Using Luminar’s Unique Filters to Make Your Landscapes Come Alive

Everyone knows that post-processing is the key to making your landscape photos shine, but not everyone wants to spend a lot of time behind a computer. Today I wanted to take a closer look at Luminar 2018 for photo editing. Its interface is not only intuitive and fun, it’s time saving as well. What’s more, its filter selection provides everything from basic adjustments and “issue fixers” to a full creative suite that can help you make your landscapes really come alive.

The Essentials

There are a few adjustment every out-of-camera photo needs, and Luminar doesn’t disappoint.

The Quickest Edit Imaginable—Accent AI

If you’re a minimalist when it comes to computer time, you’ll be amazed at Luminar’s Accent AI filter. Straight out of camera, landscapes tend to have an overly bright sky, dark foreground, and a general lack of color and contrast. Accent notices all of these and instantly transforms your photo from flat and lifeless to lustrous and vibrant. What’s more, it’s all on a single slider. Just choose the amount and voilà! Even ordinary photos come out looking alive.

how to post-process landscapes

 Intuitive Lens Corrections and RAW Controls

If you’re new to post-processing, you might not be aware of how important it is to correct for lens distortion. Sure, it’s not the most most glorious of adjustments, but it’s as important as leveling your horizon, especially if you’re shooting with a wide angle lens. Until recently, the lack of lens corrections was a major deficiency in Luminar. Now, with the advent Luminar 2018, lens corrections are incredibly easy, all while maintaining complete control. You can find them under the new RAW Develop filter. ((f you’re not shooting in RAW you’re missing out on a lot of your images’ potential!)

lens corrections

Restoring the Original Feel to an Image

Part of the reason we’re inspired by landscapes is because they create a certain feeling—maybe of wonder, magic, beauty…even danger. Yet much of that needs to be brought out in post-processing (or added back in). There are many, many different ways of doing this, and Luminar’s filters don’t disappoint.

Here are a couple of the more unique ones:

Top and Bottom Lighting

Most landscape photos will have a horizon somewhere within the composition. As mentioned before, that means that unless you’re taking multiple exposures or shooting with a neutral density filter, you’re likely to have a bright sky and a darker foreground. (Your camera can only expose for one or the other in a single shot.) Luminar’s Top and Bottom Lighting filter makes brightening the foreground while darkening the sky a breeze.

lighting filter

The Structure Filter

If you shoot in HDR and/or have been using Nik filters, you’re probably already aware of the magic of adding structure to an image. It adds a level of detail, clarity back into the image, and when used correctly, wow-factor. It’s especially good for enhancing the drama in skies and clouds, but will bring out the detail in anything. Luminar’s has three different sliders (amount, softness, and boost) that allow you to control precisely how the details appear.

structure filter

Adding Flair

Dodge and Burn

Dodging and burning has long been a staple of the professional photographer. It’s generally used to lighten or darken specific areas to let you shape the light just the way you want it. In landscapes, you can create a sense of depth by creating transitions from dark to light, or lighten your subject to make them stand out more. In the photo below, the foreground was “burned” in order to offset the brightness of the noon-day sun and to provide a transition from foreground to background.

luminar dodge and burn

The Golden Hour Filter

The golden hour is definitely the most beautiful time of day to shoot, but that doesn’t mean your in-camera shots will automatically capture what you see. In fact, they’ll often lack the warmth and vibrance you remember seeing when you took them. Adding that warmth back in can really make a huge difference, something that’s particularly easy with Luminar’s Golden Hour filter.

golden hour filter

If you didn’t manage to hit the right time of day, you can also use this filter to mimic the golden hour.

Let Your Creativity Flow

While restoring an image to what you intended to capture is important, there’s something to be said for adding in creative changes that will transform your image into something stunningly beyond the reality your shot.

The Sun Rays Filter

The Sun Rays filter is one of Luminar’s newest additions and can only be found in Luminar 2018. It’s an amazing filter that lets you control just about every aspect of the sun, its rays, and their position within your image. You can even control just how much the rays penetrate objects, while the filter automatically masks the light so that it passes through trees, around mountains, and even wraps around objects.

sun filter

The Orton Effect

Ever wonder how they made those dreamy landscapes in The Lord of the Rings movies? It was done with what’s called the Orton effect, a creative look that blurs some areas while keeping others in focus. The Luminar filter offers two different types, as well as a number of control sliders to get it just right.

luminar landscape tutorial

These, of course, this is just a small sampling of the unique filters Luminar has to offer. There are many more in just about every category, as well as number of outdoor and seascape presets to choose from. And while Luminar’s great for quick and easy editing for landscapes, you’ll probably find that it shortens your editing time while adding creative flair to just about any type of photography you’re into. Most importantly for those who would like to be spending more time outdoors than at a computer, Luminar’s focus on speed and ease of use really make it a platform worth looking into.

How to Get the Current Luminar:

The new Luminar 2018 photo editor delivers a breakthrough photo editing experience for photographers on Mac & Windows with new filters, tools, non-destructive editing, major speed boosts, and a digital asset management platform.

luminar editor

New: Luminar 2018 Photo Editor

Luminar 2018 has been updated to offer everything a modern photographer needs for photo editing, including new filters powered by artificial intelligence, major speed improvements, and a dedicated RAW develop module. And, importantly, Luminar now works on both Mac and Windows-based desktop computers.

Found here: Luminar 2018 Photo Editor

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