Martha Is Dead: Photography Guide

Quick Links

  • How To Use The Camera Settings
  • How To Develop Photos

Martha Is Dead features realistic photography using authentic 1940s techniques. While the finer details are streamlined to speed up gameplay, getting the required photos to advance the story takes more than just having the right set of pixels onscreen.

You're also able to freely take photos at almost any point in the game. If you need a break from all the gloom and doom, taking and developing non-story pictures can earn you two different achievements/trophies; "The Empress" for taking five shots, and "The World" for developing ten non-story prints. Here's how the game's photography works and how you can take some great black-and-white pictures.

The accolades listed above both need to have their requirements satisfied in the same playthrough to unlock. For example, to unlock "The World" you'll need to develop ten different non-story photos in the same run – doing seven in one playthrough and three in another won't count.

How To Use The Camera Settings

When you enter the camera's viewfinder, you'll see a preview of the current shot (albeit in color rather than the black-and-white of the final product). You can still move around while in the viewfinder, allowing you to adjust your position. You can also raise, lower, and rotate the camera for different shooting angles.

If you're taking a picture of a story-related object (indicated by a camera icon), there will be a list of requirements on the left-hand side of the screen. All must be fulfilled to get a shot that will qualify to complete the objective. Each fulfilled requirement is highlighted in red.

Opening the adjustments panel allows you to turn the various dials that would be present on a real 1940 Rolleicord camera, altering how the film is exposed.

Adjustment Dials

DialPurposeIn-Game Use
Exposure
  • Determines how long the shutter remains open, expressed as a fraction of a second.
  • Longer exposure can help get more detail in dark environments, but can also cause the photo to be washed-out.
  • If a photo is too bright or too dark, adjusting the exposure length in conjunction with the aperture can fix the issue.
Aperture
  • Determines how wide the shutter opens.
  • A wider aperture lets in more light, making it useful for dim or indirect lighting.
  • A narrower aperture is best when there is bright, direct light on the subject.
  • Adjusting the aperture can affect both the contrast and focus of the photo. If the other two dials aren't quite doing the job, try fiddling with the aperture.
Focus
  • Determines which objects in the photo will appear the most clearly.
  • A lower number favors objects in the foreground, while a higher number favors objects that are further away.
  • You'll almost always need to adjust the focus on storyline photos.

Throughout the game, you'll also find several camera accessories which can be used to change how your photos develop. The most important ones are the flash, which allows you to complete the Soul In The Photo objective, and the infrared lens and tripod, both of which are required to find hidden images as part of an optional challenge. Experimenting with filters and film types can create different effects, even without the prints being in color.

How To Develop Photos

Giulia's camera can store an unlimited number of pictures – her family is loaded and her father is also a photography enthusiast, so she never runs out of film. Once you have shots you'd like to develop, bring them to the darkroom in the basement. Interact with the enlarger on the far side of the room to begin the development process.

You'll save a lot of time by developing several photos at once – if you're going for multiple objectives or trying to unlock "The World" achievement/trophy, take all your shots and then go to the darkroom instead of bouncing back and forth.

Select the photo you'd like to develop from your stored camera rolls. The negative image will be projected on the workspace in front of you. Move the enlarger down to shrink the image to the size of the photo paper, then adjust left and right until the three circles at the bottom of the screen are aligned. The circles don't have to be perfect, which is good because the controls for this part can be very sensitive.

Once the image is sized and focused, confirm the print. Giulia will place the photo in a chemical bath. A timer will appear in the lower-left corner of the screen; press the indicated button when the dial is in the green zone. This always takes exactly ten seconds.

At this point, if the photograph was part of a story objective, Giulia will assess whether the print is usable and place it in the album. If the photo is just one you've taken for fun, you'll have the option of saving or discarding the print.

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