Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Granddaddy

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Those wanting to increase resolution of a photo to reduce pixelation by following the procedure mentioned above by @R C-R will find it helpful to watch the Affinity Revolution tutorial How to Increase Resolution - Affinity Photo Tutorial
  2. Your interest in correct grammar and spelling leads me to think you would be interested in the writings of the late Richard Mitchell, The Underground Grammarian. All of Mitchell's works are available at https://sourcetext.com/grammarian/. His books about academe are hilarious. As he concludes in "Why Good Grammar?": ""Good grammar," in the fullest sense of the term, is neither an embellishment nor an accessory to anything else. It is the Law by which meaning is found and made. It may be, of course, that a good "education" ought to provide something more, but it is preposterous, perhaps even wicked, to suggest that it can be had with anything less." https://sourcetext.com/why-good-grammar/ And for those who ridicule those concerned with good grammar and proper speech we need only point to Ben Johnson who wrote: Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune, whose words do jarre; Nor his reason in frame, whose sentence is preposterous; - Ben Johnson, Discoveries, 1641 And to bring our discussion back to Affinity Photo, we should note that it is attention to correct details and proper form that is the essence of good photo editing just as that attention is the foundation for good photo editing.
  3. Thank you for pointing out my spelling error. It led me to investigate further. I learned that "minUscule" with a "U" is true to the Latin origins of the word. It is the accepted correct spelling. From https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/spelling/minuscule-or-miniscule I learned that this is a word undergoing a spelling change. The "I" spelling "minIscule" now makes up about 52% of the use of the word in all sources. This newer spelling with an "I" appears in publications ranging from a newspaper in @Alfred's home country to scientific journal usage. The "I" spelling first appeared at the end of the 19th century (before even I was born). It became more popular in the 1940's and some dictionaries now list it as an accepted variant spelling. See https://www.grammarly.com/blog/minuscule-or-miniscule/ . In the Affinity forums I find that "miniscule" has been used 11 times in posts, while "minuscule" has been used 32 times. Thus, the "I" spelling has been used in 25% of the posts using the word (though I did not search for other variants). Compare this frequency to that in the usage frequency chart in https://writingexplained.org/miniscule-or-minuscule-spelling Since the tiny fonts used by Affinity Photo are frequently discussed as being a problem for users, I would have thought "minuscule" or "miniscule" would be more popular adjectives among contributors to the forums. Still, the "I" spelling is considered an error by those empowered to make such decisions. Indeed, it is flagged as an error by the forum spellchecker as I type this. One needs to be alert to the red underline indicating spelling errors. I shall leave my incorrect spelling unedited in my previous post above so as to provide context for @Alfred's and my comments.
  4. See my post elsewhere for details about what font elements you can change using Windows 1809 Ease-OF-Access settings.
  5. In Windows you cannot change the Affinity Photo icon size without scaling the entire screen. Neither can you change the font size for text labels. See my post for more details about what font elements can be changed using the new settings in Windows 10 version 1809. We can hope that someday Affinity Photo will make itself more user friendly for those with high resolution monitors and/or aging eyes. For now, as my late mother used to say, "You just have to put up with it I guess."
  6. What I see in Windows 10 version 1809 using the Windows 10 Settings/Ease-of-Access/Display/Make-text-bigger slider is that text labels in the Studio Panels are NOT affected. They all are stuck with the Affinity Miniscule font (as I call it). But many other text elements in Affinity Photo can be enlarged using the Win10 slider that enlarges Windows system fonts. You will get larger fonts in Affinity Photo's Menu Bar, Toolbar, Context Toolbar, Tools Panel, and Status Bar. In addition, menu items in the dialog boxes or panels that control individual Adjustments (for instance Levels) are affected by the Windows text slider. The pop-up menus such as the list of Adjustments or Live Filters that appear when you click the icons at the bottom of the Layers Panel also respond to the Win10 system font slider. Also, the text Hints that pop up when you hover the mouse pointer over tool icons on the Toolbar and the Tools Panel are affected by the slider. I have my Win10 text slider set for 120%. If I set it to 200% and maximize the Affinity window, then the Status Bar text gets slightly clipped at the bottom. I continue to hope for some improvements to the Affinity Photo user interface, but Serif seems primarily interested in other markets and has let Affinity Photo languish for the past year or so. Perhaps users of the Beta version have a different view of progress. I've read in these forums about a couple of good improvements that might make it into version 1.7 affecting the HSL adjustment and the Perlin Noise filter that might finally generate more than one pattern, but I'll not try the beta given that Affinity makes no promises about the future usability of .afphoto files saved by the beta.
