How to edit photos with Luminar AI

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Luminar AI’s templates offer a quick way to creatively categorize your images to produce a range of eye-catching looks. However, by using a template you run the risk of making your shots very similar to each other and somewhat “standardized”. Your photos may also suffer from issues of under or overexposure, color casts, and lens-induced distortion.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to resolve these issues. In this guide, we go over the top tips for editing your photos in Luminar AI, troubleshooting issues, and avoiding pitfalls.

Luminar AI has a digital darkroom – the editing module – which is packed with tools that can overcome common image problems. While the latest iPhones use Smart HDR to combine multiple exposures into a single, well-exposed photo, if you’re shooting with DSLR cameras, it can be more difficult to capture details in shadows and contrasting highlights.

Luminar can selectively adjust contrasting tones to reveal missing details. And of course, many of Luminar’s editing tools also have an AI component to help you troubleshoot common issues with a few slider tweaks, which we’ll explain here. Not sure about Luminar AI? For more options, check out our roundup of the best AI photo editing software and our pick of the best photo editing software.

How to restore shadow and highlight details

01. Improve AI

(Photo: © George Cairns)

To correct a high-contrast shot that lacks detail in shadows and highlights, click the Edit module. Open Improve AI. Drag the Accent slider to the right to simultaneously lighten shadows and darken highlights.

02. Make tonal tweeks

(Photo: © George Cairns)

Slide the AI ​​upgrade to the right to grab more detail from the sky. Open the Light panel. Manually reveal more color and sky detail by dragging the Highlights slider to the left. Reveal more underexposed detail by dragging Shadows to the right.

03. Add delicate details

(Photo: © George Cairns)

To create an impression with more punch, open the Structure panel. Drag the Amount slider to the right. This increases the contrast of midtones and brings out more delicate details such as masonry. Increase Boost to add extra impact.

How to reveal true colors

01. Add color casts

(Photo: © George Cairns)

Different light sources can add warm (orange) or cool (blue) color casts to a shot. The cameras attempt to perform an automatic white balance (AWB) operation to remove casts and display true colors. This does not always succeed.

02. Correct manually

(Photo: © George Cairns)

Open the Light panel. You can try choosing WB presets from the menu, such as Tungsten. For more precise results, click the eyedropper tool on an area that should be white. A hot image will cool down.

03. Adjust color

(Photo: © George Cairns)

Open the Color panel and drag Vibrance. This reinforces the weaker colors without over-saturating the skin tones. There is also a Remove Color Cast slider, although this is not as effective as performing a custom balance correction.

How to remove noise and distortion

01. See the noise

(Photo: © George Cairns)

In low light conditions, your camera may use a high (fast) ISO speed to capture more detail. However, this can lead to unpleasant spots of color and luminance noise. Press ç + 1 to zoom in 100% and check noise.

02. Reduce noise

(Photo: © George Cairns)

Open the Denoise panel. Slide Color Denoise at 100 percent. This reduces the rainbow color noise specifications. Drag Luminosity Noise to the right to achieve a compromise between smoothing noise while preserving key details.

03. Reduce distortion

(Photo: © George Cairns)

Each lens adds some distortion to a shot (causing straight lines to bend or a barrel around the edges for example). Scroll down to the Professional section, open the optics and check the Automatic distortion corrections box.

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