20-26 February 2015 #745

Mobile darkroom

An all-in-one tool that will find a permanent home in our phones

Mobile photography is no longer restricted by low camera resolution and poor image quality like in the past. Even digital cameras are now equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing you to transfer high quality photos directly to your mobile phone so you can instantly upload them onto various social media platforms. All you need now is a powerful photo editing tool for you to work on your photos on the go, and this is where the Darkroom – Photo Editor by Bergen comes in the frame.

The iOS app, which is now available for free in the App Store, packs a punch of features tailored for all photography enthusiasts. Having learnt from the mistakes of its competitors, Darkroom skips past the need to import your photos into the app, allowing you to edit your photos straight from the camera roll.

Designed with a beautiful black interface that matches the simplicity of the iPhone operating systems, Darkroom also works surprisingly fast throughout its user interface – perhaps even faster than the VSCO Cam by Visual Supply Co, which scored big with many professional photographers. Even though the application only comes with basic image filters, what gives Darkroom an edge over other similar apps is its option to create customised filters.

The sliders for settings such as brightness, contrast and even vignette are simple to use and straightforward without too many technical terms to wrestle with, which certainly makes post-processing super simple. You can do even more advanced tweaking by adjusting the RGB Curves but this comes at a cost as the feature remains an in-app purchase (Rs 300). Still, this app will certainly appeal to photographers who have been waiting for the Adobe experience, without having to pay the subscription costs for Lightroom Mobile.

Instead of having to reset all the edits when you make a wrong adjustment, the app is integrated with an infinite history function that allows you to view the list of steps that you have made and return back to any stage along your workflow. Once done, simply swipe down and hit share, which reveals another neat feature: Save photos in Instagram’s square format.

You no longer require a separate app like Whitagram to fit your photos into a 1:1 format — Check the ‘Save as Square Photo’ feature and it will be automatically transferred over to Instagram to share it with your followers. Darkroom is not yet available on the Google Play Store, so Android users will have to stick with Snapseed for now.

YANTRICK’S VERDICT: Developed for photography enthusiasts to have better control over their photos, the newly launched Darkroom comes with features that have long been missing in other photo-editing apps, making it an all-in-one tool that will now find a permanent home in our phones.

Darkroom – Photo Editor by Bergen is available for FREE in the Apple App Store.