Please welcome Afterlight into the Windows Phone family!
One of the most imaginative imaging apps we’ve seen has just launched. Be warned: it may also become one of the most creative photo tools in your digital arsenal.
With its simple, intuitive interface, sensitive in-app camera, 57 customizable filters and wide array of tools (such as “clarify,” “brightness,” “saturation,” “grain”), Afterlight (99 cents) is a powerful but easy-to-use photo editor that fits into the palm of your hand.
You can adjust the effects of each tool and filter via a horizontal slider that adjusts positively or negatively, and you can preview the changes in real time.
A word about the filters: they seem to be more sophisticated and subtle than some filters found in other apps – you can tell that Afterlight was created by a photographer for photographers.
And of course, you can share your final photos on Facebook and other social channels, as well as through email.
I recently caught up with Simon Filip, the mastermind behind Afterlight, who was kind enough to tell me more about the app:
Why did you create Afterlight? Aren’t there enough photo-imaging apps out there?
When I started the idea for Afterlight, I had been practicing photography for a couple of years. I started making and selling Photoshop actions online since I had a small photography following on Flickr.
I then wanted to make something much bigger out of that, and when the idea of a Photoshop plug-in fell through, I decided to jump straight in to make an app. I did a lot of research on what was out there and saw somewhat of a gap for a photo editor that was very focused in being more of an “all-in-one” photo app.
How is Afterlight different than other photo-imaging apps?
We’re very proud in Afterlight’s simple but efficient interface. When I created the adjustment tools, filters, and textures, they were all with film photography in mind.
I made Afterlight’s light leak and instant film textures by shooting real 35mm film to get the light leaks and real instant film to make the instant film pack textures. The frames are also a popular addition that really pulls all the other features together and makes Afterlight as a whole stand out.
Is there anything different in the Windows Phone version of Afterlight compared with iOS and Android? (Display? The way you access different features?)
The Windows Phone version of Afterlight has a very different home screen, showing users a panoramic view of their camera roll, photos edited with Afterlight, and a way to connect to Instagram, showing the official Afterlight account and their own personal feed.
With the powerful camera on the Lumia smartphones – especially the 41MP camera on the Lumia 1020 – how can Afterlight make the photos from these devices even more creative?
Afterlight is built for enhancing photos from any device, but really thrives when editing photos from Lumia smartphones’ impressive cameras. The power and control behind the cameras and Afterlight’s long list of tools and effects is really a perfect match.
What challenges did you face in creating the app and how did you tackle them?
I spent some months creating filters and textures and concepting the features while working with developers who didn’t pan out, and losing my small budget. I then found my current business partner and developer, Sangmook Lee, through an app called Whitagram that he created himself.
We partnered up and finished Afterlight in a few months. The challenges I faced were that I am not a developer, only a photographer with an idea. So I was very fortunate to find a developer who was passionate about photography apps and willing to take this risk with me.
A small challenge we had to and still have to overcome is that he doesn’t speak English, so thank goodness for translation software!
Can you share any tips or tricks for Afterlight for Windows Phone?
A simple tip would be to try applying a filter after applying a texture. Using the effects in that order will help to blend a light leak to the photo and give a stronger film emulation look.
Another simple tip is to experiment with every photo. Certain filters will work very well on some photos, but not very well on others so always experimenting and exploring Afterlight’s features is good to mix it up.
What’s your advice to folks who want to create apps but aren’t computer-science geeks?
I myself am not a computer-science geek, so my advice is definitely to go for it if you have a good concept for an app. I had no schooling or training in any area before creating it, just a passion for photography and a big idea.
Have you tried Afterlight? Let us know and share your creative work below.