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Looking for an alternative photo editing software that’s not Photoshop? Then, look no further. Affinity Photo just might be the alternative for you. In this article, I’ll show you 7 amazing features of Affinity Photo. Affinity Photo is a photo editing software created by Serif. It’s part of the Affinity Suite which also consists of Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher.
One of the first amazing features of Affinity Photo is its price. For Mac and Window users, Affinity Photo cost $49.99 (the same as Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher). If you want to buy Affinity Photo for your iPad, it’ll cost $19.99. The best part of both prices is that they are a one-time payment! This means there’s no yearly or monthly subscription you must pay to use the software. In addition, whenever Serif Labs makes any updates to Affinity Photo, you can automatically download the updates at no additional costs.
Inside of Affinity Photo, there are 5 personas (the different editing roles inside of Affinity Photo): Photo Persona, Liquify Persona, Develop Persona, Tone Mapping Persona, and Export Persona.
- The Photo Persona is the main persona that’s used. It’s also the default persona for Affinity Photo. Here, you can do photo editing which would consist of retouching images, cropping images, selections, using brushes, and vector tools. In addition, you can also add adjustments and filters to your images within this persona.
- In the Liquify Persona, you can make distortions to your images. This includes adding warping effects to your images. This persona is also cool to use if you want to create caricatures with your images.
- If you work with raw images, then you would use the Develop Persona. When you open a raw file in Affinity Photo, it will automatically open in the Develop Persona. A raw image is an uncompressed and unprocessed file that contains all the information of an image (that’s taken from your camera). Within the develop persona, you have complete control of adjusting the color and tone of your image. Also, you can change the basic exposure settings and the control lens corrections. For free raw images to edit, check out Signature Edits.
Tone Mapping Persona
- The next persona is the Tone Mapping Persona. Tone mapping is the process of mapping one set of colors to another set of colors to create an HDR (high dynamic range) image. Since most digital devices have a limited dynamic range, tone mapping recreates the broad light intensities that are found in natural scenes. In Affinity Photo’s Tone Mapping Persona, there are also presets you can use to refine your images.
- In the Export Persona, you can export your finished work. The export persona lets you export artboards, layers, or groups of you work as slices. In addition, you can export your work into different file formats such as PNG, JPG, GIF, PSD, PDF, TIFF, SVG, and EPS.
3. Adjustment Panel
The Adjustment Panel is easy to access, and you can undock it and place it where you want. There are 22 different adjustments within this panel. The adjustments that I find myself using the most are the Curves, HSL, Gradient Map, and Levels.
4. Stock Panel
Affinity Photo has its own Stock Panel. Within this panel, you can search for images from Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay. This is a neat feature because you can look for an image to use without leaving Affinity Photo. Plus, all the images are free to use and don’t require attribution.
5. Live Filters
Inside of Affinity Photo, you’ll find Live Filters (in the Filter menu). Live Filters let you nondestructively apply filters to your images. This means that the filter you choose will be placed on a different layer instead of being applied directly to the image. Some of the live filters in Affinity Photo are Blur, Sharpen, Noise, and Lighting. However, there are many more filters that you can choose from.
6. PSD Editing Support
Affinity Photo can import PSD (Photoshop) files, and it can import smart objects as embedded documents because it has PSD Editing Support. If you use mockups, then this feature will be great to use. Since some mockup files you find online are PSD files, the PSD editing support would allow you to edit the mockups and add your own designs to them. You can access this feature by going to the Edit menu, then select Preferences. After that, go to General and check the box that says, “Import PSD smart objects where possible”.
Macros is one of my favorite features of Affinity Photo. In Affinity Photo, Macros allow you to record and save multiple steps that you’ve previously used. Then, those steps are played back as a single action. Macros are like Photoshop’s actions. This is an excellent feature because it helps you to optimize your workflow. To locate the Macros panel, go to the View menu. Then, go to Studio and check Macro and Library (to view other macros you created).
If you want to learn more about Affinity Photo and to start editing your photos, check out the two courses in this article on how to master Affinity Photo.