  7. People frequently ask in these forums how Affinity Photo compares to other photo editors. The best way to find out is to try the editors for yourself. I learned more than 30 years ago never to argue which is best with anyone already committed to a particular piece of software. Once committed to a software package, someone needs a compelling reason to change to something else. For those looking to change their software or to begin photo editing for the first time, PCMag.com on March 7, 2019, published a review of the "best photo editors for 2019" at https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/254618/the-best-photo-editing-software Perhaps it is needless to say that Affinity Photo does not get mentioned except in the comments of readers, one of whom suggests adding Affinity Photo to the list. Strangely, that comment is dated one month before the publication date on the article itself. How PCMag.com manages to do that I leave as speculation for my readers. The table of features confuses monthly subscription costs with one-time purchase prices, but that misrepresentation has been common in PCMag.com for a long time. PCMag.com gave a "full" review of Affinity Photo on February 13, 2019, at https://www.pcmag.com/review/366399/serif-affinity-photo . They ranked AP only Good, with three stars out of five. The author of the review says that Affinity Photo is not truly non-destructive unless you export to the afphoto file format. That criticism does not even rise to the level of being wrong. Having used three of the "top" photo editors myself, I can say that I personally found compelling reasons to switch to Affinity Photo about 16 months ago. I haven't used the others since, in part because one or more of them lack features included in Affinity Photo. But then I'm just an old granddaddy with some 25,000 digital photos plus nearly 6,000 scanned 35mm slides plus several hundred scans of paper photos that date back more than 100 years. I realize from reading these forums regularly that professionals have needs I don't even understand.
  8. Granddaddy

    Recovering memories, gifting friends

    Thanks LyricsGirl, for your kind remarks. I think the original photo, taken around 1900, was B&W, or sepia or whatever monochrome system they had back then. Do you mean I should not have converted my scan to B&W as the first step? It's impossible for me to know what happened to bring this photo to its current deplorable condition over the past nearly 120 years. My friend at age 98 seems to have little memory of what it looked like when she was younger. I'm not even sure when she came into possession of the photo. I see you are in Australia, whereas I am in Virginia (USA). I love these forums that bring together people from all over the world.
  9. Granddaddy

    Recovering memories, gifting friends

    Thanks, Wosven. As for loss of detail, it's hard to tell sometimes what some of the clothing looked like nearly 120 years ago given all the speckles and scratches and spots and streaks on the original photo. These blemishes are not visible in the small samples I posted even when blown up as those samples simply lack the resolution of the original. As you noticed, some of the whiter blouses are a bit blown out in the interest of bringing out some details in the darker parts of the photo. Printed at 5x7, as was the original, the photo looks quite presentable, which was my modest goal. Our friend hadn't realized until seeing this restoration that there is a dog lying across the laps of two boys in the front row. Zooming to 200% on screen, the 4007x 2862 pixel image shows a lot of speckling and scratches on peoples faces and clothes that a professional perfectionist might work on for hours, assuming there was some purpose to be served by that further work. I posted this mostly to encourage other amateur beginners who have posted questions in these forums and who seemed somewhat reluctant to plunge in and just give it a try. It is relatively simple with Affinity Photo to recover memories that at first might seem totally lost. The friends I've done such work for have been delighted and very thankful. Working non-destructively is especially helpful for amateurs like myself who cannot visualize in advance the effects of their transformations, but who now have the ability to back up and readjust, or to extend their initial efforts further in the future should that be desired.
