Book Review: Hemera Photo-Objects v. I & II

Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Volumes I & II
Hemera Technologies
$99 each for CD-ROM; $129 for DVD; $29 for DVD upgrade

Hemera’s Photo-Objects collections are a breed apart from run-of-the-mill clip art. Instead of drawn illustrations, each collection consists of more than 50,000 royalty-free photographs of people, animals and objects with their backgrounds removed. Think of the distinctive look of Dorling-Kindersley books, which use clear, detailed photographs of people and objects without distracting backgrounds, and you’ll get the idea. The images are gorgeously photographed and can be used alone or in combination in a wide variety of applications. The images are pre-masked and come in a resolution of 600x600 pixel size, which means that they can be used at up to 300 dpi. Individual images can also be purchased at higher resolutions, suitable for a billboard or a magazine cover.
Each volume has images in a wide variety of themes – Volume I includes 80 categories, while Volume II includes 90 – with most images available in several views or perspectives. Image categories range from athletes to delicious-looking treats and sweets. Many of the images are cleverly designed to work in combination, such as the suite of musicians posed without their instruments accompanied by a collection of properly scaled instruments that can be placed interchangably in their hands. Combining images reminds me of playing with Colorforms (remember them?) - and is just as much fun. But the results look stunningly professional.
Combining images into a montage works best in applications that support transparency. These include Adobe Photsohop 4.0 and higher, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint 98 and higher, Quark Express 4.0.3 and CorelDRAW 8 and higher. The user guide gives instructions for working with each application.
– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2002 by Elsa Travisano. This article originally appeared in the November 2002 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.