Luminar 2018

It has been awhile since I last reviewed any new software programs, even though a lot of new digital imaging ones have been brought out. One that I saw samples of, and could not pass by, is Luminar 2018 from Skylum, previously known as Macphun.

Luminar 2018 – User Interface

Luminar 2018 impressed me from the start, with about a dozen presets that you can start out with, and/or modify as needed, plus create whole new ones with the save preset option. My image here, taken at Monument Valley, shown in the Luminar work window above, was enhanced with the Aerial preset. This preset is part of the 11 presets that comes with the program. You can also get other free presets off the Skylum web site. You can also create your own filters with the “Add Filters” option in the side panel. The presets are found at the bottom of the work window and the filter settings are all in the right side panel. (Ill. #2) This shows the Landscape filter used, for which there are 13 more adjustments below what is shown here. That will give you an idea of just how much you can fine-tune an image.

Luminar 2018 – Adjustment Tools

Illustration #3 is a 5-image stitch I did in Photoshop and then opened in Luminar 2018, with no work done on it yet. Illustration #4 has had the DRAMATIC preset used with the Vintage Look effect given it. This landscape is looking across the battlefield at Gettysburg.

Luminar 2018 – Photo Filters

Luminar 2018 – Photo Filters

The last illustration below is the same image with its final adjustments in Luminar and ready to print. (click on illustrations to enlarge)

Luminar 2018 – Finished Image

Working in Luminar is very easy and has a lot of tools to do it with, such as a split window that shows the image before and after a filter was applied. The window is divided down the center and the dividing line can be moved from side to side, showing the image in a real-time before and after. The tool bar on the top also has an undo command, as well as a History drop-down you can use to see how the image looked at any point along the way.

I have covered most of the features of this neat little program but not even close to all of them, so check out the Luminar overview link below.

This link is for Mac users but Luminar works on both Mac and Windows and they have overviews for both. Check out everything and current prices at,

I will next be reviewing the Skylum Aurora HDR program, so don't change that channel.

by Paul W. Faust

All photo illustrations included with my articles are my original work. My travel photographs, and many of my other original photographs, are available as signed or unsigned fine art prints through my web site at Framed prints can be obtained through my Fine Art America gallery at

Photographs included with my book and product reviews are provided by the book publisher or product manufacturer.

Paul W. Faust is a self-taught Fine Art Photographer, Writer, and Photo Stock Service professional.

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