Aligning and Stacking in Affinity Photo

If you’re looking to create stunning images with Affinity Photo, then you need to know about aligning and stacking. This powerful feature can help you reduce noise, remove objects, stack exposures, and more. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of auto aligning and stacking in Affinity Photo. We’ll also show you some examples of how it can be used to create amazing images!

What is Stacking in Affinity Photo?

Stacking is a process of combining multiple images into a single image. This can be done for many different purposes, such as reducing noise, removing objects, focus stacking, exposure merging, and other creative effects.

There are two main ways to stack images in Affinity Photo:

  • Auto-aligning
  • Manual aligning

Auto-aligning is the quickest and easiest way to stack images. Basically, the software automatically aligns the images for you.

Manual aligning is a more precise way of stacking images, but it requires a bit more time and effort.

What is it used for?

Stacking is used for many different purposes, such as reducing noise, removing objects, focus stacking, exposure merging, and other creative effects.

  • Reducing noise: When you stack multiple images, the software can average out the noise from each image. This helps to produce a cleaner and clearer final image.
  • Removing objects: If there are any unwanted objects in your image (e.g. dust on your sensor), you can use stacking to remove them.
  • Focus stacking: This is a common technique used by macro photographers. By stacking multiple images, you can extend the depth of field and produce a final image with everything in sharp focus.
  • Exposure merging: This is a helpful technique if you want to extend the dynamic range of your image. By stacking multiple images with different exposures, you can create a single image that has a greater range of tones.
  • Other creative effects: There are many other ways that you can use stacking to create unique and interesting images. For example, you could try blending multiple images together to create a composite or double exposure effect.

It’s time to go through these effects one by one. Let’s start with Noise reduction.

Noise Reduction in Affinity Photo

The Noise Reduction filter is a simple and fast technique to reduce noise. However, it may sometimes result in an extremely “smooth” appearance that is unappealing.

The Denoise filter is a more precise way to reduce noise. However, it can be time-consuming and it doesn’t always produce the best results.

Another way to reduce noise in Affinity Photo is by,

  • Simply going to File Menu > New Stack.
  • In the dialog box that appears, click Add and Open to choose the desired images to the Stack list.
  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.
  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, select Mean or Median stack operator.
  • Experiment with both features according to your preference.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Use Tripod to ensure that the picture is correctly aligned, or to make sure the camera is in a stable position.
  2. The ISO value you use determines how many photos you’ll need to eliminate noise. The higher the ISO number, the more photographs you’ll require to reduce noise.
  3. When editing handheld images and if a high speed burst option is available, utilize it for the greatest framing consistency between photos.
  4. To minimize large variations in tone between the frames, try to utilize a fixed white balance.

Let’s take a look at Affinity Photo’s auto-align and stack functionality, which includes object removal.

Object removal in Affinity Photo

Object removal happens frequently in post-production. There are a few ways to get rid of things from images in Affinity Photo.

To remove objects in Affinity Photo,

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Stack.
  • In the dialog box that appears, click Add and Open to choose the desired images to the Stack list.
  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.
  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, select Median stack operator.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Use Tripod to ensure that the picture is correctly aligned, or make sure the camera is in a stable position.
  2. It’s impossible to completely remove everything in a scene with moving items, and things that are stationary still will not go away but you can use the Inpainting Brush Tool for a more practical approach.

Let’s examine Affinity Photo’s Focus stacking capability when aligning and piling up photos.

Focus stacking

The goal of depth of field is to maintain a certain amount of focus throughout the scene. In landscape photography, depth of field is commonly used to ensure that everything in the shot has sharpness. You can make a greater depth of field in the final image by combining several photographs with varying depths of field.

To exposure merge in Affinity Photo,

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Focus Merge Stack.
  • In the dialog box that appears, click Add and Open to choose the desired images to the Stack list.
  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.
  • The Focus Stacking will be automatically done.
  • Then, you can apply any adjustments that you wish to enhance the outlook.

Focus stacking is a great way to increase the depth of field in your photos. However, it’s important to note that this technique can’t correct an image that’s completely out of focus. If an image is too blurry, the software will simply create a new image that’s also blurry.

It’s also worth mentioning that focus stacking is a destructive process. This means that it will permanently change your original images. So make sure to save a copy of your original images before you begin!

Let’s look at the Exposure merging offered by Affinity Photo when you auto-align and stack photos.

Exposure merging in Affinity Photo

When you merge photographs that were shot at different times and/or in different exposures, you can increase the dynamic range of your photograph. You may make a single image with a wider variety of tones by combining many images with various exposures.

The results are often more natural and faster. You don’t have to take an HDR picture or tone map it, which saves time and makes the process much more straightforward.

To exposure merge in Affinity Photo,

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Stack.
  • In the dialog box that appears, click Add and Open to choose the desired images to the Stack list.
  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.
  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, select Mean or Mid-Range stack operator.
  • Experiment both the features to withhold your preference.

Exposure merging is a great way to extend the dynamic range of your images. However, it’s important to note that this technique can’t rescue an image that’s been overexposed. If an image is too bright, the software will simply create a new image that’s also too bright.

It’s also worth mentioning that exposure merging is a destructive process. This means that it will permanently change your original images. So, make sure to save a copy of your originals before you begin!

Next, let’s checkout the other creative effects you can achieve by aligning and stacking images in Affinity Photo.

Other creative effects in Affinity Photo

There are so many different creative effects that you can apply to your photos when stacking images.

Some of the most popular creative effects include long exposure imagery and brightening images.

Long exposure imagery is a technique that’s often used to capture light trails or to create a sense of motion in a photo.

Brightening an image is a technique that is used to make an image appear brighter. This is often done by increasing the exposure or by using a curves adjustment layer.

To create a Stack,

  • Simply go to File Menu > New Stack.
  • In the dialog box that appears, click Add and Open to choose the desired images to the Stack list.
  • Once you’ve made your selections, click OK.
  • From the Layers Panel, dive to the Stack Operator pop-up menu on the Live Stack Group layer, select and experiment the options Median, Maximum and Range whereas Median is selected by default.

There are so many different creative effects that you can apply to your photos in Affinity Photo. Experiment and see what you can create!

Conclusion

Auto aligning and stacking are extremely useful features in Affinity Photo. In this blog post, we’ve look at how they can be used for noise reduction, object removal, focus stacking, exposure merging and other creative effects.

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