Afterlight is an iPhoneographer’s dream app

By , Jul 11, 2014

afterlight-review

After moving to the city from the suburbs, I’ve become a total sucker for photography apps. It seems like every time I unlock my bike at a coffee shop, there’s a new photo opportunity awaiting my iPhone’s tiny sensor — an opportunity that would look even better with a filter applied to it.

Because of this recent obsession, I’ve been on the hunt for the best photo apps that offer the great core editing, classy filters, and clean camera interface. My most recent find is Afterlight, a relatively new player in the photo editing game that offers a huge library of filters and a ton of interesting editing features I’ve yet to see in other photo apps.

However, does this feature-packed photo editing app live up to the uses of a wannabe urban photographer? Read on for a full Afterlight review

Shooting Photos

If you’re going to be shooting photos, you’re going to need a great camera interface. Luckily, you’ll find just that when shooting with Afterlight.

Upon launching the app and tapping into the camera view, you’re immediately able to shoot; just tap to focus and hit the large shutter button to take a photo. Additionally, if you pinch-out on the camera view, you can split your white balance and focus, giving you even more control over your photographs.

alignment-afterlight

Grid lovers like myself will really appreciate Afterlight’s grid that can be accessed from the top of the camera-view window, something especially useful for mobile street photographers who want to use the rule of thirds. If you tap the grid button a second time, you’ll be greeted with an alignment tool that’ll help you get those cityscapes just right.

One unique feature in Afterlight is white balance lock. This feature can be accessed directly to the right of the grid button and can be used to lock your white balance on the fly. This is especially helpful when shooting in dark environments and is something I’ve yet to  see in other iPhone photography apps.

All of this makes Afterlight one of the best, if not the best, apps I’ve used to shoot iPhone photographs with. The super clean design and unique features makes me keep on coming back, even if I want to shoot filter and edit-free.

Editing

Not only is shooting in Afterlight awesome, but editing is just as great. When in the edit view, you’ll notice a row of six icons on the bottom of the screen. You can make all basic edits, like changing contrast and saturation, from the second button from the left-hand side of the app.

Additionally, from this menu, you can make some pretty interesting and out-of-the-ordinary edits like adding shadows, mid tones, vignettes, and a ton of other edits. Afterlight offers so many editing options that I can’t cover each one in this review, but trust me, having all of these options at your disposal gives you a ton of room to get creative with your photos.

editing-afterlight

Now for my favorite part of Afterlight: the filters. The app has three categories of filters: original, guest, and seasons, with each category housing filters for just about any situation. After selecting a filter in Afterlight, a slider will appear that will let you adjust the intensity of the filter, something perfect for those times when your photo just needs a little kick.

If filters aren’t enough for your photographs, Afterlight has a library of film effects that can be applied over all edits and filters. These affects are a bit intense, though they can be tasteful when used right and give your photos a really cool, vintage film feel. Afterlight includes two categories of film effects, Dusty and Light leak, and offers a third Instant film for $0.99.

frames-afterlight

Finally, Afterlight includes a huge library of frames. While some of these frames are basic shapes, Afterlight also includes silhouette and typeface frames that can be used to make awesome scrapbook-like photos. I’m personally a huge fan of type frames, and have uploaded a couple examples above.

When you’re finished editing a photo, you can push it directly to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well as export it to your Camera roll. Afterlight also directly integrates with Sincerely, a postcard service, so you can send your photographs physically to friends and family with ease.

Even though Afterlight gives you a ton of ways to edit your photos, it presents these options in a very clean way. First time users will have no problems editing a photo in the app and regulars will be continually impressed with the wide selection of filters and film effects.

Overall, editing photographs in Afterlight is an absolute breeze. I’ve never been confused when editing in Afterlight, and am very happy with the app’s selection of editing tools and filters.

In the future, I’d like to see the ability to make your own frames using custom fonts in Afterlight as the typographic frames can get a bit boring after being used day after day. Hopefully we see this in a future update.

The Good

Afterlight excels at shooting and editing photos and does them both beautifully. Additionally, the app has a ton of editing options, filters, and effects, giving you the tools you need to let your creativity run free.

The Bad

The only problem I have with Afterlight is that it lacks volume button shutter controls, forcing you to use the on-screen shutter button for all of your photo taking.

Value

With such a large amount of filters, effects, and editing tools at a price of just $0.99, I can safely say this is one of the best value apps on the App Store, especially for photography. Also, in the few months that I’ve had this app, it has been updated constantly with new filters and effects, so it’s definitely something photographers will keep on coming back to. Download Afterlight in the App Store for $0.99.

Conclusion

Overall, I’m very impressed with Afterlight and recommend to any iPhone photographer who wants a clean yet feature-packed way to shoot and edit photos. The app’s selection of filters and film effects far surpass any other iPhone photo app I’ve used, and for only $0.99, it’s a total steal.