  10. Our 98-year-old friend Mildred proudly showed us a 5" x 7"photo of her father standing with his pupils outside his schoolhouse in southwest Virginia around 1900. Details were a bit hard to make out. (I'm posting only small images here because the photos are not my own, but you'll get the idea.) Having recently started using Affinity Photo, I was looking for a project to test it. So I asked if I could borrow the photo in hopes of making it more presentable. For those who haven't done this sort of thing but would like to try, here's a brief summary of tools used.: 1.) duplicate the photo and work only on the duplicate 2.) crop to remove bad edges 3.) convert to B&W 4.) levels adjustment to improve brightness and contrast overall 5.) inpainting brush tool to repair creases, remove most of the tree on the left as it added little to the photo, smooth the badly mottled sky, and fix damage or distracting details in dirt in front of children 6.) clone brush tool to fill in part of the schoolhouse and to fill breaks in the branches of trees on the right 7.) quick masks to make selections over the several long faded streaks (water damage?) across various parts of the photo 8.) levels and/or brightness adjustments to adjust the selected washed out streaks 9.) copy, flip, then paste the teachers left eye where the right eye was badly damaged. (I am definitely not an artist who could draw details into the badly damaged face) 10.) make final adjustments using brightness, levels, and/or curves on entire image 11.) frame text tool to insert caption for the scene in foreground (not shown) Most of this was done non-destructively by painting on a new pixel layer with the clone brush or inpainting brush set to sample layers below. I'd do it a lot more systematically and non-destructively now that I've had several months of practice using Affinity Photo and have watched many more videos both from Affinity and from several other sources. The end result was a B&W 5" x 7" photo framed on a table top. Hardly anything is more enjoyable than fixing an old photo for a friend.
  11. Recently I scanned into six parts a 36" x 8" black & white photo that shows 110 people standing in front of their factory building in 1944. Affinity Photo easily stitched the six scans into a single image. I cannot detect any seams or distortions anywhere in the photo. The people's faces all are clear and sharp. I just have a Canon 9000F flatbed scanner that has a width of only 8-1/2". Thus, I had to make several scans across the full width of the photo. I worried about the scanner lid not closing tightly because of the thick photo paper hanging out of each side of the scanner, which has a raised bezel around the platen. I guess the scanner's depth of field is great enough to avoid any problems because the edges of each individual scan are sharp and undistorted. I was more than satisfied with Affinity Photo's stitching and the ease with which it was done. My biggest problem was uncurling the heavy-weight photo paper that had been tightly rolled in a mailing tube for the past 75 years. I also scanned into six parts a large school diploma from 1933. In this case I had to divide the document into three scans across the top of the document and three across the bottom. Again Affinity Photo stitched them perfectly. I cannot see any seams or distortions anywhere in the final image. The fine print, fancy lettering, complex border and even the wrinkles in the paper are all reproduced beautifully.
  12. The videos about refining selections to extract a subject from a background always seem to use a photo taken with a $3,000 camera with studio lighting on a subject that contrasts sharply with the perfectly uniform and sharply contrasting background. An amateur like myself is using a $300 camera to photograph 10 family members ranging from a babe in arms to an aged grandfather all standing against a beige wall made available by dragging the couch to the middle of the room with the camera on a tripod using the self-timer so the aged grandfather can trot across the room and get into the picture before the on-camera flash fires thereby casting a shadow on the background wall and with everyone dispersing after two or three shots are taken because the Thanksgiving turkey is waiting on the table. My experience with such photos is that the Refine Selection tool does not do a very good job of selecting blonde hair against the beige wall or brown shoes against the dark brown floor. Nor does it do a great job extracting subjects standing against white vertical blinds where the vertical stripes between the blinds get confused with the black pants of the subjects. So I've not found Refine Selection to be nearly so useful as it appears to be in the videos I've seen. Under such conditions I have been very successful in making 8x10 prints of what looks to me like studio portraits by doing the following: 1.) Make a pretty good manual selection of the subjects by any means you prefer, whether selection brush, free hand selection, etc. 2.) Refine Selection 3.) Output selection to a mask 4.) Clean up the mask and adjust its edges to conform to the edges wanted for the selection. That requires human judgement to deal with the camera noise along the edges, the halo of shadow cast by the flash, and lack of contrast between items such as brown shoes against a dark brown floor or a beige sweater against a beige wall and further complicated by shadows cast by the on-camera flash so that the subjects and their clothing are not uniformly lit. Painting on the mask with either a white or a black brush eventually allows me to produce a good selection for my modest purposes despite the lack of contrast between the subject and the background I'm trying to extract the subject from. 5.) Create a suitable backdrop layer against which your subject will be displayed. I've constructed such backgrounds using the Perlin Noise filter acting on a pixel layer along with blurs and a live lighting filter. A live Lighting Filter, perhaps with multiple sources, can really enhance that backdrop layer to set off the subjects. These are all non-destructive procedures, with the exception of the Perlin noise filter used to create the backdrop. Thus you can return again and again to adjust lighting of the background or of the subjects or to adjust the outline of the subjects. For learning more about using masks, I can especially recommend the twelve video tutorials by Inaffinity at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0YyTWKOid7FRL8tCnGUyUp7DsTNITOzs I was also helped by the Refining Selections video by Affinicasts at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S61L9InG8tg
  13. Thanks for the heads up on this. I'm still waiting for Microsoft to deliver the October update 1809 to my computers. I know they had withdrawn it suddenly when it was first released because it was wiping out personal data on the machines of early adopters. I am looking forward to trying that scalable text feature, though it appears to remain a shadow of what was available with Windows 3.1 more than 26 years ago and even what is available now in Advanced System Font Changer. As for Affinity products specifically, the company really ought to provide larger icons. At present I can't really recommend the software to anyone else. There are many alternatives, both free and commercial, that are better for the casual photo hobbyist. I stick with Affinity because I like it in principle and I'm hoping for improvements. I'm wondering whether my hope is in vain given that nothing of any significance to me has improved in the year since I bought the software. I do wonder about Serif's commitment to developing it. Many programs offered a choice of both small and large icons and small and large buttons beginning many years ago, long before high resolution monitors were available. Meanwhile, Affinity users have been complaining about Affinity's lack of user friendliness since it was first released. I don't see anyone expressing any hope that Serif will do anything about it. Although being identified as complainers, these same people are not complaining about tiny icons in other applications they use, not even in other photo editors. That this poor user interface has been implemented today after decades of computer development and research into ergonomic design and laws about accessibility is both amazing and disappointing. Then again, making things unreadable seems to be a common practice in magazines and on web pages where gray type on a gray background and other "innovative styles" seem to be fashionable. Certainly Chapter One of the Affinity Photo Workbook became something of a monument to poor design and inadequate proofreading because of such choices. There was a time when readability was the primary requirement, after which stylistic flourishes might be allowed. Ah well, I'm ranting...
  14. Others have called attention to problems caused by the tiny fonts in the Affinity Photo user interface. I put off buying Affinity Photo for some weeks because of the tiny fonts and tiny icons. These are a special problem for anyone with vision deficits (including most people my age) and for anyone with high definition monitors. It turns out the problem of tiny fonts exists across the Windows universe ever since Microsoft removed font size options (and many other adjustments that were available even in Windows 3.1) from the Windows control panels. Users of Quicken complain frequently about small fonts, although Quicken has an option for setting font size for the account registers. Unfortunately, Quicken's font size adjustments do not affect the investment transaction registers, only savings and checking and charge account registers. The Vivaldi web browser enables you to scale the entire user interface continuously from extraordinarily small to extraordinarily large. You can also scale the contents of any window independently of the surrounding user interface. I do wish that Affinity Photo had such a capability. If a free program can do it, why not a paid program. In the meantime, I have found that the free utility Advanced System Font Changer lets you adjust several Windows 10 system fonts that Affinity Photo uses in its menus, tooltips, and layer names. I increased my system fonts from the default 9 point to 11 point and now Affinity Photo is a real pleasure to use at my normal trifocal viewing distance rather than having to press my nose close enough to my screens to use bifocal distance. Affinity Photo is now even more of a joy to use, though I still wish larger icons were available. Advanced System Font Changer is available free from https://www.wintools.info/index.php/advanced-system-font-changer It is available from many other shareware sites and recommended by The Windows Club at https://www.thewindowsclub.com/advanced-system-font-changer
  15. Thank you very much for your videos. You tell us not only what a tool does but why and how it does what it does to achieve the effect we want. You also show how tools designed for different purposes can be combined to achieve other purposes. I finally understand Curve adjustments in a systematic way thanks to your basic curves videos using the strip of samples with brightness varying from 100% black to 100% white in 10% increments. Your illustrations for how masks work finally allows me to use them with more intelligence and less trial and error and floundering. Your explanation of achieving better White Balance using the Info panel has me revisiting some photos I previously adjusted that I'm now dissatisfied with as I see what more I could have done. I feel like I've made a breakthrough in photo editing this week thanks to your videos.