Photo editing app Darkroom's new Clarity feature improves image detail and more

Darkroom On Iphone Banner
Darkroom On Iphone Banner (Image credit: Bergen Co.)

What you need to know

  • Darkroom is a popular photo editing app across all Apple platforms.
  • A new update adds a feature designed to improve image detail without affecting the overall tone.

Popular photo editing app Darkroom has received a big new update adding a new feature dubbed Clarity. In its simplest terms, Clarity is designed to improve the detail of an image, making the process as simple as possible.

The new feature was announced via a Medium post and you can find tons more detail over there, too.

What is Clarity?Clarity adjusts the contrast within the details of your image, without affecting the overall tone of the image.As you adjust Clarity, the details are either clarified or smoothened, but the whites and blacks remain unaffected, and sharp edges remain sharp.

Using Clarity is a simple case of dragging a slider depending on how subtle or vivid you want the effect to be.

The Clarity slider is logarithmic, in the range of -50 to +50, the effect is subtle. As you drag towards the edges, the impact of Clarity is expanded. This gives you the ability to either make subtle adjustments for portraits, or go beyond for dramatic landscapes using one single & smart tool.

The team behind Darkroom has also added new features to make it easier to pull specific details out of an image. On top of that, separating details from others allows for pixels to be adjusted relative to those that surround them.

Pull out only the details from the imageThe first big step we take is to calculate which pixels in your photo are details, and which are tone-regions. We do this by generating a Laplacian Pyramid. In an oversimplified way, we first blur the image, then mathematically subtract it from the original, leaving us with the detail map. We can then operate directly on those details.

It all makes for some advanced photo editing techniques, all taking place on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It's worth noting that you do need to have macOS Big Sur 11.2 and earlier for Clarity to work thanks to a bug in macOS 11.3.

Please note, that Clarity only works on macOS Big Sur 11.2 and earlier. This is due to a bug in the latest version of Big Sur which prevented us from shipping Clarity. We're in contact with Apple about a fix, and will release an update whenever we confirm it works again.

Fingers crossed Apple gets its act together on that one! You can download the updated Darkroom from the App Store now.

Now that you have the updated Darkroom it's time to get the best Mac for photographers as well. Go on, you deserve it!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.