10 Tips for Stunning Results in Affinity Photo
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Optimize Your Workspace
  2. Master the Navigate Tool
  3. Use Quick Masks
  4. Embrace Layer Blending
  5. Leverage Adjustment Layers
  6. Explore Live Filter Layers
  7. Utilize Affinity Photo Brushes
  8. Experiment with Text Effects
  9. Create Custom Shortcuts
  10. Save and Share Your Work Effectively

Whether you're a seasoned photography enthusiast or a beginner dipping your toes in the world of image editing, Affinity Photo is a tool that can help you achieve stunning results. But like any powerful application, knowing how to navigate its features can make all the difference. This blog post will help you understand how to better use Affinity Photo and improve your editing skills. Ready to take your images to the next level? Let's dig into these ten tips to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo.

Optimize Your Workspace

The first step in achieving truly stunning results with Affinity Photo is setting up an effective workspace. A well-organized workspace allows you to access the tools you need quickly and efficiently, streamlining your workflow and making your editing process a breeze. Here are some things you might want to consider:

  • Tool Panel: The Tool Panel on the left side of the screen contains all the main tools you'll need. Make sure you're familiar with what each icon represents. A little time spent here can save you lots of time in the long run.
  • Studio Panel: On the right side, you'll find the Studio Panel. This is where you manage layers, adjustments, effects, and more. Keep this area tidy and organized — it's where a lot of the magic happens!
  • Context Toolbar: At the top of the screen, the Context Toolbar changes depending on the tool you're using. It's a handy place to adjust settings for the active tool, so keep an eye on it.
  • Customization: Affinity Photo lets you customize your workspace to suit your style. Don't be afraid to move panels around, group your favorite tools together, or even change the UI color. You'll be spending a lot of time here, so make it your own.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to workspace layout. What works for one person might not work for another. The goal is to create an environment that helps you work better and more efficiently. So, play around, experiment, and find out what helps you achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo.

Master the Navigate Tool

Next on our journey to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo is mastering the Navigate Tool. This might seem like a basic step, but trust me, it's more powerful than you might think.

The Navigate Tool is like a map of your image. It lets you zoom in and out, move around, and get right into the details of your work. This becomes particularly important when you're working on larger images or when you need to make precise adjustments.

  • Zooming: You can zoom in and out by using the scroll wheel on your mouse, the plus and minus keys on your keyboard, or the zoom slider in the Navigator Panel. When you zoom in, you can see every pixel, enabling you to fine-tune your edits.
  • Panning: Hand in hand with zooming goes panning. This is the process of moving around your image. Click and drag the Hand Tool from the Tool Panel, or simply hold down the space bar and drag your mouse.
  • Navigator Panel: The Navigator Panel provides a miniature view of your image. It's particularly useful when you're zoomed in and need to quickly move to another part of your image. Just click and drag the white box in the Navigator Panel, and you're there!

Mastering the Navigate Tool will not only speed up your workflow but also allow you to make more detailed and accurate edits. This is one of the first steps to achieving stunning results with Affinity Photo, so make sure you're comfortable with navigating your way around your image before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Use Quick Masks

Let's talk about another way to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo—using quick masks. Quick masking is a neat feature that allows you to quickly isolate parts of your image for editing. Think of it like using a highlighter to mark sections in a book—only for your photos.

When you activate the Quick Mask mode (press 'Q' on your keyboard), your image will appear to have a red overlay. This overlay represents the area of your image that is protected from editing. But fear not, you can easily paint away the areas where you want to apply your edits. Here's how:

  1. Select the Brush Tool: Click on the Brush Tool in the Tools Panel or press 'B' on your keyboard.
  2. Paint over the area: Use the Brush Tool to paint over the area where you want to make changes. As you paint, you'll notice the red overlay disappears from those areas, leaving them open for editing.
  3. Apply your edits: Now you can apply any adjustments or effects to those selected areas. The rest of your image will remain untouched.

Quick masks can be a real game-changer when it comes to selectively editing your images. So go ahead, give it a try and see how it can help you achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo.

Embrace Layer Blending

One of the ways to elevate your images and achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo is by embracing layer blending. By layer blending, I mean merging two or more layers together to create a unique visual effect.

Layer blending modes control how the pixels in your image are affected by a painting or editing tool. It's like having a magic wand that can change the interaction between your layers and — voila! — you have a new look for your image.

Here's a simple three-step process to get you started with layer blending:

  1. Create a new layer: Start by creating a new layer on top of your original image. This will be your blend layer.
  2. Apply a filter or effect to the blend layer: Next, apply a filter or effect to your blend layer. You can be creative here — try a gradient, a texture, or even another photo.
  3. Choose your blending mode: Finally, choose a blending mode from the drop-down menu in the Layers Panel. Each blending mode will produce a different effect, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Remember, the best way to understand layer blending is to play around with it. So, don't hesitate to mix and match different effects. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo's layer blending in no time.

Leverage Adjustment Layers

Another technique to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo is to leverage adjustment layers. Unlike regular layers, adjustment layers apply color and tonal adjustments without permanently changing pixel values. Think of them as a pair of sunglasses for your image. They change how it looks, but the image itself remains unaffected beneath.

Here's a quick guide on how to use adjustment layers:

  1. Add an adjustment layer: Start by adding a new adjustment layer. You can do this by clicking on the "Adjustment" icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel.
  2. Choose an adjustment: Next, select the adjustment you want to apply from the list. There are plenty to choose from, such as Brightness/Contrast, Levels, or Curves.
  3. Adjust the layer's settings: Finally, tweak the settings of your adjustment layer until you're happy with the look of your image. The great thing about adjustment layers is that you can always come back and change these settings later!

