Luminar 4 – Our top 5 features we use and love!

As professional travel photographers and publishers, we don’t just use one software application in our image editing workflow. We have discovered that none of the application currently available can do everything we need. Also, we have found that some applications handle a task better than others so we often use plug-ins that will help us achieve the best results for the image we are editing.

We use Skylum’s Luminar 4 mainly as a plug-in, however, we also use it occasionally as a standalone application (mainly because our workflow over the years has originated with Adobe Lightroom).

In this post, we will share the 5 top features that we love to use in Luminar, based on the latest release with AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology, Sky Replacement and Sky Augmentation tools. So whether you are editing an image for creative use or for a client, this software can really help you in your editing workflow.

Don’t forget that you can download a trial version to test yourself. If you like it then just click here and use the coupon code “widescenes” at check out to get up to 15% off.


5. Image Library

Using Luminar 4 as a standalone application has only gotten easier. You can create catalogues, import (copy or move) folders, browsing photos and exporting is also fast and easy. Export, sharing and batch processing along with Image rating (star, colour & flags) is included.

The only features we feel is currently missing is the ability to add metadata (keywords, copyright info, etc) and to add a watermark when exporting images. For watermarks, you can add this using the image layer option. Using the Create Album feature can help you catalogue images. If you use Lightroom or other similar software than these 2 features are not a deal-breaker.

Skylum Luminar Neo

4. Essentials Edit Panel

Whether you use Luminar as a plug-in or stand-alone, the essentials panel makes it super easy to edit your image. This panel lets you edit as you would in Lightroom or Photoshop with ease. Presets called ‘Luminar Looks Collections’ give you access to many different editing looks and you can see instantly applied to your image. There are also some free and for purchase ‘Looks’ available here.

3. Adding Sunrays

We have used this feature a few times. It is the only software that we know that has this 1-click feature. You can control its position, the number of rays, the glow, and control how it appears and penetrates through an area for a natural look. 

Peak Design Slide Camera Strap

2. AI Augmented Sky

This new feature is great for creatives that love to create composites. The tool lets you choose from pre-installed objects such as fireworks, planets, the moon, lightning etc., or you can add your own. The process is easy and can be done with one click as well. The software allows you to scale the object and embed with just one click. Missed out on the rainbow, no worries, it is easy to add it. How about those moon shots, just one click. Adding fireworks is also a breeze.

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1. AI Sky Replacement

We realise that there are other applications that can do this (by using complex masking techniques) but we have never seen an application that can do it automatically in just one click. As mentioned in our original post about this software (read here), it does not work on every shot, but it does work on the majority. The ‘Relight Scene’ feature is also very handy in making the overall effect more realistic. As much as we love this feature you will need to be careful with the transition areas of the image. For example, if you are replacing your image with a blue sky you may see some bleed of blue in the surrounding area where it meets your foreground. This can be cleaned up by using the Brush in the Edit Mask box. In our opinion, for the price of the software, these features alone save us time which in turn saves us money.

The software comes with 29 skies to choose from or you can import your own. We now have our own collection of skies that we can draw from. Every time we see a great sky, day or evening, we just take the shot and add it to our sky collection. 

As you can see from the image below it does a great job of finding and replacing the sky within the gaps in the column and in the archway. To match the sky to the foreground, just use the Relight Scene slider and adjust to your taste. You can see more examples of sky replacement in our Luminar Sky Replacement post. Click here to read.

Pauly Designed Streetwear

You will notice that we have not included AI Skin Enhance or AI Portrait Enhance in our top 5, and the reason for this is that we do not shoot portrait photography, so have little to no use for this feature. In saying that, we have tested these on shots of ourselves and put them through both features and have found that the results great and natural looking. The features were really simple to use, which is a common theme between all the features in Luminar.

For more information on what and how to use Luminar you can check out their online user guide. There are also plenty of videos available on there website as well.

Don’t forget that you can download a trial version to test this yourself. If you like it then just click here (or the banner below) and use the coupon code “widescenes” at check out to get up to 15% off.

Peak Design Micro Clutch

Please Note: We may receive commissions when you click links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews or recommendations. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice.  

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