afterfocus, iphone, focus, depth of field, dof, iphoneography

AfterFocus ($0.99) is a terrific and reasonably priced app that lets you select parts of your photos after you’ve taken them. It’s nice for keeping your subject dominant in the image, and very nice for portraits where you want people’s eyes on the person, not the busy background.

Other features include automatic computation of the closest objects, a variety of filters, and very realistic blurring that looks like true camera blurring rather than a pasted-on optical effect.

The app allows you to take your photos from within the app, but I expect most people will browse their photo library for appropriate photos to improve.

afterfocus, focus, iphone

Using AfterFocus

To get started, load a photo, tap the focus control and draw a white line on the areas where you want to preserve good focus. There is an undo command, and an erase command if you miss the areas you want to highlight. You can also zoom into the image and control the brush size for precise work. As you select, the area you want to keep focused will turn red, showing you how you are doing. Then it’s time to select the background, and using the background brush you paint black lines on your photo. The app is smart, and will figure out borders to keep everything looking good.

Automatic Features

afterfocus, focus, iphoneThere is another interesting way to almost automatically separate the subject from the background, but it only works if you are shooting ‘live’. Using the camera option, you take 2 pictures, offsetting one from the other by moving slightly to the right for the second photo. The app, using parallax calculations, knows what part is foreground and what is background and makes the selections automatically.

In addition to the features noted, the app has the ability to choose aperture styles. This feature lets you determine the shape of the aperture, from round, to a pentagonal shutter, to bokeh effects. It’s a nice finishing touch to your photo. Other finishing tools include vignetting, sharpening and color masking, letting some parts of the picture appear in black and white while your subject remains in color.

The Bottom Line

This is a lot of power to have in an inexpensive app. I’m impressed with how easy the app is to use, and its ability to recognize different areas without having to indulge in a lot of precise finger work. On the other hand, the undo and erase commands are powerful enough so that you can back out of any issues you’ve created while using the app. Having the ability to work really close with pan and zoom are also real plusses.

The result is an app that I think many will consider an essential part of their photo tool bag on their iPhone. The filters are a nice addition as well, and there is enough variation in them to keep most iPhoneographers exploring. Still, the main feature here is focus control. It’s often not possible to do this in real time with the camera, and usually there is too much light to give you much depth-of-field control anyway. AfterFocus lets you make those decisions after the fact. The app contains high quality help and even a video that shows how to make it all work.

AfterFocus requires iOS 5 or later. It’s optimized for the iPhone 5, and it worked fine on my iPhone 6.

App Store Link: AfterFocus –

– Mel Martin

AfterFocus 2.0.5

Effects Quality
Resolution and Image Quality
User Interface


A terrific and reasonably priced app that lets you select parts of your photos after you’ve taken them

User Rating: 2.65 ( 2 votes)