Step by Step / an in­tro­duc­tion to affin­ity Photo


1 Choose a Per­sona

One of the big­gest dif­fer­ences with Affin­ity Photo is the Per­sona sys­tem. Ac­cessed by but­tons in the top left cor­ner, these are di­vided into Photo, Liquify, De­velop, Tone Map­ping and Ex­port. Each brings dif­fer­ent tools to the fore. So, if you open a Raw photo into Affin­ity it’ll ap­pear in the De­velop Per­sona.

2 Raw tools

The De­velop Per­sona is Affin­ity Photo’s Raw edi­tor (although we can edit other file for­mats here too). We can be­gin by en­hanc­ing tones and make se­lec­tive tonal tweaks with Over­lays. Once done, we can click the De­velop but­ton to com­mit the changes and send our im­age into the Photo Per­sona for fur­ther edit­ing.

3 Fre­quency sep­a­ra­tion

This is an ex­cel­lent re­toucher that sep­a­rates de­tail and tone – great for skin. You’ll find a ded­i­cated com­mand un­der Fil­ter>fre­quency Sep­a­ra­tion. A handy splitscreen view lets you com­pare high and low-fre­quency set­tings. Once done, we can clone and heal each fre­quency layer for high-end re­touch­ing re­sults.

4 In­tel­li­gent selec­tions

It’s easy to change back­grounds with Affin­ity’s se­lec­tion tools. Use the Se­lec­tion Brush to paint over the back­drop and go to Se­lect>in­vert Se­lec­tion. Click Re­fine and use the set­tings to im­prove the se­lec­tion. Next, click the Add Mask icon in the Lay­ers panel, then copy in a new im­age and drag the layer be­low the por­trait.

5 Blend­ing lay­ers

With Affin­ity’s layer blend modes we can quickly and eas­ily blend two or more pho­to­graphs into one. Here, af­ter copy­ing in this im­age of leaves, we can go to the Lay­ers panel and change the blend mode to Screen, then add a mask and paint with black to hide the ef­fect in un­de­sir­able ar­eas, in this in­stance, the face.

6 Tonal tricks

We can fin­ish off by adding a tonal ef­fect or two. First hit Cmd/ctrl+shift+alt+e to merge a layer, then head to the Tone-map­ping Per­sona by click­ing the top left icon. Nor­mally this is for work­ing up HDRS, but we can also use the tools here to tone nor­mal pho­tos. We’ve used the ‘Cool’ pre­set. Once done, click Ap­ply.

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