Macphun's Luminar - now available as a FREE TRIAL

Macphun’s Luminar Now Available – Try it For Free

Macphun today launches Luminar, it’s newest photo editing software for the Mac. It is their first all-in-one editor and includes some key features such as a RAW converter & processor, non-destructive workflow, customizable workspaces, layers, 38 filters, and much more.

Macphun's Luminar - now available as a FREE TRIAL

 

I have been using a beta of Luminar for a few weeks and have been very impressed. Be sure to read my Luminar Preview here! Image quality has been fantastic and I have really been enjoying the workflow and tools available.

But don’t just take my word for it – there is a FREE TRIAL available so you can see first-hand how impressive the program is and be sure to let me know how you like it, what your favorite features are, and even let me know what is missing from this v1.0 software in the comments below!

I will be having more to say about this software in the near future so be sure to stay tuned – including an announcement coming real soon on a new Luminar online course I am getting ready to produce 😉

Be sure to join my Luminar and Aurora HDR Users Group on Facebook!

luminar-aurora-hdr

 

The New Luminar from Macphun – A Preview

UPDATE: Now you can download a FREE TRIAL of Luminar!

 

Be sure to join my Luminar and Aurora HDR Users Group on Facebook!

luminar-aurora-hdr

Macphun, the (currently) Mac-only photo software company that is behind popular photography editing programs Aurora HDR 2017 and the Creative Kit (which features programs such as Intensify, Tonality, Snapheal, FX Photo Studio, Focus, and Noiseless) has a brand new program coming out November 17, 2016 called Luminar. I have been working with a beta version for a couple weeks now and here is a quick preview with my initial impressions.

Also included in this preview is my exclusive video interview with Kevin La Rue, the V.P of Macphun regarding Luminar. Look for the interview towards the end of this preview!

Luminar Workspace

 

Luminar is a brand new program and is Macphun’s first all-in-one photo editing solution.

It features:

Innovative Adaptive User Interface

The Luminar user interface is built around the idea that every photographer is different, and therefore their photo editing needs are different too. Users can choose from 4 default interface variations, designed for: quick image fixes, photo enhancement with presets, an intermediate level of control, and advanced editing.

Built in RAW converter

Luminar so far in my testing has done a very impressive job in RAW processing from my Sony a7R files. Shadow recovery is way better than Lightroom and on par with Capture One Pro, with fantastic color and low noise.

2016-11-10_21-29-22

Workspaces & Filters

Luminar is the first Macphun editor to introduce Workspaces – innovative collections of tools most suitable for a specific type of photography. Default Workspaces will cover Portrait, Landscape, Street, and Black & White Photography. In addition, users can create an unlimited number of custom Workspaces, as well as import Workspaces from other photographers.

Over 35 Imaging Filters

Luminar 1.0 will feature over 35 innovative imaging filters, from classic Tone & Exposure, to Bi-Color, Photo Filter Emulation, Cross-Processing, Detail Enhancement and dozens of others. Each filter category includes a set of precise controls, which can be adjusted to create countless different looks.

Convenient descriptions and previews of the effect are available with each filter too. Some of my favorite right away are the Adjustable Gradient, Advanced Contrast, Image Radiance, Channel Mixer, Color Contrast, and Orton Effect filters. 

Luminar Filters

Users can save a group of pre-adjusted filters to create their own one-click preset, or for convenience, choose from over 50 pre-defined presets. With categories ranging from Outdoor to Portrait, Street to Drama, there’s a preset for every photography style.

Innovative non-destructive editing and powerful selection tools

The new Luminar for Mac introduces a new editing workflow. Users can change the order of applied filters at any time in the editing process, therefore totally changing the look of their photo. With the new History feature users can check all steps of the editing process, and go back to any step at any time.

The new selection tools in Luminar include: adjustable editing brush, radial and gradient masking, as well as masking with a single layer and masking with an independent filter.

Together with the powerful blend modes, layers and filters, these masking tools allow users to easily perform even the most complex edits.   

Luminar Masking

One thing I really like about Luminar is the ability to create a mask on any individual filter. This allows you to paint-in the effect you want to the specific part of the photo you want. No need to create a separate layer – just grab the brush tool and click on the filter you want to create the mask from and paint away.

