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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.