Is There an Alternative to Photoshop?

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I am always on the lookout for recent developments in software that might give me a new look, an improved effect or just an alternative way of doing things.  So when Chris Pearsall of CPPhoto told me about Affinity Photo I thought I’d give it a go.  At only £48.99 it isn’t an expensive option, certainly when compared with the Adobe products but is it any good?

This is a remarkably capable programme with comparable capabilities certainly to Lightroom (my usual weapon of choice) but also to Photoshop (somewhere I go when I need to do something special).  You will have to forgive my lack of practice with Affinity, I haven’t had it for long, but I ran my usual list of alterations that I regularly apply and produced the photograph below.


I am quite happy with the results and it represents a fair job considering my clumsiness with the software.  I found it a little hard to reduce the depth of the shadows without causing a loss of contrast but overall, it gave very good results.  It should be borne in mind that this was a RAW conversion from  the latest Canon DNG files that the 5D Mk4 produces, which Affinity handled with ease.

Compare the results with the same photo which recieved my usual Lightroom alterations which is below.


From my perspective I got exactly what I wanted from Lightroom including the reduction of those hard shadows as you can see from the detail visible on Blue’s chest.  However, I am confident that with enough time spent on the tutorials that Affinity have available for new users I would have been completely happy with the results.

One area I wasn’t able to explore was Affinity’s library functions and it’s ability to categorize photos.  I was treating it like Photoshop and working on a single photograph whereas my usual workflow requires me to rapidly process a few hundred images in rapid succession.

However, Affinity has a lot more to it than I have been able to discover so far and I have no doubt that it will become a great alternative to the Adobe products for those who are conscious of the price of committing to the Creative Cloud that is needed by Adobe nowadays!

Affinity Photo can be found here: