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Affinity Photo software and book

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Affinity Photo software for PC or Mac: £24 (on offer), https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo/

Essential Affinity Photo book: £17, Amazon


I’ve been using Corel Draw 12 and Corel Photo-Paint 12 as my standard image hacking tools for about 15 years and until I was obliged to switch to Windows 10 they worked just fine.  I also had a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS 5 but never got on with it and when Adobe shot themselves in the foot by moving to a subscription model, I gave up entirely on Photoshop.


Then I saw the Masterclass series review of Serif’s Affinity Photo (AP) in Astronomy Now and I was intrigued by the software, available for a one-off payment.   It is touted as being as capable as the current Photoshop, can do useful things like read Raw-format image files and has a collection of tools which do things you actually might want to do.  The Astronomy Now articles give an astrophotography perspective which the other documentation doesn’t.




The user interface is less idiosyncratic than Photoshop’s, but still has some novelties which need explaining.  Now, in my time as a software developer I reckoned I spent about 33% of the programming effort writing the documentation / help system so I was pleased to see the extent of the facilities provided by AP both as conventional Help pages and online tutorials.

But AP still needs a bit more support.  I was wary of ‘the Book of the Software’ ever since I tried (unsuccessfully) to use Inside Pixinsight to penetrate that package.  Robin Whalley’s book Essential Affinity Photo is structured as a sequence of lessons, so you can’t dive into the middle of it, but the progression is quick and covers almost everything you need to know.

It also has a useful index which will put you in the right place quickly – essential when you hit the ‘What Do I Do Now?’ wall.

Affinity Photo is reviewed and described elsewhere, so all I’ll say is that it actually works -  it does what it says on the tin.



From the book, the most useful chapters cover:

·         The Develop Persona (handling RAW images)

·         The Export Persona

·         Working with layers

·         Adjusting Tones

·         Adjusting Colours

·         Sharpening and blurring with filters

I don’t really like the use of the term ‘Persona’ to describe a family of functions, but I can’t think of a better term.

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I have the Affinity suite and like the way they integrate I haven’t used it for Astro stuff but it is easier to use than Gimp and more powerful than other apps that don’t cost the earth. 

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I've been thinking about getting it too, as i'm a Mac user, but it would be a big learning curve.

It makes more sense at £23.99 anyway.


Nik Szymanek who has been reviewing it in 'Astronomy Now' seems to like it.....?

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This s/w is excellent, I prefer it to PS, the UI is gorgeous and I've yet to find something PS can do that this can't at least in the subset of functionality I use for processing. I still use PI for 90% of the processing but I'll be touching things up in this from now on.


Thanks to Bryan for alerting us to this and at the special price of £23 it's beyond a bargain. Bye bye PS.

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Does it do the astro stuff like gradient removal, colour stretching, filtering and deconvolution or do you still need more astro dedicated software like PI to do those?

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8 hours ago, Clive said:

Does it do the astro stuff like gradient removal, colour stretching, filtering and deconvolution or do you still need more astro dedicated software like PI to do those?

Not sure about the gradient removal, but it does the rest.  However everybody will have their own preferred workflows, so the best thing to do is download the free trial and see if it works for you.

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