HDR in Affinity Photo - removing ghosts


Mu-43 All-Pro
Dec 1, 2013
New Hampshire
Real Name
I've been trying to transition over from using Corel PaintShop Pro (PSP) over to Affinity Photo (AP). When I first tried AF a few years ago, it wasn't quite ready for primetime, but now it appears ready and then some.

One example is its HDR merge (also focus bracketing) processing and how easy it is to fix ghosting/artifact problems in such images. There is a fast YouTube video here:

I am mostly talking about MANUALLY removing SEVERE ghosting in the merged HDR image. It turns out to be VERY easy using the pretty spectacular clone tool in AF.

Here is an example. On a trip to Utah 5 years ago, I took a bunch of HDR shots in Zion National park, on a pretty popular bridge over the Virgin River with a pretty famous view. (E-M10.1; P12-35 lens). I knew it at the time, but took the shots anyway - the leaves on the trees would look terrible and the water too probably.

Well, the leaves looked so terrible that none of the 3 or 4 HDR attempts I tried were any good and I gave up on them. But, after viewing a tutorial on HDR in AP, I tried the technique and in about 20 minutes I had removed all the shaky, blurry leaves, leaving only the good leaves from one of the images (the whole point of this cloning technique). Here is the result:

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It's not a very good shot; I deliberately gave it an HDR look just so you could really see how all the leaves look fine in the image. Piece of cake!! (ignore the upper right corner - looks like I missed a few ghosts).

The thing is, with AP, you can chose which image to clone from (in the stack) ON THE FLY and preview what it will do as you clone. You do not have to be all that careful. It's essentially fool-proof and takes minutes.

I don't know if other HDR utilities have this ability (I've only used a few), but for me this was a game changer, at least for my Utah Virgin River shots.

You can also use this on focus bracketed shots where artifacts can creep in. It's relatively easy to remove them using the same technique.

Funny thing is, when AP first came out, people (myself included) were scratching their heads about the cloning tool which allows for multiple sources that you can pick from, including (if I remember correctly) images you don't even have open in the current session (i.e. you opened them and then closed them). It seemed much too complicated, etc. Now I see the method to their madness.


Mu-43 All-Pro
Apr 22, 2018
Hey cool. That guy is a super nerd eh?
I bet he was called “brains” at school.
Sweet link. So clever.

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