Hello friends! Well as you may already know, I have identified myself as an instagram and photography junkie. When I first created my instagram account, i was so disappointed by the filters and the editing options. They have somehow improved since then, but still I prefer using other apps for editing, before i upload my photos on Instagram. Vscocam and Afterlight are my favourite. I don't know what I would have done without those apps! They both are available for iphone and android devices. So let's see.
Vscocam is a free editing app, and if you spend some time to get acquainted with its tools, you will have a super professional result to your photos. Unlike Instagram, that it over-edits your photos, using vscocam tools you can control perfectly the features of a photo. Well using just a filter with beautiful colors, it won't give you the best result, so what I do first, before choosing the preset/filter is edit the basic features of my photo (these tools will appear, on the spanner icon). Well there is no standard process on how to use the tools, but I will tell you what I usually do on my photos. I always adjust the exposure (up to +3), the contrast (no more that +1) the temperature, the tint (I like my photos to be slightly pink so i go around +4) and the sharpness (this tool highlights the details of your photo, +5). These steps are my editing routine. There are more tools you can use to adjust the highlights and the shadows, the saturation, also add noise or fade the photo. Also keep in mind that it all depends on the quality of the photo and it's original features. As for the presets/filters, the free version of the app contains some of my favourites (C1,M5, P5) but you can also buy more collections of you feel like it. I loved the A,J, P and the K series. Each preset applies better depending as I said, from the original nature of the photo. The more you use the tools, and experiment with the pesets, the better results you will get to your photos.
(see some samples below, I used Vsco cam to edit the photos. )
Afterlight is an app you can buy on Google play or on App Store. While it's not free, it features more than 50 filters, 15 adjustment tools and more than 60 textures! The editing tools are pretty much the same as in Vscocam. I always adjust the brightness, the sharpness the contrast and the temperature.I usually change the color tone of the highlights, mid tones, and shadows. Now as for the color filters, Afterlight has 3 different collections, from which you can choose, 59 filters in total! That's a lot of choices! Well some of my favourites are Crismon, Russ, Relic, Coral and Sailor. At this point I must say once more that the filters apply different on different photos. Always depending on the photo's original lighting and colors. My favourite part, though, of this app is the dusty textures. Afterlight contains a variety of textures, light leaks filters (I think these are now so overused) and a collections of instant frames (this one you have to buy). But I think dusty frames are the best! They give you this old film/dusty lens effect...I love it! And it can work so good on blurry photos! See here, here and here.
(see some samples below, I used Afterlight to edit the photos. )
Don't forget, if you feel nerdy enough, that you can try both apps on the same photo. Very often I edit my photo using Vsco cam and then I export it at Afterlight to use for example some of the dust filters, or I want to see how it looks with one more color filter. Though, you have to be careful not to over do it! The natural result is always the best. Enjoy please!
Ps: Keep also in mind, that these apps can be used also as your basic photo editing tool. If you dont mind the file transferring process (from your pc to your mobile device) and you are not familiar with any other photo editing software, such as Photoshop, you can use these two apps generally for all your photos (for your blog, flickr etc).