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Everything posted by alecspra

  1. Thanks so much for the LAB technique to convert a picture to B&W. I tried it and the limitation I see with it, is that once you clear the color Channels, you can't use the B&W, HSL or White Balance adjustments to further tweak the image. In other words there is less flexibility. You can change the tonality using Curves but you can't change the relationships between different tones, like you can with the other method. I also tried comparing the same approach in LAB that I use when working in RGB (using the B&W adj + HSL), and it seems to give very similar results, at least visually. I am just wondering if, from a technical perspective, there is any difference worth considering, between working in either color space, specifically for doing what I just described.
  2. Hi, I am still trying to figure out what is the most flexible and powerful method for converting and editing color images in B&W. For the most part, I have been working in RGB, using the B&W adjustment and further tweaking the image with an HSL and sometimes a White Balance adjustment, both placed underneath the B&W layer. It works great. But now I am experimenting doing the same thing in LAB. I don't quite understand if I should use the same approach as I do in RGB (described above) and whether the B&W and HSL adjustments work in the same way in LAB as they do in RGB. Or if there is a better way of doing the conversion and editing when working in LAB (by better I mean more flexible and powerful). I would appreciate any insights you can share on this topic.
  3. In the video "Affinity Photo - Uplift Epic Skies (1.6 Bonus Content)" James repeatedly clicks something that brings up a small Finder screen that floats over Affinity Photo. From there he is able to move flies from the Finder screen to AP. I found that very useful but I have been unable to replicate it on my Mac. Attached below is a screen shot. How does he do that? Is that a shortcut that needs to be programmed within AP or is it a Mac Keyboard Shortcut? If anyone knows the answer, it would be much appreciated!
  4. Hi, I am curious as to which tool do you find most useful for colorizing an original black and white picture. I have used the paint brush (in colour mode) as well as the color replacement brush. By the way, is there any benefit of using one versus the other? And I have also tried using the Recolor adjustment layer then inverting the layer and painting back in the areas I want to colorize. That is my favorite method so far. Do you know of other effective ways of doing the same thing? Any recommendations or suggestions? Thanks!
  5. Hi, is there a way to modify the angle of an Elliptical Gradient? I know that in Photoshop there is an option for modifying the angle of that tool but I don't see such an option in Affinity Photo. I have also tried playing around with the gradient lines but nothing I do affects the angle of the gradient. Thanks!
  6. Thanks MEB. I will try that. But why does the Gradient tool behave differently with a Fill layer instead of a Pixel Layer?
  7. I don't quite understand the behavior of the Gradient tool. I know what it is for and how to use. The problem I have with it is that if I click outside the image or on another layer before I have finished working with the Gradient, there is no way to bring it back so that I can continue making adjustments. Which means I have to be very careful when I use it. At least with some other destructive adjustments, you have to click on Apply before the changes become final, but in this case there is no such a thing. Am I missing something? Is there a way that i am not aware of to bring back the gradient tool if I happen to click outside the image or on another layer by mistake before I am done with it? Thanks!
  8. I have been using the Tone Map Persona to see what it does with a variety of pictures. I have also watched all the great AP videos on HDR and Raw Development more than once. For the most part, I like the results for both color and black and white, especially if I use the local contrast conservatively. I understand the benefits of using tone mapping for HDR images based on bracketed exposures. What I still don't understand is what is the difference between tone mapping a single image (starting from a Raw file) vs using various adjustment layers in both the Develop and Photo Persona. In other words, - Can I theoretically achieve the same results if I tinker with various adjustments than I would if I tone map a single image after doing some basic prep work in Develop first? - Can Tone mapping a single image be considered a kind of short-cut to get particular results faster than going the other route? - What are the trade-offs of using Tone Mapping (besides more noise) vs using the "traditional" workflow of Develop + Photo? - For which types of single images does Tone mapping work best and for which one it does not do as well? - Should I make different adjustments when I edit a single image in Raw, if my next step is tone mapping vs going directly into Photo persona? Any clarification on these questions would be most welcome. Thank you!
  9. Ok, thanks pkasmier I will try that! As an aside, I sort of like the fact that Affinity Photo requires more tinkering than other editing programs that provide more shortcuts. Personally, I don't make a living from my photographs and I can afford the luxury of taking my time to edit them. Plus, I enjoy the editing process itself. I find it quite creative and rewarding. Having said that, i certainly would not mind having a Structure slider in the photo persona that does what you suggested. At least you have the option of using it or not.