What else is in Luminar?

  • Essential photo fixing tools, including spot healing, crop & transform, clone & stamp, noise reduction and other.

  • Complete photo enhancement toolset, including exposure & contrast controls, saturation, vibrance, clarity, sharpness, polarization, and more.

  • Creative color controls & adjustments, including bi-color, split toning, selective luminosity, saturation & hue controls and more.

  • A myriad of photo filters, including cross process, glow, orton effect, monochrome, soft tone and more.

  • Layers with blend modes and layer masking

  • Custom Textures with blend modes

  • Works as a standalone software, plugin & extension

2016-11-10_21-21-31

 

My Preview Conclusion

As the version of Luminar I have been using for the last few weeks is a beta I will withhold giving a more in-depth review until I am able to test a final shipping version. So I won’t go into detail on missing features, as I already sent Macphun my list of things missing and will wait to see what gets added between now and the final shipping version. In certain situations I noticed some undesirable results in image processing that I made them aware of – which is normal in beta testing – so I won’t give an official grade on image quality either at this point.

I will say however, in regards to image quality, I am for the most part quite impressed with the results from RAW files from my Sony a7R. Results that in many cases equal, if not exceed, what I have come to expect with Capture One Pro and which are far better than what I see in Lightroom – especially in shadow detail.

Having a completely customizable workspace is wonderful, and there is a large amount of filter effects you can use to completely enhance your photographs.

Luminar is not here to replace the Creative Kit nor Aurora HDR 2017. While some features overlap with the Creative Kit, some still remain exclusive to the Kit while others are exclusive to Luminar. Watch my video interview with Kevin La Rue, the V.P. of Macphun below for more info on this.

In conclusion, based on what I have seen from the beta I have I would definitely recommend purchasing Luminar or at the very least I would be sure to download a free trial once it becomes available on November 17. Macphun appears to be very committed to Luminar and I would expect to see any missing features not available in the v1.0 release to be strongly considered for future versions. I will certainly be bugging my contacts at Macphun to add features I notice are missing 😉

2016-11-10_22-30-34

Special Pre-Order Savings Now through November 17

Luminar is available for pre-order now at a discounted price of $59 for all new users, and just $49 for anyone who already uses has Macphun photo software. The pre-order offer also includes a bonus pack of photo training videos and a course on building a photography business from Will Burrard-Lucas, an award-winning UK based wildlife photographer with over one million Facebook fans. Laminar will be available to download on November 17. Read more about Luminar on Macphun’s blog here and pre-order it here.

2016-11-10_21-23-42

Exclusive Video Interview with Kevin La Rue

The last week of October I had the opportunity to interview my friend Kevin La Rue, the V.P. of Macphun. This interview was primarily for those who purchased my Mastering Aurora HDR 2017 Online Course, as we talked quite a bit about Aurora and Macphun.

But we also talked about Luminar. The video below contains the edited par of the video where we discussed Luminar.

Aurora HDR 2017 Review

Aurora HDR 2017 Review

In November of 2015 Macphun took the photo processing world by storm when it released Aurora HDR Pro – a brand new program designed for HDR photography with features no other HDR software package had. Made for the Mac in partnership with HDR guru Trey Ratcliff, in 10 months since it’s release it has amassed nearly 700,000 downloads.

Now almost one year later Macphun is releasing their newest version, called Aurora HDR 2017.

They say it is packed with improvements and new features. But what exactly has been improved and how special are these new features in a program that has been out for less than a year? And more importantly, are these new features & improvements worth upgrading so soon?

Find out here in my in-depth Aurora HDR 2017 Review!

Saguaros at sunset at MacDonald's Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona
This photo was from 3 exposures edited in Aurora HDR 2017, using 3 additional layers – one of
which was a luminosity mask to bring back the sky from one of the original 
exposures – and
the other 2 were for selective edits with the masking brush.

Macphun Announces Aurora HDR 2017

Last month, in August of this year, Macphun announced the newest version of Aurora, called Aurora HDR 2017, and mentioned it would be coming out later this year (available September 29, 2016). This was announced 8 months after the original version was released.

