Welcome to Darkroom! Let’s get started.

Jasper Hauser
Oct 22 · 6 min read

Darkroom is designed to be easy to navigate, and familiar to use across all your devices. In this guide we’ll help you understand how to get around and where everything can be found.

Darkroom has three main areas:

  1. The Library View, where you browse and manage your photos.
  2. The Photo View, where you view, edit, and choose between your photos.
  3. The Export Sheet, where you save or share your photo.

The Library View

Photo Grid

If you have given Darkroom access to all of your photos, you should see them all here, no importing needed. Please note, we don’t do anything with your photos without your explicit consent. We don’t upload them, we don’t analyze them. We just show you your photos.

1 — Tap to open. On iPhone and iPad opening a photo to view or edit is as simple as tapping it. On Mac we use the native behavior, which is to double click!

2 — Batch. On iPhone and iPad, at the top right you will see the Batch button which will allow you to select multiple photos. At the bottom you will notice that the Batch actions bar appears when you enter Batch mode. You can quickly start Batch selection on iPhone and iPad by swiping left or right on the photos you wish to select! On Mac, you can multi select by default, use the command and shift keys while selecting to extend your selection, and the batch actions show at all times at the top right.

3 — Settings. At the top left you will find the gear icon, tap to open our Settings. This is a good place to look around, you’ll find some helpful things.

Album List

4—Albums. On iPhone you will find a bar at the bottom of your library that has 3 smart albums (Recents, Favorites, Edited) ready for you. But you can also pick any other album on your iPhone by tapping on the left most option with the ^ triangle. Which in turn will show you our Smart Albums and all of your personal Albums on your device. On iPad and Mac, our smart albums and your albums are always listed in the left-hand sidebar.

5—Import. At times you might want to import some photos or videos from a different source than your iPhone photo library. The Import option is the way to do that. It works through Apple’s Files app, so anything connected to it, including your DLSR memory card or connected USB cable will be accessible.

Drag and Drop — On Mac you will be able to drag and drop photos to the library from your desktop. And on iPad you can also drag and drop photos from your library to any of the albums shown in the album list on the left.

The Photo View

Navigation

Darkroom has unique abilities hidden behind gestures and the keyboard. On iPhone, in the photo view specifically those gestures allow for extremely easy one handed or even just thumb based navigation. We have ensured that you can get around Darkroom without knowing any of these gestures, by just using onscreen buttons. But knowing them is like having a super power.

  • Previous/Next. On iPhone and iPad you can also Swipe left or right to navigate between your previous and next photos. This even works when you have your tools open. Allowing you to edit rapidly through photos, or do quick comparisons. On your iPad and Mac you can also use the arrow keys to quickly navigate through your album.
  • Zoom. You can do a quick double tap to zoom into your photo, and double tap again to zoom out. Or use a pinch gesture to zoom into any area of the photo you want. And the swipe around with one finger to pan around the photo.
  • Hide the interface. When viewing or editing a photo you can simply tap on the photo briefly once to hide all the interface to just see your photo. Just tap once more to show it all again.

Actions

In our main toolbars shown at the top of Darkroom, actions on the left typically take you back, and actions at the right move you forward.

1—Back. There is a clearly marked Library or < back button to go back to the library. On iPhone and iPad you can also Swipe down to close the photo, and even on Mac you can drag the image downwards.

2 — Export. After editing your most likely next step is for you to save to use elsewhere, or share. We explain more on this view further down.

3 — Actions. On iPhone we “hide” quite a few secondary options for you here. Ranging from show/hiding the Histogram or Metadata viewer, to many of the photo management options such as “Add to..”. On Mac and iPad we expose quite a few more depending on how much space we have.

4 — Photostrip. On both iPad and the Mac we have the Photostrip, which shows you all your photos in a thin strip on the left side of your screen. Allowing you to quickly navigate through your photos. And it even has all the management context menu options you can find in the library.

Tools

5 — Swipe up to reveal tools. When you are viewing a photo you can either tap any of our tools to open them, or you can quickly swipe up to reveal the adjustments (sliders) tool. There are many tools accessible through our main toolbar, and some through or our photo actions menu. We’d like to invite you to please take some time to explore them.

On iPhone we also have the Flag & Reject features accessible by swiping the toolbar right, or tapping on the small < arrow at the left of the toolbar. On iPad and Mac the Flag and Reject options conveniently sit in the toolbar.

6 — Before and after comparison. In order to make edits it’s actually pretty useful to be able to check what the original looked like. You can do so very easily by just tap-and-holding your finger or mouse on your edited photo. On iPad and Mac we have a dedicated button for it, the 👁.

The Export Sheet

1—Save or Share. All edits made in Darkroom are non destructive. That means that any edit you make isn’t directly applied to the original photo. Instead we render the edits live, which enable you to undo and change your edits at any time in the future. That also means you have to export, using “Save” or “Save Copy”, for any of the edits to show up in other apps outside of Darkroom.

2—Export tools. We offer quick access to adding a frame when you export. This is great for things like Instagram stories, where you want to keep the same aspect ratio. You also have the ability to easily copy some of your hashtag sets for sharing to Instagram.

3—Settings. On iPhone & iPad, there is quick access to settings where we offer several options that relate to exporting all your photos. Which range from setting the file (photo and video) format, to applying a watermark, managing your metadata, or managing your hashtags.

iPhone, iPad and Mac

Darkroom has apps for all of your major devices. We have made sure that the visual language and navigation between our 3 apps is true to the platform, but similar enough that there shouldn’t be much of a learning curve to get around.

Pro-tip, Keyboard Shortcuts — On Mac and iPad we have made sure to have keyboard shortcuts support. Making it possible to more efficiently move around and do actions by just using your keyboard. To discover all the shortcuts, on iPad tap and hold the command key, and on Mac you can click through the top main menu.

Dispatches From Darkroom

Independent and Bootstrapped