get started with affinity photo

Getting Started with Affinity Photo

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If you have recently purchased Affinity Photo or are thinking of doing so our beginners guide to this impressive image processing application will get you up to speed fast.

Affinity Photo sits neatly between the expensive image processing behemoth that is Photoshop and the free open-source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), in that the app is not too expensive but not short on features either.

Affinity Photo is published by Serif and is part of the Affinity Trinity of programs that also includes Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, applications which are in direct competition with Adobe’s Photoshop, Illustrator and In-Design respectively.

Affinity Photo vs Photoshop

which is better?

Affinity Photo was initially released on the 9th of July 2015 for macOS with a Windows version appearing almost a year later. From its early inception, Serif’s image processing app was touted as being a viable alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop, so has it lived up to the hype?

From a personal perspective, I was initially attracted to Affinity Photo because I didn’t want to be tied to a monthly rolling subscription, as is the case with Adobe Photoshop, now roughly £10 in the UK or $10 per month in the US might not sound too bad, however, paying this year in year out, in my opinion, is not cost-effective and I would rather own my software outright, as is the case with Affinity Photo.

As for features, I am not a power user, I mainly use AP for retouching Photographs and 3D renders, photobashing, digital painting and designing images for websites, including the Graphic Assembly, so most of the images you see here have probably passed through Affinity Photo at some point, even if it’s just for resizing.

As I haven’t used Photoshop in a number of years now I can’t really give an opinion on whether you should switch from Adobe’s flagship to Affinity’s new kid on the block but maybe you will find the following videos useful.

The Best Photoshop Alternative 2020

Rens van Daalen is a digital artist from the Netherlands with a passion for photo manipulation.

Here he explains why he made the switch from Adobe Photoshop to Affinity Photo.

Be sure to check out Rens awesome Affinity tutorials on YouTube

Why I Like Affinity Photo More than PhotoShop

Artist and designer Dave Conrey gives his ten top reasons why he jumped ship from Adobe Photoshop to Affinity Photo.

Highlighting the things that Dave believes Affinity Photo does better than its arch-rival.

Check out Daves art at

Affinity Photo Workbook

the official guide for Windows and macOS

affinity photo workbook

A great place to start learning Affinity Photo is by purchasing the official guide book.

Full of easy to follow tutorials suitable for digital artists, photographers and hobbyists, covering the fundamentals of image processing up to more advanced subjects such as batch processing and custom macros.

A handy pull out keyboard short cut sheet for both macOS and Windows completes this well thought out manual.

Be warned though the book, gorgeous as it is, costs almost as much as the application itself, which just goes to show how affordable this image processing app actually is.

Affinity Photo Tutorials

learn image processing online

affinity photo beginners tutorial
Play Video

Affinity Photo Basics in 15 Minutes

If you are completely new to image processing programs and Affinity Photo in particular, then this short fifteen-minute video will get you acquainted with the basic tools that you will need for photo editing and image creation.

Learn the intricacies of the Affinity Photo interface and get to grips with Serifs unique persona modules.

A superb, easy to follow introduction for beginners.


affinity photo compositing tutorial
Play Video

Affinity Photo Quick Compositing

Combining several images into one, photocomposition is an essential skill to learn if you want to master Affinity Photo.

Let Affinity maestro James Ritson walk you through the entire process of creating convincing new images from existing photographs.

Learn basic selections, masks and how to blend images together like a professional.

digital painting tutorial
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Digital Painting with Affinity Photo

Not only is Affinity Photo a great investment for photographers, with its wealth of image processing and manipulation tools but just like its arch-rival Photoshop, it is also a great choice for digital artists.

In this highly informative painting tutorial, digital artist Paolo Limoncelli reveals his entire painting method from initial concept and sketch through to colouring, texturing and finished watercolour type digital painting.

Affinity Photo Resources

get the most out of Affinity Photo

Once you have mastered the basics of Affinity Photo it is important to realise that there is a wealth of resources and assets available to the digital photographer and artist, created by the industrious Affinity community, that will prove to be extremely helpful in your artistic endeavours.

Brushes, texture packs and special effects are all available, to take your artistry from mediocre to exceptional.

affinity photo official resources

Affinity Official Resource Shop

The official Affinity Store is a great place to start if you are looking for professional-grade brushes, fonts and overlays that will make your creations pop.

Check out Christi’s Comix Toolbox and the amazing Vintage Font Bundle by Tobias Saul as well as so many other creative goodies on offer.

frankentoon studio affinity resources

Frankentoon Studio

Frankentoon Studio has been around since 2016, the brainchild of South American illustrator and graphic designer Enrique Figueroa.

Providing digital artists with incredible brush packs, cool digital resources and awesome tutorials, both free and paid, Frankentoon Studio is well worth checking out.

Affinity Trinity Asset Manager - Easy Guide

for Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer & Affinity Publisher

affinity asset manager
Play Video

The more you use Affinity Photo the more you will build up a number of reusable assets and keeping track of these assets is easier than you think, thanks to Affinity’s built-in asset manager.

Olivio Sarikas is a professional designer from Vienna in Austria and an avid user of Serif’s Affinity products.

In this enlightening tutorial, Olivio guides you through how to use the asset manager to build a special effects library.

Check out Olivio’s brushes, luts and designs for Affinity here.

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