Printing on Affinity Photo (for PC)

When printing photographs you can often find the resulting colours are not as vibrant as the ones seen on the monitor or, the image appears darker. This process will hopefully help to rectify this issue.

Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Soft Proof Adjustment

Pick the printer & type of paper you are printing on (in my case “Canon MG5200 series GL2/SG2” this is for glossy paper). The “Rendering Intent” box should read “Absolute Colourimetric” by default but it doesn’t hurt to check. You can now make adjustments to the image to try to bring it back to it’s original state making sure you work below the “Soft Proof Adjustment” layer.

Once complete go back to the soft proofing layer & tick the “Gamut Check” box. You may now see parts of the image greyed out. These areas are outside the gamut range & will not be reproduced accurately by the printer. To remedy this, open a curves adjustment layer Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves Adjustment. Drag the bottom node up vertically until the majority of the grey disappears. You can add additional nodes to bring some of the punch back to the photo. In addition, add an “HSL Adjustment Layer” & work on the individual colours to eliminate any remaining grey spots if necessary. Untick the “Gamut Check” box once you’re finished. Don’t forget to also untick or delete the “Soft Proof Layer” before printing as it is an adjustment layer & does affect the image.

Layer>Merge Visible to create a flattened layer.

File>Print & go to “Properties” to open the printer dialogue box. Here you can set it to “Photo Printing”, set the paper size, print quality, type of paper etc. Next tick the “Colour/Intensity Manual Adjustment” box & under “Matching” set it to “None”. Now click OK.

Back to the Affinity print dialogue box & go to the bottom left corner. Click on “Colour Management”. “Colour Handling” should read “Performed by App” & the “Printer Profile” should be the same as you selected before ie. “Canon MG5200 GL2/SG2”.

Finally click “OK”.

Hopefully at the end of all this you should produce prints that more accurately represent what you see on the screen. If you’re still having problems try calibrating your monitor to D50 or D55 screen calibration preset as opposed to sRGB.




Colour grading – Natural light effect

This is a 4 step process to achieve a natural light, colour grading effect on your images.

  1. Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Take the saturation down. Not too much unless you’re looking for a really dramatic effect (which is fine for some studio portraits but not for a “natural” look). About -15 to -20 is a good range.
  2. Curves. We’re going to colour the image using the individual red, green & blue curves. Being subtle is the key here. Maybe bring out the red in the highlights & slight ‘S’ curves in the green & blue but it can vary according to ones individual opinion.
  3. Levels. On the blue channel draw in the triangular markers slightly to bring back some blue in the shadows & reduce it in the highlights to bring back some warmth.
  4. Colour fill layer. Add a new solid colour fill layer & choose a gold colour (eg. d0a702). Change the blend mode to “hard light” & bring the opacity down to about 8%.

As ever, the final step is to sharpen the image using whatever sharpening method you prefer (unsharp mask, adjust sharpness, high pass filter etc.) The above image displays the before & after photographs.