If you missed the newsletter over the weekend (or the post yesterday about it) then you may have missed the recent Luminar news. So here it is… In a past newsletter, I talked a little bit about how my main workflow has moved away from Aurora HDR to Luminar Neo, now that it has HDR functionality available. That has continued to be the case and every image you saw in recent blog posts was processed on Luminar Neo. It’s a great bit of software and it has been interesting to watch it evolve. Most recently Skylum (finally!) added panorama functionality which removes yet another reason to stick with alternate software. You should definitely check it out. 🙂
Here’s a quick and fun review of Luminar Neo! You can use the code TREY10 to get $10 off the yearly or lifetime plans. For those of you who are existing Aurora HDR users, that entitles you to grab the HDR extension for Neo with special pricing, depending on the version you have and for some of you that might even mean free! Just be sure to sign up for Neo with the same email you used to register Aurora HDR to get access to the best pricing. 🙂
Before we begin, here’s an image I’ve produced with Neo to get you in the mood…
And now on with the review (click here)…
Luminar AI – Processing Landscapes With People in Them
Luminar AI (launched yesterday!) is great for landscapes and portraits… in this quick look vid I process an image that is somewhere in between using templates, sky replacement, adding mist/fog and more. Grab Luminar AI here.
Daily Photo – Taking photos in New Zealand with Brandin Cooks
Here’s my buddy Brandin Cooks here in New Zealand when we went to go explore Skipper’s Canyon. This guy is such a badass… If you follow the NFL, then you know he has played for a bunch of teams and is now in Houston, being even more of a badass. As you can tell from his photography positioning, he’s even a badass when he takes photos!
Landscapes with Luminar AI
I’ve been using Luminar for a while now, along with Aurora HDR, as my main software for processing images. It’s just so powerful and feature packed which makes editing images even more fun than normal. Recently I got hold of the new Luminar AI which replaces Luminar 4 and it’s great. There is a bunch of AI based stuff on the front end which helps you select templates (think presets) which is great for beginners or to inspire some ideas for processing. For those of us who want to get hands on that is still an option and there are a bunch of new sliders to play around with. Check out the vid below where I process a landscape image and if you’re interested in grabbing the software you can do so here. 🙂
Daily Photo – Evening Storm Rolling into Naples
I can see why Florida has a huge appeal to people who are the beachy sorts. I don’t actually think I am the beachy sort… I’m more the mountainy sort. But I’d do that split about 70/30. I certainly don’t hate the beach and I’ve been having a great time exploring all the beaches on the North Island of NZ. Nothing against Florida or anything, but I think I like the beaches here a bit more because they are so remote you hardly see anyone else… makes it easy for a fun skinny dip or two.
Passport Sunday Fun
Today, I have a new video that shows off the new Luminar AI if you are a Passport Member! You can get it now via that link for a pre-order and it’s released in just a few days. I think you are really going to like it!
Sunday: Mountains on top of Mountains
Today’s video will entertain you with a quick tour-de-force all around the new Luminar AI. I start off with a rather silly example of how you can add mountains on top of mountains… Hey, I would not doctor a photo quite that much, but it’s kind of cool how easy it is. Besides that quirky feature, I show off a lot more that are more practical.
Daily Photo – Singing Circle in Papua New Guinea
While at the festival, we would visit 20-30 different tribes. They all had their unique outfits and singing patterns. There’s a big competition with which tribes have the coolest outfits and the coolest song & dance routine. I think the contest is pretty unofficial, but it’s still quite competitve. In fact, it can turn quite violent and the military has to come in with tear gas and stuff. When that happens, it’s time to leave the scene quickly!
Passport Sunday Texture Party!
If you’re a Passport Member then today you get to see a new tutorial video I made about using textures with the new version of Luminar! I’ve been playing with it quite a bit, so you’ll get to see all my new tricks. I had a lot of fun making this new tutorial, as you can tell!
Using Textures in Luminar
If you’ve seen my previous tutorials on textures, then you know how it can be a bit daunting to use these with Photoshop. I think when you use Luminar that things are about 100x easier because of the interface. In the video, I show three levels of expertise. I start with fairly basic stuff that anyone can easily understand and then I ramp it up to the next few levels if you want to try some more advanced techniques.
Luminar 4 is go!
Wooo! Luminar 4 is officially out! That team over at Skylum has added some incredible features to this go-around. Be sure to get it! I use it every day!
Daily Photo – Pretty Girl at the Kwik-E-Mart in Madagascar
I took this with my Pixel 3 phone. Incredible, right? At some point, I’m going to stop being amazed at all the cool photos I get with this incredible phone. I’m about to get the Pixel 4, which is supposed to be even better. Another interesting thing is that this girl wasn’t even posing. That’s how she was sitting when my friend Mark and I walked into the store together. I thought she was really beautiful and asked to take her photo… she was so cool and said, “Sure, why not?”
Today’s photo reminds me that I used it as an example to show some of the new features of the new Luminar. There are about 20-30 different skies you can automatically swap out. One of the cooler aspects of the tool is that if you choose a sunset sky, it actually changes the tone of everything not in the sky as well. It’s adjustable so you can make it look incredibly realistic.
Pre-Order Luminar 4 with AI Skin Enhancer and Sky Replacement
Well, Luminar 4 is now ready for pre-order and it looks like they’re really going for Adobe’s throat! It already had a ton of features and tools that are sorely lacking in Lightroom. This one has a bunch of new tools that are pretty wicked-smart and fast!
One is the AI Sky Replacement. Below is a picture I took of those famous Baobab trees I visited last week in Madagascar. I went all the way to Madagascar and the sky was so boring… what a bummer! Anyway, this AI Sky replacement is pretty rad because there are a ton of different ones to choose from (or use your own), and it’s a simple one-click operation. Besides blue skies, it’s also easy to choose from a ton of sunsets and other dramatic skies. You can make a few other adjustments too as you can see in the screenshot.
The second cool feature is the AI Portrait stuff. It’s pretty amazing how simple it is to change someone’s face – either a little or a lot. Some people like their faces to get a bit of fluff and others don’t. Who am I to judge? In the example below, this was actually a picture of the Unabomber that I turned into my previous assistant Tane. You can see all the sliders on the right. It’s really quite incredible.. and if you’re a portrait kinda person, don’t miss it!
The third sweet tool is the AI Structure enhancer. The cool thing about it is that it doesn’t make any adjustments to humans in the scene. AI Structure can really make textures and other elements “pop” without making the humans in the scene look overly sharp, gritty, or illustrative. As you can see in the screenshot below (another one I took a few weeks ago in Zimbabwe), it’s just two simple sliders!