Verdict: 4.5 stars Affinity Photo 2 is not a huge leap forward from version 1 for photographers, but more a major refresh and rebranding for Affinity. It remains an extremely powerful professional Photoshop rival at an exceptionally low price. Its tone mapping is superb, its RAW processing can now be applied non-destructively and its central Photo personal is hugely powerful.
Layers and layer types
Layers come in a couple of different types. There are the image layers we're all used to from all those Photoshop manipulations we've seen countless times, but there are also adjustment and/or effects layers used to change the appearance of a photo rather than combining it with another one.
Photoshop is not the only tool for combining image layers. ON1 Photo RAW does it rather well and Skylum Luminar can combine image layers too.
Adjustment/effect layers are the province of non-destructive image editing tools like Capture One Pro, ON1 Photo RAW, Alien Skin Exposure X and others (regular image-editors like Photoshop and Affinity Photo have them too). The underlying image remains unaltered, and the adjustment layer simply changes its appearance. You can add multiple adjustment layers and used masks to control the areas of they affect. You can change the settings for adjustment layers or removing them completely at any time, right up to the point when you export a final, finished image for sharing or printing.
Lightroom vs Photoshop: which program should you use and when?
Lightroom vs Photoshop, which is best? It’s not that simple, as anyone who uses them will know, because although there is some crossover (well, a lot of crossover), they have very different roles and very different strengths and weaknesses. One is not better than the other because it depends on what you want to do. […]
The power of adjustment layers and masks
Adjustment layers started out in Photoshop as a way of altering the look of an image without actually changing its pixels. It was the start of non-destructive editing. Now, adjustment layers are everywhere, not just in Photoshop, and for me they are the key to successful image enhancements. There’s a second factor, though – layer […]
How to use layers, blend modes and masking tools in Luminar 3/4
This tutorial shows how to use the powerful layers, blend modes and masking tools in Luminar 2018, but actually the same principles can be used in other image-editing programs which support image layers. I’m going to start with a perfectly pleasant lakeside travel shot and give it a more dramatic Game of Thrones look by […]
How to add a new sky to a landscape without selections
Very often in landscape photography you get the landscape or the lighting you want, but not the sky. In the perfect world you’d keep going back again and again until everything was perfect. In our not-so-perfect-world, however, it’s sometimes useful to be able to add a new sky later, as the final touch to an […]