SERIF AFFINITY Photo 1.5 (MAC/PC)
Stunningly good for the remarkably low price.
My TOP choice for price and capability.
- A good start for any beginner or amateur photographer looking for effective processing at a low cost. Adequate for many professional purposes, it may be all that any photographer needs.
- However, it requires patience in the early stages as the elementary aspects of processing lie amongst the more advanced tools. and need to be sought out.
- Comprehensive Raw editing in a dedicated built-in workspace with all the processing adjustments and corrections you need.
- You can work in RGB, CMYK, LAB, or Greyscale colour space.
- Affinity provides end-to-end CMYK workflow with ICC colour management, and 16-bit per channel editing.
- Excellent PSD support, plus all the file formats you are ever likely to need, including: PNG, JPG, TIFF, EPS, PDF, and SVG.
- Able to pan and zoom at 60fps with live previews, live tools and real-time editing, even when working on massive images with 1000s of layers.
- Available through the Apple Store or Serif.
Now available for the iPad.
This is the opening screen for Affinity in the "Develop" mode:
Test image - showing screen layout in Serif Affinity
- For the beginner this screen may seem to be confusing.
- There is a great deal to take in. However, this is because Affinity has tremendous capabilities to rival those of any of the other software reviewed here.
- You, as a newcomer to image processing will buy this software because it will do everything you need initially, and will continue to do everything you are likely to demand of it when you have reached a more advanced and experienced stage in image processing. In other words it will do what you need now, and is future proof in terms of your growing needs.
- You may have to be a bit patient with it as you learn.
- At the top left-hand corner of the screen there is a purple/pink triangle. This is where you will start - make sure you have clicked on it as it puts you in the "develop" mode. Further to the right there are four circular buttons. These will automatically adjust your image for levels, contrast, colour and white balance i.e. you can automatically change some of the essential properties of your image. That bit is easy.
- However, you will soon want to make manual adjustments to these (and other characteristics of your image) and thereby gain greater control over the way the image is processed.
- For this you concentrate on the column down the right-hand margin of the screen.
- You will see that having clicked on the Levels Panel the software comes up with three pre-sets (Default, Darken and Lighten) that provide a starting point for your changes.
- These can then be fine-tuned using the Levels Adjustment panel that also opens up at this point.
- I elected to make my image Lighter, using the Levels Adjustment as a way of changing the exposure slightly.
- I was intrigued to find out what the Shadows/Highlights control would do, so I clicked on it.
- Once again Presets appeared together with a fine-tuning control panel. I am sure you are getting the idea of what can be done, once you understand the role of each of these side panels.
- The tools on the left-hand side of the screen allow adjustments usually applied at a more advanced stage, but amongst these is a text tool that makes it possible to add a title to the image.
- You have full control over the nature of the font used, its size, and its colour (chosen from the colour wheel).
- If you are into black & white photography there is a quick route to a monochrome image through the option in the right-hand panels.
- The panel that opens allows you to control the contribution that each of the colour channels make to the final B&W representation.
- Affinity works by making changes to your image within Layers.
- This means you can either keep all of the changes by merging these layers together, or you can delete the layer that carries the changes you do not need/want.
- This way of working makes the whole process very flexible.
- Finally, if you want to sharpen the image you need to go to the bar across the top of your computer screen, open "Filters" and the sharpening option is in there. Again, you make your fine adjustments from a panel that appears.
- Other assets (not yet mentioned) include tools for cropping, colour filling of selected areas, and cloning out unwanted objects.
- Since this is not an instruction manual I will stop the image processing at this point, but I am sure that you get the point.
- Unlike some of the other software this program does not give you panels of Preset images that have been derived from multiple changes to your original. Instead it gives you a starting point of choices for many of the adjustments and then leaves you to carry out the more refined changes that you may wish to make.
- You take over editorial control!
- The editing of the image is intuitive and easy after a little practice.
- Care has to be taken when saving the image as it tends to save in Affinity file format, but this can be avoided by using a "Persona" screen and selecting the whole image as a 'slice' and setting .jpg or .tiff as the file extension.
(From this last sentence you can see that there is a bit of jargon to learn and some of the software niceties to master - but that is true of all image processing software.)
- Now available in both MAC and Windows versions..
My TOP RECOMMENDATION for great all-round image processing software.
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