Luminar Photo Editing – Honest Review

In this article, we would be talking about the latest edition of Luminar Photo Editing Tool. If you are new to Luminar 4, you will be amazed by its interface. It is fresh and modern! It has an easy image organisation process, one-click ‘Looks’, legit portrait enhancement tools and stunning AI Sky Replacement feature. We will talk about it in details!  

If you’re an existing Luminar 3 (or earlier) user, you are more likely to be excited by the new interface. It also has another dramatic shift in direction which you will realise while using it. 

For long-term users, Luminar is proving a bit of a roller-coaster ride!

About the App

Luminar certainly ranks amongst the best photo editing software you can get right now in the market. We are in a time where image editing tools are heading in different exciting directions. The former tools like Adobe Photoshop are no longer the only way to edit your photos. Photo editing has become much easier and efficient to do without consuming much time. 

Luminar and other Photoshop alternatives aren’t much expensive. There are a few free alternatives, and the best free photo editors aren’t bad. It’s worth digging into your pocket and spending some money on it for a proper platform which is worth working on.

Luminar Photo Editing

Some Amazing Features

The AI Sky Replacement is the most spectacular tool and a distinctive feature of this app. As the name suggests, it identifies the sky in an outdoor scene. It precisely selects all the tiny bits between branches, around trees, the edges of buildings, rooftops, hillsides, and mountains and recognises all these bits of the sky. All of it without even a single mouse click!

It is different from the other regular auto-selection tools. Sidestepping all that tedious and precise selecting, it can even eliminate edge halos, edge artefacts and transitions feathering. The other unique features are edge shifting, edge masking. It will surely amaze you with the amazing precision on which it works!

Waiting for the surprise? Here it is!

Luminar’s AI Sky Replacement tool goes a step further to stun you where it offers you a library of replacement skies to drop into your pictures. You can also select for loading one of your images.

This is not all that Luminar does! It’s more than just a photo-enhancer.

A powerful image editing tool in the classic sense which offers: 

  • Regular tones.
  • Colour tools
  • Cropping tools
  • Geometric corrections
  • Raw processing
  • Image layers
  • Masking
  • A whole range of new creative effects.

You can apply these adjustments manually using its newly-streamlined workspaces. You also have the options of single-click ‘Looks’ with presets consisting of combinations of filters and effects. 

This is a great way to get ideas for effects for applying them on your images. You’ll soon build a list of favourite presets and you can create and also add your own.

We should also talk about Luminar’s integrated image browsing feature along with its cataloguing tools. These are fast and greatly effective. While they’re not as sophisticated as Lightroom’s, they’re efficient enough for casual users (more specifically beginners).

Luminar also offers non-destructive editing, so that even after closing an image or even quitting the software, you don’t lose the image. You can go back later and change/remove any of your pre-defined settings. It helps a lot when you want to revert the edits you have done before.

This has become a standard way of working for many programs, not only Lightroom but also other photo editing apps such as Exposure X5, ON1 Photo RAW 2020, and Capture One Pro. 

Drawbacks

Luminar 4 has some minor drawbacks. It misses a couple of key features that the others have. Firstly, it doesn’t yet offer ‘virtual copies’, so you can’t create different versions of a picture with different ‘looks’ while working simultaneously.

Second, with non-destructive photo editors like these, you need to ‘export’ a processed image if you want to publish it or share it. You cannot share it directly from the platform. 

Luminar doesn’t offer you the option of exporting an image back to the primary folder where the original image is stored. You have to navigate to the folder you want to export manually. It may sound like a small point, but it does make the whole export process more tiresome. Also contradicts the whole point of saving time while editing images.

Luminar 4 can also edit images which are not currently imported into the library. But it goes about this in a rather different way. You can drag single images on to the app icon to open them, but they are automatically imported into a special album and your editing changes are still stored non-destructively within the Library. 

So actually, you are still importing these images for editing, but with no separate option for saving an image as an individual Luminar file. You must be familiar to this one if you are a Photoshop user. The old Luminar file format for single re-editable images seems to have gone! 

Luminar Photo Editing

Conclusion

The ability to use Luminar 4 as a plug-in is another bonus! Very often you may want to use Lightroom for organising and processing your images and just switch to Luminar later for its creative effects. Similarly, you may use Photoshop for layers and subtle retouching and use Luminar at the end to add a specific ‘look’. All of it makes sense! It’s just a process of hit and trial until you realise the best one!

Comment down your experience with Luminar!

Happy Editing!

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