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Affinity Photo: Editing excellence

Posted on Mar 9, 2021

The addition of significant new tools in its recent v1.9 update makes Affinity Photo even more powerful, and that means more creative potential than ever before


Affinity Photo by Serif has long been a standout option in a sea of photo editing software. It’s designed well, it’s packed with powerful tools and, perhaps best of all, it’s free from ongoing subscriptions, making the full version for Windows and Mac a real steal at £48.99.

Recently, the brand has really outdone itself on functionality and price. The new v1.9 update has brought in even more features for photographers to enjoy. And in an effort to support creatives during the ongoing struggles of Covid-19, Affinity Photo is also currently available at a staggering 50% off, pricing the desktop versions at £23.99 and the iPad version at just £9.99. The numbers already suggest that there’s a good deal to be had, but it’s the software’s shiny, new toys that really add substance to that claim.

While Mac users have enjoyed optimal performance for a while, Microsoft users can rejoice at the inclusion of hardware acceleration. This uses a computer’s GPU devices to improve rendering performance considerably during demanding operations, such as compositing pixel layers, adjustment layers and live filters. The performance gains are huge and make workflow an undoubtedly smoother process.

Serif has also improved usability, thanks to the addition of studio presets. A wide range of the software’s highly customisable interface features can be saved as profiles, either to suit different users or to meet the needs of the varied disciplines within editing.

affinity photo layers
For greater creative control within multi-layered masterpieces, a wide range of blend modes are available, including the new Divide mode

Photography News Editor, Will Cheung, says: “Affinity Photo is a highly featured, powerful editing software for Windows, Mac and iPad. Just to pick a few highlights, Affinity Photo can process Raws, stitch panoramas, focus stack and HDR merge and has unlimited layers and smart object support. Photo also meshes seamlessly with its sister softwares, Designer and Publisher, and it’s a great price available for outright purchase. With its credentials, I feel its deserves extra recognition.”

One of Affinity Photo’s greatest draws has always been its non-destructive editing through the application of layers. In the latest version, linked layers can be used in all new ways. They can be duplicated or specific attributes of those layers can be unlinked – this is particularly of use in composite work or extremely fine-tuned edits. Conversely, unique attributes from completely unrelated layers can be linked and managed precisely as you wish.

Astrophotographers, who may have previously been reliant on dedicated software, can now use Affinity Photo v1.9 to handle their entire workflow. Deep sky images, including FITS and Raw file formats, can be stacked and further edits can be applied immediately after.

When stacking, hot or cold pixels are picked up automatically and column defects can be highlighted manually. There’s also a dedicated background removal filter, which is ideal for removing light pollution, sensor defects and more after tone stretching. All this is offered in 32-bit detail, no less.

It’s important to note that these new additions are only building upon what was already an extremely capable editing software. Through many past versions, it’s been a tool with photographers at its very heart, with all the necessary and traditional tools to raise a photographer’s work to new heights. Serif have also thought about the more experimental among us, with countless advanced yet uncomplicated ways to create an image you’re proud of.

Affinity Photo v1.9 is a free update for existing users. For newcomers, the ongoing deals mean there’s never been a better time to buy.

Find out more over on Affinity Photo’s website.

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