There are roughly 1.7 zillion photography apps out there. All of them offer a slew of options to improve your snapshots before you share them, but after testing a whole bunch, we’ve pinpointed one that’ll work great for most smartphone owners.
It’s called Afterlight.
Maybe you’ve heard of it. The app launched in 2012, so it’s kind of a dinosaur. Still, it stands out for a few reasons: It’s very straightforward, it does a lot of the heavy lifting for you and it lets you make everything from minor aesthetic tweaks to major image overhauls with a few simple taps.
True, the same could be said of many photography apps, but we’ve yet to find another that balances complexity and usability so perfectly. A confused smartphone newbie could get something out of Afterlight, and so could a photo obsessive.
The app offers a mountain of options, all of which you can take or leave. They operate on a simple “slider” system just like Instagram’s. You can mess with the brightness of a photograph on a scale of -100 to 100, for example. Afterlight also packs a ton of filters that go well beyond what you’ll see on Instagram — you can edit their intensity, too.
There are also some gimmicky — but pretty cool — film effects that can make your shots look like they were taken on a traditional analog camera. Add fake wear to the image or light leaks: Why not?
You can use Afterlight for minor tweaks, too. Most importantly, the app is just fun to use — be careful not to get sucked into editing every shot you take. Unlike other apps, it doesn’t make a constant effort to sell you something or connect to social networks you’re not interested in.
Afterlight is available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
By Damon Beres for Huffingtonpost.com