Introduction to Learning Affinity Photo

by Sep 8, 2021Photo Editing Tutorials

Robin Whalley Landscape Photographer

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Introduction to Learning Affinity Photo

When I first began using Affinity Photo, I had the advantage of almost 20 years of Photoshop use, but even then, I didn’t find the transition easy. It took me several months before I felt at home using the software. Most people who are new to and want to learn to use Affinity Photo don’t have this advantage which is why I’ve created this article.

What I noticed whilst trying to learn Affinity Photo myself and from talking to others is that there are a few common problems. These problems are typical when trying to learn Affinity and are possibly due to a few rather unique features. Whilst much of Affinity Photo resembles Photoshop, some aspects are quite different.

Typically, people have problems learning to:

  1. Navigate the Personas
  2. Work with filters and layers
  3. Use masks

Whilst I address these points and many more in my book Essential Affinity Photo, I also produced a series of videos. These videos are designed to help people new to Affinity Photo, gain confidence whilst learning how to use it. So, if you find Affinity Photo a struggle, set some time aside to watch this video series in the order they appear here. You can also download the practice images used in the videos from the YouTube Practice Images page.

1. Making Sense of Affinity Photo Desktop

In this tutorial, we explore the whole of Affinity Photo, paying special attention to the dynamic features. These are the features in Affinity Photo which change depending on what you’re doing. When I talk to people trying to learn Affinity Photo, this is one area where most have problems. It can be very confusing until someone explains what’s happening in the software and why.

You can also watch this video and read more on the subject in my “Affinity Photo Personas Explained” tutorial.

2. Introducing the Develop Persona

The Develop Persona is one of the most important modules in Affinity Photo for the Photographer. It’s intended to help you edit RAW file photography before you apply any special effects to an image. It’s also the only place you can edit a RAW file in Affinity Photo, which is why it’s automatically launched when you try to open a RAW file . This video gives a guided introduction to many of its many features.

3. Deep Dive into the Develop Persona & RAW Converter

In the previous video we looked at the Develop Persona in Affinity. This video is a deeper exploration into editing photos and RAW files with this persona. And don’t forget to download the practice RAW files if you haven’t already.

4. Master Using Layers & Filters

Layers and Filters are some of the most powerful editing features of the Affinity Photo Persona. This video helps you understand how to unlock their power when editing your photography. You will also learn how the Live Filters differ from “standard” Filters and when you might want to use them.

5. Luminosity Masks Made Easy

Luminosity Masking is a hot topic in photo editing but creating a Luminosity Mask can be quite challenging. In this video we look at one way to create and control a Luminosity Mask in Affinity Photo.

6. Export Persona Features You Don’t Know

Once you’ve finished editing your photos, you need to export them from Affinity Photo. If you only save them, you create an Affinity format file that only Affinity can read. This again is something that often confuses people when they start to lean Affinity Photo.

The simple solution is to use the Export menu but then why did Affinity go to the trouble of creating the Export Persona? In this video I’ll explain some of the amazing features hidden there and why you might want to use them.

Summary of An Introduction to Affinity Photo

Whilst this series of six videos doesn’t cover everything in Affinity Photo (that would require many hours of video) it puts in place key learning points. When you understand these videos, you will find getting to grips with and learning Affinity Photo becomes much easier.

If you would like to extend your Affinity Photo skills further see my books Essential Affinity Photo and Affinity Photo How To. You will also find lot’s of free tutorials on the Affinity Photo Tutorials page.

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