Skip to main content

Affinity Photo tutorials, tips and ideas: 26 full photo-editing tutorials with videos

Affinity Photo tutorials
(Image credit: James Paterson)

Here's where you can find descriptions and links to all 26 of our special Affinity Photo tutorials. Affinity Photo is one of three Affinity applications for photographers, designers and publishers, but with a key difference compared to the Adobe alternatives – you do not pay a subscription, and get the sofware to keep to use on your Windows PC or Mac. 

Instead, you pay a single one-off fee, just like the old days, and once you've paid for the license, it's yours. And at a cost of just $49.99, Affinity Photo (opens in new tab) is not only excellent value, but it is one of the best photo editing software available. Currently, however, it is being offered at half price - taking the cost down to an incredible $25 for a professional quality editing software. 

To help you get started with this editing program, we have produced a series of Affinity Photo tutorials – 26 step-by-step lessons, that were originally published in N-Photo magazine. Follow them each in turn – of just dip into the lessons that you want to learn from…

(opens in new tab)

1. Affinity Photo vs Photoshop (opens in new tab)
If you’re thinking about making the switch, there are a few similarities and differences between Photoshop and Affinity Photo worth bearing in mind. Here, we’ll look at some of the features, including some that can even outdo Photoshop…

(opens in new tab)

2. RAW editing with Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
The Raw editor in Affinity Photo is called the Develop Persona. When we open a Raw file it switches to this, but if you want to edit a JPEG, or any pixel layer in your document, you’re also able to open the Develop Persona and use the Raw tools within.

(opens in new tab)

3. How to focus merge with Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
When shooting close-up macro subjects, the depth of field will be very shallow and the plane of sharpness may only stretch a few millimeters across the subject – even when using narrower apertures. So it can be a struggle to record a sharp close-up image from front to back. This is when you focus stacking. This involves taking a series of shots at different focus distances, using a tripod-mounted camera, and merge them together in Affinity Photo.

(opens in new tab)

4. Sky replacement in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Like Photoshop, one of the biggest benefits of using Affinity Photo is the layers feature. Layers enable you to combine a range of images and effects to completely transform the look of your photos. We can even change day to night. In this tutorial we’ll look at how this is done with a simple combination of layer skills. 

(opens in new tab)

5. Get the moody monochrome look in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
There are several ways to convert to monochrome in Affinity Photo, but the two most useful methods both offer crucial control over the brightness of different colours during the conversion. One of these is the Black & White adjustment layer, which is found within the Photo Persona. The other is the Black & White panel within the Develop Persona. Both offer a similar set of colour sliders that let you fine-tune the look of the black and white by, say, darkening a blue sky or lightening foliage. 

(opens in new tab)

6. Six tips to enhance a landscape in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
When it comes to editing landscapes, judgement is the most important tool in your image-editing arsenal. We should ask ourselves whether anything in particular needs addressing – is the exposure right? Does the scene need more or less contrast? Would a color boost benefit the image, or perhaps a black-and-white treatment? These judgement calls have more to do with answering these questions than expertise in any one specific editing tool, but it still pays to know the best tools for the job, and there are plenty to choose from in Affinity.

(opens in new tab)

7. Reveal your true colors in Affinity Photo! (opens in new tab)
Affinity Photo offers an array of excellent color correcting tools. In this tutorial we’ll look at some of the best options, from simple white balance adjustments to powerful selective color tweaks. Along the way we’ll encounter many of the most useful color tools and settings in Affinity Photo. Whether you have a photo with a color cast, a portrait with unnatural skin tones, or a color temperature mismatch, the techniques described here are sure to help.

(opens in new tab)

8. Master Live Filters in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
When it comes to applying filters in Affinity Photo you have two options – you can either add the effect directly to a pixel layer, or you can instead use the clever live filter feature. Rather than altering the pixels on a layer, this instead places the filter effect on a separate layer. It not only means the filter remains editable, but also affords you all the benefits of working with layers. So you can mask the effect to make it selective, alter the opacity to tone it down, or change the blending mode, if you decide to. 

(opens in new tab)

9. Get the wet plate look in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Affinity Photo offers an array of powerful image blending features that allow us to add a custom-made border, then apply textures and toning effects to finish things off. In this tutorial we’ll explain how it’s done and we’ll create a vintage wet plate effect using a combination of pictures.

