Photography and iPhones go together like peanut butter and jelly. That’s why every time I see a new photo app such as AfterLight, I want to download it and put it through its paces. Upfront, I’m already impressed as its iTunes description points out that it has 15 adjustment tools, 40 filters, 50 textures, cropping and transforming tools, and 75 frames. Not a bad feature set if I do say so myself.

But why pay for a photo filter when juggernauts like Instagram are available for free? The main reason … a bigger playground. Instagram is great, but I always feel pigeonholed into using the small group of filters they have available. Sometimes you need to lighten up a few spots in X-Pro II … or as a wise man once said, “we need more cowbell.” And that’s exactly what AfterLight gives you, more cowbell.

Let’s jump into the built-in filters AfterLight boasts. From coal to bloom, there are plenty of photo filters … 40 to be exact. What’s great about the filter is that you can minimize how much it affects your image. For instance, if a bloom is just too much for you, take the slider and crank it back to 60 percent and you should be good. If you feel like getting social, you can unlock five new filters by “liking” AfterLight on Facebook. More free stuff is always awesome.

If you want even more filters, click on the “guest” filters that feature 13 selections created by carious Instagram users. Talk about the best of both worlds. Developer Simon Filip promises there will more filters in the upcoming updates of the app too.
Once you have your filter set you can go into the textures tool and add in some flare such as overexposed, actual sun flare on the left side of the image from back in the day when your camera’s film was accidentally exposed to some unwanted light. Currently, you can buy them an additional pack of 22 textures and 7 frames for $.99.

Beyond the color filters, you can use the built-in crop tool to resize or rotate the image, which is fairly handy. Also. you can use the tilt tool to put the image off center as well as a text with the type tool or reframe the image with the added frames. There are some great options in there that really help you highlight where you’re putting the focus on your image.
Overall, if you’re looking for a robust photo app that you can customize filters, texture, cropping, and more without restraint, then AfterLight is the perfect option for you to test your photography skills.

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