The power of HSL Adjustment Layers in Affinity Photo


by Alan Winslow – March 27th, 2018

When editing using Affinity Photo software, we use adjustment layers to make non-destructive corrections to our images. Working inside the Photo Persona in the Affinity Photo, we are going to look at the power of HSL adjustment layers to make some dramatic shifts by simply using a couple of sliders.

Before getting started, remember to calibrate your monitor before making any color corrections. With proper calibration, you are getting your monitor to a known standard so that you know the colors you see on the screen when editing are accurate. Calibration is a crucial step to get prints that match your screen and to know that the images you are sending out will print the way you intended them to. X-Rite’s new i1Studio is the perfect tool to help you achieve the highest quality professional color management from capture to print.


What Does HSL Stand For?

  • Hue (H) – This is another word for color. This slider allows you to replace one color with another.
  •  Saturation (S) – This is the intensity of color. By increasing this slider, the color becomes stronger. By decreasing, it becomes muted.
  •  Luminance (L) – This is the brightness of color. By increasing this slider, you are increasing the brightness. By decreasing it, you are making the color darker.

Let’s Take a Look:

Exploring Affinity Photo Editing Software Adjustment Layers

Original Image


Exploring Affinity Photo Editing Software Adjustment Layers

80° shift in the blue hue slider


Exploring Affinity Photo Editing Software Adjustment Layers

Decreasing the overall saturation to -62%


Exploring Affinity Photo Editing Software Adjustment Layers

Luminosity shift of 22%

You can see just how powerful these simple sliders can be. 
In the first image, we have changed the color of the blue sprinkles to green by simply adjusting the blue hue slider. 
For the second example, we’ve decreased the intensity of the colors to make a muted almost black and white image. 
Finally, in the third image, we increased the overall brightness of the image by making a luminosity shift. 
With a little practice, you can combine these three adjustments to make quick but powerful color changes.

Where HSL panel located?

You can find the HSL panel in two locations. In the drop down menus select Layer- New Adjustment Layer – HSL AdjustmentExploring Affinity Photo Editing Software Adjustment Layers

Or inside the Photo Persona on the right hand side under the Layers tab click the   button and select HSL.

Exploring Affinity Photo Editing Software Adjustment Layers Exploring Affinity Photo Editing Software Adjustment Layers

Remember to pick up your FREE Affinity Photo editing software during this LIMITED TIME OFFER with the purchase of qualifying products!

Between January 8 and March 31, 2018, X-Rite Color Perfectionists will receive free Affinity Photo editing software, worth 49.99, with the purchase of the following qualifying products:

i1Display Proi1 Photographer KitColorMunki DisplayColorMunki Photographer KitColorChecker Passport Photo

For a more in-depth look at adjustment layers, you can watch this video produced by the Affinity team.


Categories: Affinity Photo, Color Balance, Color Management, Color Talk, Color Tip, Displays, Education, Quick Tips | Tags: , , , , ,

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