Smartphones have been on the rise in terms of popularity as point-and-shoot cameras since the last few years. According to Flickr, smartphones make up for considerable percentage of popular point & shoot cameras among users. However, no matter how hard companies try to bump up the megapixels of camera in their phones, a smartphone will always remain uhm, a smartphone. It’s tough to challenge a DSLR camera with it.
AfterFocus is a new application for Android which brings DSLR-type photography effects to ordinary photographs. It doesn’t add any high-end digital camera capabilities to your phone’s camera but it does bring those effects to your photos.
Play Store: AfterFocus (free)
With AfterFocus, you can achieve DSLR type effects on photos taken by your camera by adding blur to background. The app is fairly easy to use. You can choose to open a photo from your gallery or take one using your camera which you wish to give a make-lift. Next, you have to mask your subject of focus in your photo which you want to emphasize.
For this, there are two modes – Smart Focus and Manual Focus, both having a brief tutorial on how to use them. When done, you can move ahead and AfterFocus will add blur to the background.
AfterFocus works best with photos where the subject has a well-defined boundary and Smart focus can help convert your photo into a DSLR one in no time. In photos where the focus subjects are complex, it’s better to use manual mode.
There’s an undo button on the top but using it correctly was always a hit or a miss for me. Often, it went back to more than 2 or 3 steps. My advice would be to use the eraser instead.
There are two blur modes – Lens blur and Motion Blur. Lens blur can be used for still photography while Motion blur works best with moving subjects like a Car etc. Further, blur amount and aperture can also be changed.
Apart from simply adding blur to photos, AfterFocus can also apply few effects, namely – Vintage, Antique, Color mask, XProcess etc.
The app is available for free but is limited to producing images upto 800px only. For producing photos with higher dimensions, you’ll have to buy the Pro version. But there’s a catch – Pro version will only be released in the next month. So till then, go ahead and try the free app 🙂
Before and After applying Motion Blur using AfterFocus. Photograph by Attila-Le-Ain.
A combination of Lens blur and XProcess effect.
Motion Blue + Vignette effect