I Was Dark Mode Before Dark Mode Was Cool... Or A Thing

Way back in November 2007 I started this site to showcase my work, and eventually find a home for my blog. My goal then was rather simple: I wanted to create a warm, comfortable place to view my photography as if you had walked in from the bright light of the day into a beautiful gallery space. As I looked at lots of other portfolio sites then (and even now) what I saw was a lot of white space surrounding images.

While this all-white environment is a classic way of viewing images or artworks in real life, it is not the same viewing experience as on the internet or electronic devices. Why not? Because when we see images in either a typical gallery setting, or in a book or on a printed page, what we are seeing is reflected light.When we see images on the web, we are seeing light beaming directly into our little peepers! Think about shining a light straight into your eyes every time  you look at something.👀

So everything we see on screens is backlight, and given the amount of time most of us spend looking at screens, this is really not healthy for our vision. As one who is dealing with my own vision issues (addressed in the post right before this: https://www.tracephotographs.com/blog/2017/2/-are-you-a-right-eye-or-a-left-eye-photographer) this has grown to be more problematic for me. I have seen so many sites and blogs with light grey text on white backgrounds. I found them impossible to read. 

So I created a warm, dark grey textured background for the wall of my galleries, and went Dark Mode early on. I'm now really happy to see others joining the mode, and especially image/video editing apps. 

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Affinity Photo (and Designer and Publisher) has had dark mode from the beginning, and one thing I look for in any app that has it is the ability to adjust the degree of darkness. That is a cool feature.

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Screenshot The Affinity websites are in dark mode too, which is greatly appreciated.

Screenshot Alien Skin Exposure X also includes an adjustable dark mode feature. It really does make working with images much more practical and less visually stressful. 

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Screenshot Capture One Pro, my photo editing software preference has a two-mode dark mode feature, either Very Dark, or Dark. I would prefer a slider, but personally I opt for the lighter Dark mode.

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Not all photo/video apps were completely dark mode. Apple's Aperture chose a light grey pallet for photo editing, but it did include a slider option to adjust the background, and the floating HUD tool was a cool dark feature. Apple allowed you to actually hide all the tool bars and grey interface going into a full screen mode and use the dark HUD to edit in a true dark mode. 

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Screenshot Apple's Final Cut Pro X was redesigned (check out images for Final Cut Pro 7 interface) from a similar grey interface like Aperture into a much better, more mature dark mode, which considering the long amount of time given to video editing sessions, is so necessary for both editing fidelity and our eye health.

Screenshot And Apple's Motion software is natively in Dark Mode, which makes the process of moving between apps (Motion and Final Cut are often used side by side) so wonderful and welcome.

I have to say now it really tickles me, and I feel a little vindicated about my decision to go Dark Mode all those years ago. Now with the news that Apple is going all in (or giving us the choice) on Dark Mode with the upcoming operating systems for iOS, iPadOS, and Mac OSX Catalina, I think more and more creatives will appreciate the new mode, and having less strain on our eyes. Welcome to the Dark Side everyone! 

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