Affinity Photo is trying to become a vastly less expensive rival to Adobe Photoshop, whilst maintaining a high-end feel. Books like the Affinity Photo Workbook will help that no end.
Published by Affinity’s makers, Serif, the Workbook is a hardbacked coffee-table sized tome of tutorials, showing you how to exploit the software’s many features. Officially it’s described as “16 photo-editing projects”, although that’s rather under-selling what’s on offer here, as each project is broken down into sub-tasks that are often useful in their own right.
The chapter on designing a book cover, for example, explains how to add fog to a scene, how to create an artificial torchlight beam, and how to add a texture to text – techniques that are useful even if (like me) you have no intention of designing a Waterstone’s bestseller.
As you’d hope from a company with its own design software, the Affinity Photo Workbook is beautifully presented with clear step-by-step instructions and with plenty of space for accompanying screenshots, which zoom in on the precise settings you need to tweak. No previous knowledge is assumed, and the opening chapters of the book explain the peculiarities of the Affinity Photo interface, including the awkward ‘personas’ for ‘developing’, ‘liquifying’ and ‘exporting’ images, which I think Serif is going to need to rethink if it really wants to take the fight to Adobe.
If you’re a Photoshop veteran and have never touched the £48.99 Affinity Photo before (note that’s £48.99 one-off, not fifty quid per month), then you’ve got everything here to help you find your way around this deeply impressive piece of software.
Serif hasn’t just slapped the tutorials on the page and left the reader to gawp at stunning results that are unachievable with their own photography, either. All of the assets for the tutorials – whether that be photos, textures or fonts – are available to download from the Serif website, which is a considerate touch. There are also tear-out sheets at the back of the book that show you the keyboard shortcuts for Mac/Windows, as well as other modifiers and layer controls.
All in, it’s not just a book, but a great set of resources. If you’ve been keeping one eye on Affinity Photo and wondering if it’s for you, this is a fine way to find out.
It’s available from Amazon for £39.99 using this link.