A Green World Full of Snow Bees

The Problem: A photograph's color doesn't match with what you see.

Snow covered the ground and muffled the sounds around the lake, giving the place an eeriness that excites anxiety. My emotions fluctuated between worry as I peered into the trees for the hungry animals I imagined hiding there and frustration as I studied my photographs and the creepy greenish tinge they seemed to have. What was going on? The world my eyes saw wasn't anything like the olive glow given to it by my camera. Then, I heard it—something that sounded like a bunch of bees heading in my direction. In my already excited frame of mind, I was close to fainting over the thought of having to run away from snow bees!

I surveyed the sky and rather than the angry hive I'd imagine, the noise moving through the sky was my sister's drone. Phew. No snow bees. So, I mustered up my best I'm-not-afraid-everything's-cool-here smile and waved to the camera mounted on the drone. I'm pretty sure I heard my sister laugh. She wasn't fooled. Meanwhile, the rest of our group—my husband and sister-in-law—were peacefully photographing the lake that had called to us that day.

Once my fear of snow bees subsided (seriously, have you ever heard a drone? They sound a bit scary), I began searching for a good retouching/photo enhancement application. I wanted something that that would give me a fair amount of control. Likewise, it needed to be a mobile app so that I could color-fix/enhance photos while I was still at the place where I'd taken my photos. I knew I'd never remember the subtle color difference between what I was seeing and what my camera was recording if I tried to color correct my images later.

All of which is how I ran into Afterlight 2: An app that has some pretty powerful levers and controls when it comes to photo retouching/enhancement.

A Solution: Afterlight 2.

Before

After

Pros

There was a lot to like about this app. For example, it:

  • Is a One-Time-Purchase Type of App
  • Can Work Offline (When You're Far from Civilization/Web)
  • Saves to Multiple Places Like Instagram and Dropbox
  • Saves Full Resolution Images
  • Features A Recognizable Tool Set
  • Provides Versions for the iPad and iPhone
  • Has Loads of Filters
  • Includes Sliders for Just About Everything
  • Is a Great Value with Lots of Functionality for the Price

Cons

The cons for this app have more to do with personal preferences. I recognized the tools: Curves, cropping, rotation, overlays, saturation controls, etc., which made me feel comfortable. However, without non-destructive adjustment layers (like you get with Photoshop and Affinity Photo), it takes a bit of getting used to when you're working the image. Plus, it's a bit hard to see your image/image results on the phone—even in landscape mode because the tools take up a lot of real estate.

Bottom Line

If you're a power user, prefer non-destructible layers, and like a bigger view of the image as your working it, my first love (and recommendation) is Affinity Photo for the iPad. However, I'll be recommending Afterlight 2 to most of my friends who just want to have a little fun processing images with an inexpensive app that includes a ton of great features.

Question: What is your favorite, go-to photo editing application when you're on the go?

Please share your thoughts + links to your before-and-after images in the comments below.

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