  10. I found this article (link below) for Lightroom but it can be applied partially to AP, that explains how to use Clarity filter to add texture, which for practical purposes might be the same as structure. I suppose you can ge a similar effect by using the Unsharp filter with the radius all the way up and blend mode Lighten to increase sharpness and contrast between light and midtones, and/or the Unsharp filter with the radius all the way up and blend mode Darken to increase sharpness and contrast between dark and midtones. Then tone down the effect with the Radius or Opacity slider. It would be interesting to do a side by side comparison of the same picture, using various approaches (including Tone mapping a single image) to increase Structure and see what different results you get. I am probably too lazy to do it but if someone is willing to try it, please let me (and us) know what you learn! https://digital-photography-school.com/four-ways-improve-photos-clarity-slider-lightroom/
  11. One more comment before leaving this thread. I have been experimenting using Tone Mapping with clouds (especially storm clouds). It does wonders with the texture of clouds!
  12. That makes sense. I am always amazed at how much there is to learn! Thanks.
  13. Thanks so much for your considerate responses. I really do appreciate the time you took to help out. I appreciate the comments regarding what to do in Raw before moving on to Photo or Tone mapping. The most important thing I am taking away from this thread so far, outside of the fact that much of it is a matter of personal taste and preferences, is that the only feature of tone mapping that cannot be easily (or not at all) replicated by other means, is increasing micro-contrast, which looks like expanding the dynamic range but it is not exactly that (especially if it is not an HDR image to start with made up of several bracketed exposures). I did notice however on the AP videos regarding HDR, that James suggested making the image pretty flat before moving on to tone mapping. That sort of matches my experience. When I have tried bringing an image to Tone mapping that I had previously sharpened and adjusted somewhat with a tone curve in the Develop persona, it made the Tone Mapping effect more pronounced and difficult to control. On the other hand, if I brought that same image from Raw to Photo persona, the adjustments I did while in Raw caused no problems at all. So, it would seem that the prep for tone mapping from Raw is slightly different from the prep for Photo from Raw. What do you think? Is it a fantasy to hope that AP could add a "micro-contrast adjustment" directly into the Raw Persona, that way you don't need to go through Tone mapping if that is the only adjustment you are interested for a particular image?
  14. Thanks for your response. I did look at the link you provided. which was very informative. If you don't mind, I still have an additional question, related to my previous last question. What are the specific adjustments that one should do when developing a Raw image in the Develop Persona, if the next step is Tone mapping vs going directly into Photo Persona. For instance, if I am in the Develop Persona, should I make the Raw image as flat as possible and don't do any detail enhancement if I am going to tone map it afterwards, vs trying to improve detail, contrast, etc if my next step is the Photo Persona? Thanks! :-)
  15. What is the function of the "monochromatic" option that you find in several Affinity Photo filters? I have heard that "it is important" in several videos but I haven't heard what it does exactly. Therefore, I don't know when I should I use or not use it. I gather from the examples I have seen that it can be used with color images images and that it is not necessarily for B&W images as the name of the option may lead one to assume. Thanks!
  16. Hi, the tone mapping presets disappeared from the tone mapping persona. They used to pop up automatically when I selected tone mapping but now I can't find them and I don't know how to turn them back on! Maybe I did something to turn them off involuntarily but I can't figure out what it was. Please help! Thanks!
  17. Hi, the tone mapping presets disappeared from the tone mapping persona. They used to pop up automatically when I selected tone mapping but now I can't find them and I don't know how to turn them back on! I must have done something to turn them off involuntarily but I can't figure out what it was. Please help! Thanks!
  18. Hi, since downloading AP 1.5 on my mac with os Sierra, I have not been able to retouch live filter layers, such as gaussian blur, etc. When I create a Gaussian blur live filter layer on top of a pixel layer and I try to use the paintbrush tool to remove or reduce the opacity of that layer, nothing happens. I used to be able to do that with no problems before.
  19. Hi Chris_K, Thanks! That settles it then. Congratulations on the great work you are doing with AP. Happy Holidays!
  20. Thank you guys! At this point, all I want to know is if it is "normal" to have to turn off the check box that says "protect alpha" in order to use the paint brush tool to remove areas of an adjustment layer or a live filter layer. (The opacity is not an issue because I tried it at 100%). I don't remember having to do that in the previous version of AP. In other words, I am not doing anything different than what I was doing before, and before I never encountered this situation. So, my question is: Is this a new feature that was added to AP 1.5., is this a software design flaw that needs to be corrected, or is it a weird behavior of AP that happens only if you are using OS Sierra on a Mac?