App For The Mac Is Also Free

The most popular camera on photo hosting site Flickr is a phone. The iPhone. And the iPhone might be the most popular camera for HDR photos; high dynamic range– those photos with brilliantly clear and vibrant colors. Among my favorite new tools for venturing into HDR is HDRtist. It’s the easiest to use HDR app. It’s also free.

HDR Made Easy And Free

The whole idea behind HDR photos is the ability to extend the dynamic range between the darker areas and lighter areas of the photo. Done right, with multiple images with different exposure settings, and the photos can be remarkably clear and vibrant.

HDRtist makes HDR photos drag and drop simple. Just drag your photos (as in more than one, plural) onto the HDRtist window. Then, use the Strength Slider as the control to adjust the intensity of the photos.

Immediately, basic color photos become even more colorful and visually intense.

HDRtist Sample

Similar results can be obtained with HDRtist on single photos.

HDRtist Sample

I have yet to find an HDR app that works this easily, and this quickly.

Great HDR photos require a degree of patience, and multiple exposures. Some cameras make that automatic (iPhone 4 is one). But if your camera doesn’t make it easy to take multiple shots with different exposures, an HDR-like photo is still easy in HDRtist.

This use a simple tone mapping often referred to as fake HDR. With the right photo, fake HDR can look pretty good, bringing out a Kodachrome-like color saturation, but with more sharpness.


You won’t have more fun improving your photos with a free Mac app.