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.
Affinity Photo Workbook verdict
Tutorials and resources
Value for money
A glossy, coffee-table manual full of great tutorials and resources for photographers using the Photoshop rival
I just recently got back into photography. I’ve owned camera’s on and off for many years, but I never did much. Digital with it’s post processing software has really changed the game for me. It’s become more fun and very interesting. Cameras have come a long way too. Every few years a person can upgrade to a new camera that betters top of the line consumer cameras of a few years earlier for a modest price.
I have a XP-Pen Star G640 drawing tablet and Affinity Photo ( recently bought ) . I’ve mostly used Lightroom and Photoshop was priced out of my reach. Since they’ve decided to go to the cloud on a paid subscription, It’s even worse for people like myself, a hobbyists. Affinity Photo has brought everything back into perspective. I’ve limited my post processing to Lightroom which in itself is a very good program, but Affinity Photo opens ups a whole new world.
To say the least, I’m actually giddy about this software. It’s fantastic, especially given the price. I wish the developers well and hope they continue keeping the price within a realistic realm. As for Photoshop, I think they shot themselves in the foot on this one.