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About dmstraker

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  1. Hooray! Shadows and Highlights improved. Here's a quick test. Original photo with wide dynamic range: Shadows right up, Highlights right down on And on Much better, especially on Shadows. Thanks, folks! And, for reference, on ACR via Elements 15: Looks like Affinity Highlights doesn't go as far as ACR but Shadows goes further. Just as a further test, here's with Shadows at 30%.
  2. I've also found Affinity RAW management inadequate. I currenly use DxO as a front end. It would be helpful to see a serious review of all the current editors that provide RAW editing. eg. Adobe, Affinity, ON1, Luminar, AfterShot. Even the free RawTherapee. Affinity is by far my favourite layer editor. It will be great when it also overtakes the rest in front-end processing.
  3. Sometimes things just aren't working as you know they should be. Is it Affinity? Is it your computer? Possibly. But often it's a bit of missing knowledge. Here's a few checks I've picked up along the way: - Select pixel layer - Selection/deselect (ctrl-D) - Close open boxes - Ensure right colour selected (eg for mask painting) - Layer/rasterise - Check opacity (of brush, layer) - Check layers in right place (eg adjustment layers have different effect in different place) - Check blend mode - Check blend ranges - Wind back history and try last steps again - Ensure Affinity window selected - Look in help system (F1) - Search this forum (then post question) Any more? What do you check when things don't seem to be working?
  4. I ship books to the USA from the UK. I quote a minimum of two weeks, so any earlier deliveries are a nice surprise. The longest I've know a customer have to wait is six weeks.
  5. What is the technical difference between desaturating with HSL adjustment and using the Black and White adjustment? An example: Take Monet's 'Sunset in Venice': Now turn down the saturation to zero. This demonstrates a neat trick where the sun and background are the same luminosity, so desaturating colours makes the sun disappear. Now make it monochrome with the Black and White adjustment. The sun is now clearly still visible. So what is happening here that is different?
  6. Here's a novel way of detecting edges and creating a simple outline layer. Start with an image. Here's one taken in Kathmandu. If you do a 'detect edges' on it (Filters/Detect/Detect Edges), it looks like this: This can result in lots of little bits being selected too. What if you want to select less? One way is to use Levels or Threshold. Another approach is to go via blending. Duplicate layer and set Blend Mode: Hard Mix. This simplifies the picture. Now if you do a detect edges you get a simpler and slightly different set of lines. The result is similar to Detect Edges, but with a harder edge selection effect. Beyond this, you can Merge Down, Invert the layer, convert to b/w, do a Filters/Colours/Erase White Paper, play with Levels, Threshold, fx, Opacity, etc. Then you can use the line layer to darken, mask sharpening, etc. You can also replace the Hard Mix with other contrast-increasing blends, such as Colour Burn and LInear Light. You can also force a hard contrast with Levels, squeezing the black and white points close together. Even cranking up the basic contrast forces edges to be more distinct. Like many methods, it will work better on some images than others, and experimentation will help you figure out if and when you might use this.
  7. Darn. There's so much potential in macros. Fingers crossed for the next version, eh? Thanks, anyway, MEB.
  8. Is it possible to rename spare channels in a macro? Thanks!
  9. The colour panel is described on page 33. It is usually in the top right, in the set of tabs along with the histogram (which may be obscurimg it). If you can't see it, make sure the menu item View/Studio/Colour is checked.
  10. The perspective tool on left hand toolbar .
  11. Yes, export to file. Share with others and all that. You can do it with various other stuff, so I wondered if it might be possible with adjustment presets. Seems a reasonable thing to do. Hmm. adjustments.propcol file? There's one in C:/Users/<user>/AppData/Roaming/Affinity/Photo/1.0/user and one in C:/Program Files/Affinity/Affinity Photo/Resources/Affinity Photo. Neither an ASCII file so unreadable. \ | / -- sigh. -- / | \
  12. James' videos are an excellent way to learn. They are bite-sized and very helpful. I made notes on them here: I'd also recommend the built-in help manual (F1).
  13. First impressions of Affinity Photo Workbook, reading 100 pages and skipping the rest so I can post this reasonably quickly (I'm off to Venice tomorrow for the week): Overall delightfully produced and very readable. A bit big, so you'll need space next to your computer. Being hardback makes it durable, though a fold-back spiral bind could have made it easier for follow-along use. Ch1: Interface tour. Ok. Runs through menus, panels, etc. Some descriptions a bit obvious. Some terms could confuse beginners. Ch2: Core skills. Good for beginners with worked examples and downloadable files, though some may still find a few things tricky. I predict 'how do I do this' questions on the forum. Ch3: Enthusiast projects. This is where it gets good for me. Mostly by ace video-man James Ritson (you can hear him speaking!) with lots of good tips. Ch4: Commercial projects. More good tutorials, with downloadable files and tips. Ch5: Creative Effects and Techniques. Ditto. Extra: Pull-out card keyboard cheatsheets. Mac on one side, PC the other. Its nearly 500 pages are mostly (about 400) dedicated to 16 walk-through examples. It's called a workbook, not a manual, and it does what it says on the tin. I'm a moderately experienced user and found plenty to learn, so I'm a happy bunny. If you're a beginner, I'd skim chapter 1, work through chapter 2, then watch James Ritson's videos and get comfortable with the interface, then continue with the rest of the chapters. Or you could try the chapters and resort to the videos if you get stuck. Oh yes, and do make use of the excellent embedded help system (F1), which is a pretty comprehensive manual in itself. And of course ask the friendly folks in this forum. Could there be more? Yes, of course, but how many page would you need? Personally I'd appreciate a really detailed technical manual on everything, including Noddy explanations of technical terms, but this is something else. I'm still figuring stuff out myself and finding more in this forum. In all the ongoing learning, this book is a useful boost and, for me, is certainly worth the money.
  14. Here's a tweak I've just been playing with for working with adjustments. The general problem is that when you are applying an adjustment, you often don't want it to be applied as much in the darks and lights. For example here's a picture of my wife making coffee: Now if I add an HSL adjustment layer (Layer/New Adjustment Layer/HSL Adjustment) and slide up the Luminosity to make the picture lighter, it kind of goes hazy: A trick here is to use Blend Ranges. Click on the cogwheel in the bottom right corner of the HSL panel. Then drag both ends of the right-hand graph to the bottom. Uncheck the 'Linear' checkbox. Now grab the middle of the graph line and drag it up. This applies the adjustment more to the mid-tones and lets it drop off towards darks and lights. The result is much more pleasing. You can play with the shape of the curve (click and drag to add more points) as well as the adjustment. For example in the HSL panel you can drag up the Saturation to strengthen the colour. The same principle can be applied to any of the non-destructive adjustments. Isn't Affinity wonderful?
  15. Can you export/import adjustment presets? (as in Adjustment panel, next to Layers panel on the right)