While Photoshop is brilliant, there are things it never did very well, and the same could be said of Lightroom, and in the wake of a few years of declining performance for them there has been a bumper crop of news of alternatives. None, however, as compelling as Affinity Photo.

Affinity is the first real Photoshop alternative, and for the purposes of photographers is will allow you to do all the manipulation of imagery that you are accustomed to using in PS, and probably with more ease and speed. Not to mention the one-time price of $49.99 (no subscription), is a dream.

[REWIND: Affinity Photo 1.6 Update | Faster, Smoother, More Powerful Than Ever Before]

We’ve covered Affinity Photo and Affinity Photo for iPad here on numerous occasions, and it’s on the calendar to deliver some volume of tutorials particularly for the iPad version – even if Affinity is much more intuitive of a UX experience than Photoshop. But if you wanted to get Affinity and truly dive into the bowels of it, emerging on the other end a user who can wield it to full capability, then the Affinity Photo Workbook is probably something to consider.

Having just launched, the workbook is on an introductory 25% discount right now for $36.99, and what you get is a hardcover book of 488 pages full of tips, tricks, quick-starts, and all the information you need. It’s broken down as follows:

  • 16 hands-on projects
  • 68 page Interface Tour
  • Core Skills section (to become acquainted with yourself with essential techniques)
  • 600 illustrations and screenshots
  • 5 tear-out Keyboard Shortcut cheat sheets
  • Over 200 downloadable resource files

It warrants saying too that the workbook is more than just a description of tools and abilities, as there is real focus on technique. Ashley Hewson, Managing Director of Serif, says

“Rather than an A-Z manual, it’s designed to inspire users to create their own unique work in Affinity Photo, by taking inspiration from some amazing projects and advice.

Because it focuses on professional skills and techniques, the Affinity Photo Workbook will still be completely relevant even when updated versions of the app become available.”

Highlights of the Affinity Photo Workbook include:

  • Enthusiast photo-editing with adjustments, masks, HDR and Black and White techniques.
  • Innovative solutions to challenges in night/day urban photography.
  • Recreate Affinity’s iconic Photo panorama for yourself.
  • The popular double exposure effect.
  • Professional food and model retouching.
  • Pro compositing techniques for greater realism.
  • Create and apply raster hair brushes.

It should be stated here that the workbook is illustrated with examples using the desktop UI, so iPad users will find some differences. However, as someone who uses both, the methodology is essentially the same for both, barring a few circumstances. that is all to say, it’s not made for the iPad users, but their is value there for them still.

You can get a copy of the Affinity Photo Workbook here.