If, like me, you’ve tried to master the ‘monster’ that is Photoshop (PS) and thought ‘life’s too short’ well, rather than giving up, you are strongly advised to take a trip to ‘Affinity Photo’(AF) by Serif. For me, this software has proved to be the best alternative on the market. For starters, it’s relatively easy to master and very friendly to use. It has a one-off cost of around £45 while many of the ‘others’ take your money each. If updates come along they are free and the company offers loads of video support as well as a Q&A forum. Rather than offer a full training blog I can give you what I find to be the best parts. Before we look at any details you need to know that AF is not a replacement for Adobe Lightroom in that it does not manage or organise your computer stored images. It does however offer all and more methods of adjustments so read on.
Affinity Photo (AF) asks you to open a file (photo) which can be almost any format. JPEG’s are opened directly into a workspace called the ‘Photo’ persona and RAW files are opened into another workspace called the ‘Develop’ persona. Opening a RAW file lets you undertake a whole range of basic adjustments and after it asks you to move the file over to the Photo personas. There are other ‘Personas’ which you can tackle as and when needed so it’s a full-on processing app. It runs on Windows, Mac and iPad but each programme is purchased separately. Regarding support, it’s been around long enough for a whole pile of YouTube videos to have evolved as well as courses for purchase (try Udemy online learning). A slight downside is that the only ‘plug-ins’ it works with at present is the NIK collection by DXO, all other plug-ins will need to be accessed outside of the programme. If I need to use another plug-in such as Topaz Studio I save my file, exit AF, work on it separately and then bring it back to AF after. When you have finished working on your file, you can save it with all the adjustments layers as an AF document (which is the same as a Smart Object in PS), then later it can be reloaded to make further changes. When you want to save your ‘as done’ you can ‘export’ the file as a JPEG or TIFF etc. however you will not be able alter any adjustments later as all the layers will have been flattened. As and when updates become available, these are downloaded for free. So given that there is also a trial period you are well advised to give it a try. Good luck, hope you find it rewarding.
Thanks for reading.
Terence Jones ARPS
A photography enthusiast with a long and varied interest in taking pictures.
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