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  • Alex Miamorsch

    who are you andrew? :)

    • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

      Perhaps a new writer? I know Sébastien was briefly talking about hiring new writers on the last episode of Let’s Talk iOS and Let’s Talk Jailbreak…

    • Andrew Kunesh

      Hi Alex, this is me :)

      • Alex Miamorsch

        Hey, nice that you’re on iDB now. Good Luck! :)

  • David Buenrostro

    I’ve tried so many apps but I’ve always came back to Afterlight. Not even the highly praised vsco cam seemed good enough in comparison. However I don’t like the camera and use Camera+ for shooting instead. Mainly because the exposure doesn’t adjust while you move your finger on screen like Camera+ does.

    • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

      Camera+ is my go to camera app too. It beats the competition hands down…

  • Ricky

    how is this compare with Camera+?

    • Anmol Malhotra

      Im using iPhone 4s and my experience says Afterlight is the best available iPhone photography app. Camera+ lags a lot on my iPhone, it takes few seconds to open the camera in Camera+ but in afterlight its instant.

      • kamranm1200

        It lags because iPhone 4S is old. I don’t get why the heck people are still using the iPhone 4S. It has a tiny 3.5 inch screen.

      • Matheus Lisboa

        None everyone cares abouts screen size and not everyone have the money to upgrade

      • Damian

        Because people are not dumb to upgrade every time they see a new phone. iPhone 4s is still a great phone, but it just does not get love from developers

      • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

        Another reason people use older iPhones is because they get given them when others upgrade. When I upgraded from a 4S to a 5s I gave my mother my 4S which despite being a few years old now is still miles better than the cheap Scamsung device she had and to my knowledge is still better than the majority of midrange smartphones that are on the market right now…

      • Niclas

        Why don’t everyone drive around in ferraris and lambos? Live in mansions and have 99 butlers?
        I just can’t understand people.

      • Victor

        I hate this little kid tbh seems like his parents buy everything hew wants according to his profile pic.

  • Abdl

    Afterlight has been around for some time

  • Willie

    I have been using the app when it used to be called afterglow until now, and I have got to say this app is one of the best deals you can ever get for such a cheap price.

  • Anmol Malhotra

    Ah! new writer.. Welcome to iDB family Andrew Kunesh. :)

    • Andrew Kunesh

      Thank you :)

      • Anmol Malhotra

        Wowww! Your first comment on iDB is to me! :D I wont forget it ever.. xD Thank you! and once again welcome :)

      • Anmol Malhotra

        And your first upvote too by me :D :)

  • diggitydang

    I hate when phone pic editors won’t let you zoom into a pic while you’re editing!! Arghhh!! RAGE!!!

  • JulianZH

    too many options, too confusing @.@

  • Diego Milano

    Hmmm, interesting; equally good or better than Snapseed?

    • https://twitter.com/aidanharris1 Aidan Harris

      I though Snapseed no longer exists?

      • http://www.chrismontcalmo.com/ Chris Monty

        Snapseed still very much exists.

  • http://www.chrismontcalmo.com/ Chris Monty

    The biggest question for me is, does it allow you to save your edited photos at full resolution? I buy so many apps and edit photos with them, only to find that my photograph’s size and resolution have been cut in half.

    • Niclas

      Yep, I think you had to change it in the settings.

  • http://www.jayxsamuels.tumblr.com syldd

    Nothing beats VSCO Cam for editing, except if you need Photoshop-esque tools, then you’ll want either PS Touch or Leonardo. For shooting, Mattebox, ProCamera7, and 645 Pro MK II.

    • Niclas

      Camera+ is a better camera in my opinion.

      • http://www.jayxsamuels.tumblr.com syldd

        Camera+ is a great app, but the other three apps i mentioned offer High Quality JPEG support, and also TIFF support, which is currently the only losses format you can get on the iPhone (similar to RAW files on a DSLR). Not to mention Mattebox has the best controls, similar to a point and shoot camera.

      • Niclas

        I don’t see the difference between a jpg and tiff from my iPhone 5s on my iPad AIR.
        But if you want to print pictures it might be worth the effort?

      • http://www.jayxsamuels.tumblr.com syldd

        there’s a definite difference between the two when looking at them close up (i’ve looked at both formats in Photoshop CC). with TIFF files you get a a RAW-like file (unsharpened and uncompressed colors). you can clearly tell then difference between the two files when you look at both on their Histograms. i’m a Photographer, shooting in TIFF for me is like shooting in RAW on my DSLR, it just reassures me that i have an unfiltered image so i can edit it to my liking without the automatic sharpening and resizing like JPEGs have.

  • Giacomo Castellucci

    is anybody still using kitcam ?
    i tried almost every other photography app but it’s hard to let kitcam go
    PS damn you yahoo!

    • http://kevpat.com/ Kevin Paterson

      I only keep KitCam for the time-lapse function. It’s really good for night shots too!!

  • http://influens.co.uk/ Influens

    I use BluxPro for creative photo’s and snapseed for editing photos taken on the fly