- How to Get Started in Luminar
- Post-Processing Tip: How to Use Filter Masks to Enhance Your Landscape Photos
- How to Take a Photo From Blah to Beautiful in a Matter of Minutes
- Luminar 3 With Libraries Hands-On Test
Creating a beautiful photo is much more than planning your photo shoot, having the necessary skill, and mastering things like composition and lighting.
In fact, the workflow to create the final image involves very little time behind the lens, and much more time planning and prepping beforehand and editing the photo after the fact.
In this tutorial, you'll learn a basic post-processing workflow in Luminar 3 that will help you enrich your images and get the most out of the photos you take.
Let's get started!
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Use Luminar Looks to Speed Up Your Workflow
One of the most impactful - and easiest - things you can do to improve your photos in post-processing is to apply presets.
Presets give you the advantage of making a number of changes to the image automatically, that way you don't have to spend a ton of time getting the same look by manipulating a bunch of different controls independently.
In the video above, Scott Davenport explains how presets in Luminar - which are called "Looks" - offer you a wide range of options for improving your photos.
In fact, Luminar 3 has nearly 70 looks preloaded for you with the ability to get additional Looks as well.
For example, Scott begins the editing process with the image above of a lighthouse.
The image is perfectly fine as it is, but it has the potential to be much more.
Choosing the Mood Enhancer Look, you can see how the photo is immediately improved - the sky has more definition and detail and the lighthouse is brighter and crisper.
Note as well that when a Look is selected, there's a slider control that gives you the power to increase or decrease the impact of the Look on the image.
It's the best of both worlds - you get an immediate change to your photo, but you still have final say over how the image looks.
Quick Tip: Sometimes editing brings out details that need to be retouched - like sensor dust. You can utilize tools like the Eraser to quickly take care of such issues. In Luminar 3, the Eraser tool can be accessed via the tools menu at the top of the screen (or by pressing CMD/CTRL E), as shown above.
Luminar Workspaces Make Fast Work of Editing
When editing images, beginner photographers (and many enthusiasts, for that matter) can get lost in the sea of so many different controls and editing possibilities in editing programs.
That's why Workspaces - preset "bundles" of filters (shown above) - are so nice for making pinpoint edits to your images.
As the name states, the Quick and Awesome Workspace is designed to make fast edits that have a lot of impact.
There are specific workspaces for Landscapes, Portraits, Black and White, and so forth. There's even a professional workspace that has all the precise editing tools that the pros need to make their photos spectacular.
As Scott shows in the video, you can use Luminar's Workspaces as another means of jumpstarting your editing process.
He uses the Quick and Awesome Workspace (shown above), which includes controls for Saturation and Vibrance as well as Clarity.
More importantly, this workspace also includes two artificial intelligence-powered tools, the Accent AI Filter and the AI Sky Enhancer.
Original image before the Accent AI Filter and other changes from the Quick & Awesome Workspace are applied.
Image after the Accent AI Filter and other changes from the Quick & Awesome Workspace are applied.
The Accent AI filter analyzes the photo an applies about a dozen enhancements automatically, including improvements to the color, details, tone, and depth of the photo.
That certainly saves you time, but just like with Luminar's Looks, you retain control over how the filter is applied by using a single slider.
As you can see in the before and after images above, the difference between the original RAW image and the image after the Accent AI filter, AI Sky Enhancer, and other changes have been applied is quite dramatic.
The AI Sky Enhancer Filter works much the same way. Again, AI intelligently analyzes the photo and masks out everything but the sky.
Before AI Sky Enhancer is applied. Photo by Dima Sytnik.
After AI Sky Enhancer is applied. Photo by Dima Sytnik.
That means that when the filter is applied, it only impacts the areas of the photo that include the sky - no matter if it's blue or gray or occupies a lot of the shot or very little.
In the before and after images above, you can see how there is much more detail and definition in the sky once the Sky Enhancer Filter has been applied.
Again, each of these filters can be increased or decreased to achieve a specific look with a simple slider control.
Luminar Workspaces are Customizable to Your Specific Needs
Getting into a groove with your editing not only saves you time, but it also allows you to fine-tune your edits so you can apply them across many different photos.
In Luminar, this process is aided by the fact that the Workspaces are customizable to fit your specific editing needs.
You can add filters to existing Workspaces - Scott added the Vignette filter to the Quick and Awesome Workspaces - or you can create totally custom workspaces of your own making, as shown above.
In the end, what makes editing photos a drag is that it can take forever to accomplish even the smallest tasks.
But by using Looks and Workspaces, you can cut your editing time by a wide margin without sacrificing quality results.