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Afterlight Review: Quick, Powerful Tool for those who want more than a filter


Remember when everyone thought you were a great photographer because you discovered Hipstamatic first and knew how to “apply” a filter? Sadly, those days are in the past, and just about everyone knows how easy it is to jump into Instagram and make that picture of their kid smashing a birthday cake look like it came straight out of the 1960s. Still, there’s a group of iOS photographers out there who want to engage a bit more in the photo editing process, even if it doesn’t mean going into a dark room or really learning the craft. For those users, apps like Afterlight are perfect. By packing in the cool features and wrapping it all up in a seamless UI, developer Simon Filip has made a great case for why Afterlight should be your go-to tool when an insta-filter just doesn’t cut it.

screen568x568 (6)Like you might expect, the process with Afterlight begins by deciding whether you’re going to snap a new shot or edit something from your camera roll. From there, it’s time to get creative and make that photo look like something nobody would ever guess got captured by an iOS device. Afterlight makes a great attempt at letting the user decide how deep they want to dive into the editing process. If it’s a filter or frame you’re after (but not one that already got used 100 times today by those you follow on Instagram), you’ll be more than covered by the app’s 27 adjustable filter options and 128 adjustable frames (of course, more get added with each update). Even if you’re just in it for a quick hit, you’ll find plenty of reason to make Afterlight your go-to app after perusing the texture library. With one tap, you can get that scratchy film look thanks to the “real and natural” light leaks the team created using 35mm and instant film (66 options).

If you find yourself looking for more subtle editing features, Afterlight goes toe-to-toe with the likes of iPhoto and other similar tools. With 15 adjustment tools on offer, you’ll have no trouble jumping into Afterlight to tweak things like sharpness, saturation, brightness, or even a Double Exposure (new feature). There’s also plenty on offer in the way of cropping and transforming, meaning that just about any way you can imagining manipulating that photo—it can probably be done in Afterlight at least as well or better than it could in any other iOS editing tool.

In determining if this app is for you, it all comes down to what kind of iOS photographer you want to be. Sure, you can get by using the free filters provided by the likes of Instagram or your iOS camera’s built-in options, but you’re going to hit a wall when creativity strikes and you want to make that one tweak that won’t completely transform your photo, just make it yours… If you consider yourself screen568x568 (4)even a bit more advanced of an iOS photographer than the crowd the free apps are aimed at (or think you might be someday), you won’t regret picking up Afterlight today. It’s a flawless tool that stands in between you and your social networks and helps you put only your best photographs forward, however you might want to get there. Plus, it’s backed by an active community and a developer who promises “free content and app enhancements” on a monthly basis. Plain and simple, Afterlight is one of those pieces of software that, a few short years ago, none of us would have believed would be available for 99 cents. Do yourself a favor and add it to your toolset.

Our Score: 5 out of 5

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