By leveraging adjustment layers, you can experiment with different looks for your image without committing to any permanent changes. Plus, you can stack multiple adjustment layers to achieve more complex effects. It's a fantastic way to explore creative possibilities and achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo.

Explore Live Filter Layers

Wouldn't it be great if we could apply filters to our images, see the changes in real-time, and even adjust them later if we changed our minds? With Affinity Photo, you can do just that using Live Filter Layers.

Live Filter Layers are similar to Adjustment Layers, but they deal with effects rather than color and tone adjustments. These non-destructive filters allow you to apply effects like blur, sharpen, and distort without permanently affecting your original image.

Here's how you can use Live Filter Layers to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo:

  1. Add a Live Filter Layer: First, go to the "Layer" menu, hover over "New Live Filter Layer" and select the type of filter you want to apply.
  2. Adjust the filter settings: Once you've added your filter, you can adjust its settings in the dialog box that appears. This is where the magic happens! You can adjust the intensity of the filter, and even combine multiple filters to create unique effects.
  3. Preview and tweak: The best part about Live Filter Layers is that you can see your changes in real-time and adjust them on the fly. If something isn't looking right, just go back to your filter settings and tweak them until you're satisfied.

So, there you have it - a simple yet powerful tool to add a dynamic touch to your images. With Live Filter Layers, you're not just editing an image; you're creating a work of art.

Utilize Affinity Photo Brushes

One of the ways to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo is by getting familiar with its brushes. These tools are not just for painting—they are also great for precision tasks like masking and retouching.

There are numerous brushes at your disposal, each with its unique characteristics. You can adjust their size, hardness, flow, and even the shape of the brush tip. But don't let the plethora of options overwhelm you; instead, think of it as your playground to experiment and find what works best for you.

  1. Choose your brush wisely: There are different brushes for different tasks. For instance, a soft brush is great for blending colors, while a hard brush can help you achieve sharp edges. Choose the one that's right for your task.
  2. Adjust your brush settings: In the context toolbar, you'll find options to customize your brush. Play around with these settings to find what suits your style and the task at hand.
  3. Use brush shortcuts: To speed up your workflow, learn the keyboard shortcuts for brush size and hardness. The [ and ] keys adjust the brush size, while Shift + [ and Shift + ] modify the brush hardness.

Remember, brushes are not a one-size-fits-all tool. What works for one image might not work for another. So, don't hesitate to experiment and adjust your brush settings to achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo.

Experiment with Text Effects

Adding text to your images can be more than just a caption or a watermark. When done right, text can be a powerful tool to enhance your work and achieve stunning results with Affinity Photo. Wondering how? Let's dive in:

  1. Play with Fonts: Affinity Photo offers a wide array of fonts. Whether you're going for a modern, classic, or artistic look, there's a font that fits. Change it up until you find the perfect match for your image.
  2. Adjust Text Size and Color: The size and color of your text can dramatically affect the overall look of your image. Try different combinations and see what works best.
  3. Use Text Effects: Affinity Photo provides several text effects, like shadow, outline, gradient, and 3D. There's no harm in trying them all. You might just stumble upon a combination that elevates your image to the next level.

Remember, the key to great text effects is balance. You want the text to enhance the image, not overpower it. So take your time, experiment, and soon you'll be creating images with text effects that truly pop.

Create Custom Shortcuts

Do you ever feel like you're spending too much time clicking through menus and toolbars? Wouldn't it be nice to have a faster way to access your favorite tools and features? Well, you're in luck! Affinity Photo allows you to create custom shortcuts, which can save you precious time and help you achieve stunning results. Here's how:

  1. Identify Your Most Used Tools: Take note of the tools and features you use most often. These are prime candidates for your custom shortcuts.
  2. Go to the Shortcuts Menu: Navigate to the "Edit" menu, then select "Preferences" and finally "Keyboard Shortcuts". Here, you'll find a list of all available commands and their current keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Assign New Shortcuts: Find the tools and features from your list, click on the current shortcut, and press the key combination you want to assign to it. Remember, the goal is to make your workflow smoother, so choose shortcuts that are easy for you to remember and use.

With your new custom shortcuts, you'll be able to work more efficiently, leaving you with more time to focus on the creative aspects of your project. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised by how much time you can save.

Save and Share Your Work Effectively

So, you've spent hours perfecting your image and achieving stunning results with Affinity Photo. But wait! Don't shut down your computer just yet. You still need to save your work and, if you're feeling proud, share it with the world. Here's how to do both effectively:

  1. Save Your Work: Go to the "File" menu and select "Save As". Choose a location on your computer where you can easily find your file later. Remember to save your work often while editing to avoid losing any progress.
  2. Choose the Right Format: Affinity Photo supports a wide range of file formats. If you plan to continue editing later, choose the Affinity Photo format (.afphoto). For sharing or printing, a JPEG or PNG file might be more suitable.
  3. Share Your Work: When you're ready to show off your skills, go to the "File" menu again and select "Export". Choose the file format, quality, and size that best suit your needs.

Remember, the final step in achieving stunning results with Affinity Photo is sharing your masterpiece with others. After all, what's the point of creating something beautiful if you're the only one who gets to see it?

While you're mastering Affinity Photo with these 10 tips, why not expand your digital art skills even further? Check out the workshop 'Animating with Procreate and Photoshop' by Nyanza. This workshop will teach you how to create stunning animations using both Procreate and Photoshop, enhancing your creative toolkit and broadening your artistic horizons.