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Just playing with Affinity Photo

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My first post here, so sorry for being possibly more verbose than I should be in this forum. I am quite excited about finally getting more than decent photo editing software for affordable price and running in Windows (Linux would be fine too!). I am mostly Linux guy, but I still keep Windows for laptops (better power management) and some multimedia matters like running Reaper DAW (it's supposed to run mostly fine in Linux via wine, but I prefer native and therefore more stable application's environment).


I love the idea of Open Source, but GIMP is simply not there. In the past, ten-odd years ago as a teenager, I was "cursed" by playing with Paint Shop Pro shareware and later trial versions of many Adobe products, mostly Photoshop of course. I heard a lot that Photoshop is not a beginner-friendly application, but I always felt quite comfortable playing with it. It had its awkward limitations here and there (usually removed with new versions), but it almost always looked and felt quite thought-out. I cannot say the same about GIMP. And I cannot imagine having different thoughts even if GIMP was my first graphics program I ever used.


Whenever I'm doing something in GIMP, it feels extremely clunky. Engine in the backend may be even decent, but UI is awful and usually getting in the way of getting things done (there are some exceptions like selections that became more handy than they were in Photoshop, at least in the past, not sure how they are now in PS).


In the past i hoped that there will be some affordable graphics program with decent UI - it was called Pixel Image Editor. Pixel was developed by one man (Pavel Kanzelsberger) and there were some promising demo versions available. In December, 2007 I bought it in Christmas sale for $29, even though there wasn't any final version available - it gave me access to unlocked version. Application was buggy and not ready for serious use, but I treated my paypal donation as kind of preorder, encouragement to the developer. Year later it was told that there will be final version, but it never got out. I believe that pixel-1.0.740 was the last available version.


In 2007 Pixelmator for Mac came out. I read it was PS-like and good. I hoped there will be Win version, because I don't have any Mac (or even any Apple device at all) nor I was planning to get such. I still don't have any Mac and there is no Pixelmator for Windows.


Well, there is Corel Photo-Paint. I had a few occasion to play with it, but every time it felt barely better than GIMP, tiring, unpolished and upside down.


But... Some time ago I read about Affinity products, sadly again targeting only Mac, but apparently very good. I hoped (again) for Windows version of it. Later I heard it was in the works and very recently I came upon Affinity Designer, which beta is already publicly available for Windows and Affinity Photo was going to be next soon. I registered on November 6 and four days later I got notified: "Affinity Photo for Windows is here!". What a great timing! :)


So today I finally played with AP a bit and I very like what I got. I would like to preorder it already! AP didn't crash even once during a few hours I had it opened and used in various ways (I managed to crash AD somehow quite fast, even though it is much more advanced in terms of releasing stage, being RC9). There are many rough edges in terms of user experience (I hope to write about them in separate post(s) in AP for Windows forum later, hopefully tomorrow), but overall application seems mature, polished, snappy, and well-thought-out.


I don't have any serious work to share with community here, I guess I just wanted to express how I am happy with AP available on Windows.


Anyway, here are some of my stages of using basic tools and functions available in AP on image I found on internet.

They were exported as High Quality (85%) JPEGs.


Album: https://imgur.com/a/LPiZv

Direct links for better viewing:

<1> Original


<2> Corrections


<3> Colors = {Corrections} Auto Contrast + {Corrections} Auto Colours via Colour


<4> {Corrections} + {Colours} [Tone Mapping: Natural] via Soft Light


<5> Previous + {Colours} [Tone Mapping: Summer Glow] 50%


<6> Previous Auto White Balance


<6> Previous [iCC Profile: sRGB IEC61966-2.1]



The aim was to get much more lively, almost picture-ish, look. With the help of Tone Mapping persona and good predefined presets I got there quite easily, I think.


Warning! Apparently Google Chrome (unlike Internet Explorer [at least v11 I am using]) doesn't handle ICC properly (Adobe RGB (1998) is used here), so you may want to download images and view them locally in some better viewer (like XnViewMP with ICC turned on, or HoneyView), otherwise only last image may look good for you.


(I have to add that I am not a photographer, illustrator or graphic designer, I simply like to play with images sometimes.)

Affinity suite [Designer | Photo | Publisher]
ThinkPad T430 (2344-56G) [Core i7 3520M @ 2.9GHz, 8GB RAM, NVS 5400M] | Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

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