AMITIAE - Saturday 14 February 2015
Darkroom: Interesting Image Editing app for the iPhone with Fruitful Extras
By Graham K. Rogers
More recently I have been impressed with Effects Studio, not because there was anything really special, but for its wide range of editing tools and unusual image output. I am just as likely to trash an unexciting app these days - even those that are not free - rather than waste time (mine and yours) with indifferent comments.
This week version 1.0 of an app called Darkroom appeared in the iTunes App Store here (developed by Bergen). The screen shots looked clean - checkout that website too - and there was a nice range of editing tools, although the inclusion of Curves required an in-app purchase (see below). I was more and more pleased as I made my way through the features of this free app.
Unlike many editing apps, Darkroom has no camera access to bring in images, which is no bad thing. Imports are from the Photos Library or from other apps that the user may have installed. The list showed 19 apps that I had available, but not all of these had images I could use as I tend to save these in the Photos Library.
After an opening screen, I was offered the chance to enter email for further information (including future releases) to be sent. I actually did that via the website the following day. There was a brief multi-screen demo of some of the features of the app.
Once an image is selected from the library or other source, it is displayed onscreen where there are editing tools below. Above are Library and Share for further import and for export of an image. The editing tools are:
Also revealed by the Other option are a number of actions, like Assign to Contact, Copy, Print and several more. A button at the bottom of the Share panel allows the image to be saved as a Square photo, but some images may not be suitable depending on the original import.
I selected an edited image taken with the iPhone camera and sent this by email. I was offered 4 options: Small (44 KB), Medium (117 KB), Large (840 KB) and Actual Size (2 MB), which is quite respectable. When the original images had GPS data, I found that this was also included after editing. Other metadata was similarly preserved. The size of the edited images were also the same as originals (2448 x 3264) although file size had increased slightly (in one case from 1.48 MB to 1.87 MB).
On the iPhone, however, Darkroom is easy to use. It has the sort of editing tools one would expect in a photo app these days, but where it shows itself to be something better, is in the ability to save sets of editing changes as filters, immediately personalising the app; and the ability to go back over the changes adjusting the same settings a little more.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.
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