Afterlight: How to Use This Popular Editing App

Afterlight How To Use

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July 11, 2019

Afterlight is one of the best editing apps for mobile phone. You can add stunning effects with filters and light overlays. Use the advanced editing tools to adjust the light, exposure and much more with added tools and filters. Continue reading for a tutorial on how to edit your photos using Afterlight.

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How to Edit and Take a Photo in Afterlight

Once you open the Afterlight app you can choose between editing a picture or taking a picture in manual mode. On Android, it is called Afterlight and iPhone Afterlight 2. In a later post, we will learn the specifics of Afterlight 2 but it is very similar to Afterlight.To use the camera tap on the photo of the camera. This will take you to a camera app much like the default camera on your phone. Listed below are some tips on how to open the manual mode. In this tutorial, we will go into great detail about how to edit a photo in Afterlight.

Afterlight App

Manual Mode for Taking Photos

  • Tap on the camera icon on the bottom left corner
  • Tap on the circled M for manual mode features
  • After you take the photo you can start editing in the editing tools in Afterlight.

Edit a Photo

  • The latest photos appear when you load the app below the logo
  • Tap on albums to choose from all photos or from a specific album

Editing Tools

Afterlight has the editing icons on the menu bar at the bottom of the screen. With these tools, you can create a wide arrange of edits and effects. These tools from left to right, are Revert, Adjustment Tools, Filters, Dust & Light Leak Overlays, Crop & Transform, and Frames & Text.


The first option is the revert button which erases edits and reverts back to the original photo. It looks like a rewind arrow. If you tap on it a pop up will ask you if you want to revert back to the original image or cancel.

Adjustment Tools

The bulk of your photo editing is going to be in the adjustment tools. This is where all the fine-tuning of the image will take place. You can enhance your photos by making minor changes with these settings. There are fifteen Adjustment tools to help you make advanced edits with your phone. To use these tools, tap on the Adjustment tools in the menu options and a secondary menu will appear above it. Tap on any of the icons to start editing. You can slide on the menu to the left to see all the tools. Once you click on a tool a slider will appear. On the left is an X tool to leave the tool without adding the edit. The right has a checkmark to save the edit. Use the slider right or left to increase or decrease the intensity of the feature.

Afterlight Best Editing App

Adjustment Tool Icons

  • Brightness- the light in the image
  • Contrast- the difference in tone from the lightest to the darkest tone
  • Vibrance- increases the intensity of the colors that are dull
  • Clarify- Adjusts the unwanted softness in the image
  • Glow- The warmth in the image
  • Grain- texture added to create a specific film processed look
  • Color Overlay- Adds a colored tint to the image
  • Selective Hue- Decrease or increase the strength of the color in a specific area.
  • Gradient- It is the directional change of intensity or color to a specific portion of the image
  • Selective Saturation- Decrease or increase the color in a specific location on the image
  • Selective Lightness- Decrease or increase the light in the image in a targeted area.
  • Hue- The color balance of the primary colors in the image
  • Fade- Decrease the brightness of the image
  • Vignette- A white or black faded border around the edge of the image
  • Exposure- The amount of light in the image
  • Saturation- The amount of color in the image
  • Temperature- The color of light, Sunny days bring warmer tones, Clouds bring cool tones
  • Tint- Adds white to colors making a pastel color
  • Sharpening- increases or decreases the detail in the image
  • Highlights- Increases or decreases the light and detail in the bright areas on the photo
  • Shadows- Increases or decreases the light and detail in the shadows on the photo
  • Highlight Tone- The color in the highlights
  • Mid-Tone- The color in the mid-tones
  • Shadow Tone- The color in the shadows

To control the settings in the Adjustment tools, you can swipe left or right to adjust the slider. Drag right to increase the effect and left to decrease it. Tap on the checkmark when you are done editing. To delete the edit tap on the X to cancel.

Editing Tools


One of the best features in Afterlight is the filters. There are many options to add a creative touch. Afterlight is known for subtle filters that enhance photos just enough so they don’t look overedited. If a filter looks too strong you can use the slider at the bottom to decrease the intensity. When you have it the way you like, tap on the checkmark and continue editing.

You can also add multiple filters on your image by tapping on a new filter. This will apply the new filter over the last filter creating a different effect. You can continue applying filters and adding effects until you are happy with your image.

Save your Preset in a “Fusion” Filter

The fusion allows you to save filters and edits for future photos. To create this filter, tap on the fusion button and the + button to create a new filter. Afterlight will begin recording the edits that are created. After you have created your edits and filters the fusion will say recording the number of actions. Once you are done creating your edits tap on the “Done” button and give it a name. Then you can go back into the fusion filter to see the edits you have changed. These can now be applied to images in the future.

Dust & Light Leak Overlays

Dust and light leak overlays are one of the best features in Afterlight. You can tap on the filters to see the effects. There are dusty textures, light leaks, instant film and wander. Some are paid and some are free. These filters can add a mysterious or warm feel to your image. Dusty filters add a vintage or twinkle light effect to your image. You can adjust the strength of the filter with the slider below. When you like the effect tap on the checkmark.

Light leaks filters add a mysterious feel to the image. They work great for industrial or landscape photography. Be careful that the filter is not too strong, so it looks fake. Try to make the light flares look natural. Tap on the stop button and the arrow circle to change the angle of light. Tap on the vertical reflection button to reflect the side on the opposite side. Use horizontal reflection button to reflect the light on the bottom or top of the image. To adjust the color filter on the light leak tap on the color wheel to choose different colors. You can choose from 7 colors. As you tap you will see a little number appear saying which number you are on.

Afterlight Editing App

Crop & Transform

The crop tool allows you to get a closer view of your image. You can also use this tool to size your image for social media, web, and different purposes. You can choose from various aspect ratios to get the right image size for your image.

  • Rotate- Tap on the rotate tool to rotate your image by 90 degrees. Each time you tap it the image will rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise.
  • Horizontal Flip and Vertical Flip- The flip tools allow you to flip your photo horizontally or vertically. You can create a mirror of your image by using the vertical flip.
  • Straighten Tool- If you have taken a landscape photo sometimes your images will not be straight. Drag the slider right and left to tilt the photo. This is also an important tool if you are taking pictures of buildings at an angle.
  • Double Layers- You can add a layer or a double exposure effect with the last option in the crop tool. Tap on this tool and you will be able to add two photos together to create an overlay effect. You can choose to add a screen filter or to lighten, darken, or multiply the image. This feature has many creative possibilities.Afterlight Android

Frames & Text

The last features you can edit in Afterlight are frames and text. You can add a simple frame around your image or get creative by adding a cutout shape or silhouette. You can also cut out a letter with the image in the background.

Save Your Edited Photo

When you are ready to save your image, tap on the “done” icon on the upper right corner. Then you can choose the size of the image you would save the image as. Then you can download the image or share it on social media.

Afterlight App Summary

In this tutorial, you learned how to use the Afterlight app to create better edits. You can use the adjustment tools to enhance the color, light, and detail of your image. Add creative effects with the filters and save a “Fusion” filter for future edits. Try adding texture with the dust or light effects. Then crop and save your photo to share with friends. Above is an overview of how to use the app.

Take a minute to try these tips to become a great smartphone photographer. Want more inspiration? Here are some additional resources that can help you:

Give those tips a read and you’ll be ready with new hacks and tips to help you make the most of your phone’s camera. See our photos on Instagram at @picxtrix.

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