I’ve recently made one of the biggest changes in my workflow as a photographer: I’ve switched from Adobe Photoshop CC to Affinity Photo software for post-processing and retouching my images. This change was not easy to make. I’ve been using Photoshop in a professional way for several years now, I’ve become familiar with its possibilities and the way its functions work. However, I’m unsatisfied with the way Adobe Photoshop develops: each new iteration brings less innovations and improvements, at least in the field in which I’m using this software. Also, I’m a big opponent of subscription-based applications. While it might be an optimal solution for one to pay low monthly fee for a software he/she uses, sooner or later one reaches the point when accumulated cost of the subscription is higher than the retail price of a stand-alone software license. I reached that point and wondered: “Do I really need to pay monthly for Photoshop, while there are other solutions just as functional?” None of Photoshop updates in the last two years have been really useful for me, tools and modules I use work in the same way and as effective as they used to few years ago. Therefore I made a decision: it’s time for a change. Let’s try something new, let’s find some Photoshop replacement.

Because I work on Mac OS X system, I had no problem with choosing software to replace Photoshop CC with. I went for Affinity Photo, one of the most interesting programs for photographers, designed specifically for Macs. Affinity Photo offers all functions I need for convenient and effective work on my photographs, it is fast and reliable, has intuitive interface and last but not least, it comes in a standard license model without a monthly fee. Once I downloaded Affinity Photo from the Mac App Store, I watched some video tutorials made by Affinity team for new users. In few hours I’ve learned enough to start working on my photographs in new software and making necessary changes to optimise my workflow only took me a day or two. I haven’t regretted cancelling my Photoshop subscription ever since. It made me realise that using Photoshop is not the only choice available. Switching from Photoshop to Affinity Photo was easy and stress-free, and I benefited from using software with a little different approach than Adobe’s. It turns out you don’t always need Photoshop to do your job as a photographer and even if you want to perform advance photo post-processing, you are not limited to Creative Cloud subscription.

Affinity Photo interface Interface of Affinity Photo is intuitive and easy to navigate for both beginners and more experienced users.

In my academic research I use Scrivener as my word processor of choice. It’s an excellent programme for professional writers of any kind, and despite the fact there is no better alternative on the market, it’s creators do not require you to pay constantly for using it in your text projects. You buy it once and use how long you want. Why purchasing photographic software needs to be any different? I don’t claim Adobe Photoshop is a bad programme. In fact it’s one of the best programmes I’ve ever used. But I do not accept Adobe’s subscription policy and I no longer want to rent my software on a monthly basis. I want to buy a license for my software and use it whenever I want, how long I want, without worrying about future changes in Creative Cloud subscription and the way Adobe Photoshop might or might not improve over its current state. If you work on a Mac and you need good software to edit your photos in it, I really recommend you trying Affinity Photo first, because it might turn out you don’t need Adobe Photoshop after all.