(opens in new tab)

10. Clean up backgrounds in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Sometimes a photo-worthy moment happens so quickly that it’s near impossible to compose the frame properly, like when a great white pelican suddenly appears next to your boat, so a messy, distracting backdrop is often hard to avoid. But we can remove distractions like this with simple retouching tools in Affinity Photo.

(opens in new tab)

11. Paint an abstract portrait in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Brushes in Affinity Photo go far beyond the standard circular brush most of us are probably familiar with. In some ways they even surpass what can be done in Photoshop. Here, we use Brushes to create an amazing abstract effect.

(opens in new tab)

12. Clean up skin the easy way in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Affinity Photo offers a host of useful tools for portrait retouching. The healing and clone tools are ideal for removing marks and imperfections, while the tonal tools on offer make it easy to boost tones and add impact to the eyes of a subject. 

(opens in new tab)

13. Create vibrant HDR images in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
The HDR tools in Affinity Photo allow you to merge a set of three or more bracketed exposures to create an image with an expanded dynamic range – perfect for retaining detail in high-contrast scenes, like our costal landscape.

(opens in new tab)

14. How to replace a lacklustre sky in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Whether you want to drop in a new sky to improve a landscape or blend two shots, Affinity has excellent tools for compositing images. The first stage in any compositing project is to isolate part of an image, like our sky. This is a complicated shape, and selecting it freehand could take hours. But, thankfully, Affinity has a tool that does it in seconds.

(opens in new tab)

15. How to create a double exposure effect in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Layer blending modes are fun and very easy to get to grips with. They work by combining the pixels on one layer with those on the layers below. So by dropping one image on top of another, then changing the blending mode, we can begin to merge two or more images in all kinds of creative ways.

(opens in new tab)

16. How to reduce noise in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
With simple controls and good results, Affinity’s Denoise command can improve even terribly noisy photos, like this low-light portrait, which was shot at ISO 22,800.

(opens in new tab)

17. Essential retouching techniques in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Remove blemishes, soften skin and enhance tones with Affinity Photo’s retouching tools

(opens in new tab)

18. Restore old family portraits in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
We show you how to repair, tidy and hand-color a faded vintage print in Affinity Photo

(opens in new tab)

19. Change your clothes in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Swap the colour of clothes and add patterns with selections and masks in Affinity Photo

(opens in new tab)

20. Create super-charged sunsets in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Give dull sunset colors a boost using Affinity Photo’s powerful Channel Mixer

(opens in new tab)

21. Fix faces with a flourish in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Transform a portrait into a series of swirls with simple masks and shadows in Affinity Photo with this abstract editing effect

(opens in new tab)

22. Get creative with composites in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Learn how to use key montaging skills and craft incredible composite images with ease with Affinity Photo

(opens in new tab)

23. Liquify faces with Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
How to use the Liquify Persona in Affinity Photo to transform a portrait into an exaggerated caricature

(opens in new tab)

24. Make a tropical composite in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Remove a dull, distracting background and drop in a lush replacement using Affinity Photo

(opens in new tab)

25. Let it snow in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Create a snow brush in Affinity Photo and transform a photo into a winter wonderland

(opens in new tab)

25. Create a surreal album cover in Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)
Recreate classic conceptual album art while demonstrating key compositing skills in Affinity Photo, based on the style of artist artist Storm Thorgerson

Read more:
• Photography tips (opens in new tab) and tutorial videos
The best photo editing tools and accessories (opens in new tab)
• The best desktop computers for photo editing
• The best photo-editing laptops (opens in new tab) right now
The best photo editing software (opens in new tab) today

About N-Photo magazine

This series of Affinity Photo tutorials originally appeared in N-Photo, the monthly newsstand magazine for Nikon photographers. Why not subscribe (opens in new tab) to a print edition, and have the magazine delivered direct to your door every month?

Alternatively, we have a number of different digital options available, including:

• Apple app (opens in new tab) (for iPad or iPhone)
• Zinio app (opens in new tab) (multi-platform app for desktop or smartphone)
• Google Play (opens in new tab) (for Android devices)
• Readly (opens in new tab) (all-you-can-eat digital magazine subscription service)

If you wanted a printed version of any of our most recent issues we have a selection of back issues (opens in new tab) to choose from in our online store.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Rod Lawton
Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.