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Using Photo Darkroom in FTM 2019

How do I use the Photo Darkroom® feature in Family Tree Maker 2019?

Old photos may fade and deteriorate with time and wear. Photo Darkroom has all the tools you need to restore your black-and-white photos in just a few clicks. It's so easy to use that even without any previous photo-editing experience you'll get great results right away.

For example, the photo below went from “Before" to “After" with four clicks of the Intensive Repair tool, one click of Light Repair and a drag of the sharpness slider.  Yes, it really is that easy!

Note: When you apply the changes you have made in Photo Darkroom, the original copy of the photo that you had in your media collection will be saved in the Darkroom Originals folder, which is located in the tree’s media folder (User/Documents/Family Tree Maker/<Tree name>_Media/Darkroom Originals). If you later decide you want to use the original photo in your tree, without the changes that you have made to it, just open the photo in Photo Darkroom again at any time and click the Restore to Original button.

To restore a black-and-white photo from your media collection using Photo Darkroom, follow these steps:

1. Go to the Collection tab on the Media workspace and select the photo that you want to restore.


2. Click the Detail tab, or just double-click the photo.


3. Click the Photo Darkroom button on the toolbar above the photo. The picture opens in Photo Darkroom, ready to be restored.


4. Choose the view you want using these buttons below the photo:

  • Click the right button to see two views of the photo: Result (showing your changes as you make them) and Original (the photo in its initial state).
  • Click the left button to switch back to the larger Result view only.


5. To restore a faded photo, use the Faded Photo Repair Tool. First, look down the For photos like this column and find the best match for your photo's degree of fading.


6. Now use the corresponding repair tool to restore the photo:

  • Click the Light Repair tool to restore a slightly faded photo (or about four clicks for a very faded photo).
  • Click the Moderate Repair tool to restore a moderately faded photo (or about two clicks for a very faded photo).
  • Use the Intensive Repair tool to restore a very faded photo with one click.

Each button can be clicked as many times as you need.


7. To further enhance your photo, you can click on the arrow next to Advanced Settings to use the following sliders:

  • Drag the slider to the left to darken the image or to the right to brighten it.
  • Drag the slider to the left to decrease the contrast or to the right to increase it.
  • Reduce or remove the yellowing that can affect old photos.
  • Drag the slider to the left to soften the image or to the right to sharpen it.

Each slider has a range of -10 to +10 and is adjustable in increments of 0.1.


8. If you don't like a change you have made, click the Undo button to reverse it. You can click the button multiple times to roll back your changes step by step. For example, if you clicked the Light Repair button twice and then used the Contrast slider once, one click on the Undo button will cancel the change in contrast, a second click will cancel the second use of the repair tool, and so on.

Tip: To undo all the changes you've made and return to the original image, click the Restore to Original button.

9. When you are ready to apply your changes to the photo in your media collection, click the Done button.

Photo Darkroom will close and you will return to the Detail tab on the Media workspace. The photo will have all your changes applied.

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