 

2016-09-13_22-09-38

So what is Aurora HDR 2017?

Read More

Beware of Bad Rokinon Lenses

If you are into Milky Way and nightscape photography, two of the best lenses out there are from Rokinon – the Rokinon 24mm f1.4 and the Rokinon 14mm f2.8.

BUT – make sure you get a good one!

rokinon-14mm

 

When I ordered my 24mm lens, I finally didn’t get a good version of the lens until my 3rd one. The first two lenses had issues with one side of the frame being soft.

Today I took delivery of two 14mm lenses, thinking that one of them would be ok. Both were bad and are being returned to B&H Photo. In the meantime I have 2 more lenses being sent my way.

One lens has the issue with being soft on one side. The other lens is sharp side to side, but just off center the image is soft and has what appears to be a glow effect in it.

This image is soft on the right-hand side. Shot at f2.8 on a Sony a7R.

This image is soft on the right-hand side. Shot at f2.8 on a Sony a7R. Click on photo to download the full-resolution image.

 

_DSC2923 copy

This photo has issues just off-center. Shot at f2.8 on a Sony a7R. Click on photo to download the full-resolution image.

 

Night photographers love these lenses because they are much less expensive than the comparable Nikon/Canon versions. And not only are they cheaper, but they produce better images with less artifacts when shooting stars wide open.

They are less expensive for two reasons: 1) they are full manual lenses, and 2) the company doesn’t invest much in quality control. The soft side issue I have been having is common with these lenses. The other issue I had? I haven’t come across that one yet.

If you are considering getting one or both of these great lenses, make sure you buy from a company that has a good return policy and be sure to test them out right away! I am hoping one of the next 2 lenses that are headed my way is a perfect one.

Want to take a workshop with me and learn how to photograph the Milky Way and nightscapes? Check out my photo workshop page for available workshops!

[grwebform url=”https://app.getresponse.com/view_webform_v2.js?u=BbnJ6&webforms_id=6003401″ css=”on” center=”off” center_margin=”200″/]

[grwebform url=”https://app.getresponse.com/view_webform_v2.js?u=BbnJ6&webforms_id=5968601″ css=”on” center=”off” center_margin=”200″/]




HDR Photography is back in a big way with Aurora HDR from Macphun and Trey Ratcliff

Some amazing new software is coming this week from the group at Macphun, makers of the Creative Kit which includes popular Mac only photo enhancement apps Intensify, Tonality, Snapheal, FX Photo Studio, Focus, and Noiseless.

It is a brand new app called Aurora HDR and was made with help from HDR guru Trey Ratcliff.

And let me tell you, it is quite impressive!! I recently received a beta copy of the software and after using it just a short time I was almost instantly convinced that this is the best HDR software out there, bar none.

 

2015-11-15_19-06-52 copy

I have tried this photo with other HDR software programs in the past and always got halos around the trees and inferior color and brightness.

Read More

ON1 Photo 10 Review – Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of my ON1 Photo 10 Review I talked about the new look, the Browse Module, and the Enhance Module. Part 2 here finishes with the rest of the improvements to ON1 Photo 10 as well as my conclusion summary.

– the Portrait Module

The Portrait module got a refresh with a new way of working with facial features that makes it easier for retouching.

In previous versions of Perfect Photo Suite, when you brought a photo of a person into Portrait and clicked on the green box after the software automatically found a face, the software would also automatically find the eyes and the mouth.

In ON1 Photo 10 when starting to work on facial features you now have to select the eyes and mouth manually. It is a quick and easy process. First click on the left eye, then the right. Then click on the left corner of the mouth, then the right. For portraits photographed from the side where only one eye and part of the mouth is visible, you have the option of skipping those particular point selections.

Gone are the auto selection of eyes and mouth. Now you go step by step selecting first the left eye, then right. Then the left corner of the mouth, then the right.

Gone is the auto selection of eyes and mouth. Now you go step by step selecting first the left eye, then right. Then the left corner of the mouth, then the right.

 

ON1-Photo-10-Course-600x400

Read More
Page 1 of 212