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Your Guide to Understanding the Luminar 2018 Dashboard

10 Jan

With Macphun (soon to be Skylum) keen to promote Luminar 2018 as a replacement for Lightroom, there’s no doubt that there are many photographers who are interested in trying it. Unfortunately, that’s where the confusion may start as the Luminar interface is completely different from both Lightroom and Photoshop.

If you’re new to Macphun software then it can take time to find your way around the new interface. But if you’ve already used some of their other programs you’ll find that Luminar is very familiar, as Macphun tends to use the same layout in most of its software.

Note: The screenshots in this article are taken from the Mac version of Luminar 2018.

Luminar Dashboard Layout

When you open a photo in the program for the first time, you see something like this.

Luminar dashboard

The photo you’re working on is displayed in the center. Presets are shown along the bottom (red). The side panel on the right is where you apply filters and create workspaces (green). There are more tools along the top (yellow). See the image below.

Luminar dashboard

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Luminar Presets

One of the benefits of using Luminar is that it comes with lots of presets that you can use. If you don’t like presets, that’s okay – presets are optional and you can ignore them, or hide the panel if you do not use them.

Luminar presets are intelligent and each one comes with an amount slider. If you like a preset but the effect is too strong you can reduce the intensity. That means Luminar presets are adaptable and you can use them in a subtle way if that’s what you prefer.

Click on any preset to apply it to your photo (marked below). In this example, I selected a preset called Center of Attention. Afterwards, you’ll see an amount slider which you can set anywhere on a scale from zero to 100. You can also click on the star icon to add the preset to your list of favorites so you can find the ones you like quickly.

Luminar dashboard

Click on the Categories button (marked below with the big red arrow) to reveal a list of preset categories available in your version of Luminar. Click on any of the categories to display the presets underneath.

Luminar displays Basic presets by default, but you can choose from categories such as Street, Dramatic and Portrait. You can also click on Favorites to show any presets you have marked as a favorite. Clicking on “Get More Presets” takes you to a page on the website where you can get additional sets of preset (some which are paid, and some that are free).

Luminar dashboard

Workspaces, Layers, and Filters

If you’re a Lightroom user then Luminar’s right-hand panel will look familiar as they are similar to the panels in Lightroom’s Develop module. There’s a histogram at the top, layers underneath that (yes, Luminar has layers!) and then filters below.

Luminar dashboard

This area might look a little bare at first, but that’s only because the workspace is clear. In Luminar, a workspace is a selection of filters displayed which are ready for you to use.

Filters are Luminar’s equivalent of the right-hand panels in Lightroom, or the various Layer adjustments available in Photoshop. The reason Luminar doesn’t display all the available filters is that there are so many of them (50 in total). Instead of showing all the filters, Luminar arranges them into workspaces. You can use one of Luminar’s built-in workspaces or you can create your own.

Click on the Clear workspace button (below) to choose one of Luminar’s built-in workspaces. Here, I chose the Portrait workspace. It has nine filters which, as you might expect, are useful for developing portraits.

Luminar dashboard

Click on the gray arrow (marked below) to open up a filter and reveal its settings and sliders. The screenshot below shows the Develop filter, which is similar to Lightroom’s Basic panel.

Note: When working with RAW files this filter is called RAW Develop, and when working with JPGs is simply called Develop.

Luminar dashboard

Another benefit of using workspaces is that you can customize them to display only the filters that you want to use. You can start by removing and adding filters to one of Luminar’s built-in workspaces.

To remove a filter click on the white arrow next to the filter name (marked below) and select Delete from the pull-down menu.

Luminar dashboard

To add a filter, click the Add filters button (marked below). Luminar opens the Filters Catalog to the left, and they are displayed in helpful categories as you can see below like; Issue Fixers, Creative, etc. Here, you can select a filter to add it to your workspace.

Luminar dashboard

When you hover over the name of a filter in the filters Catalog Luminar displays an information panel to tell you what the filter does.

Luminar dashboard

To save the workspace, click on Custom workspace (marked below) and select Save As New Workspace. Now, your new workspace will appear in the list and you can select it any time you want.

Luminar dashboard

The Luminar Toolbar

Finally, the Toolbar at the top of Luminar contains some extra commands and tools that you will find useful. Most of these are self-explanatory. When you hover the mouse over an icon Luminar displays a strip of text to explain what it does. In the screenshot below, you can see that the mouse pointer is over the Compare icon.

Luminar dashboard

As you can see, the Luminar interface is simple and easy to use. The biggest obstacle to using Luminar is understanding how presets, workspaces, and filters work. Once you understand how to use these tools then you can start exploring the potential of Luminar to create beautiful photos.

Disclaimer: Macphun, soon to be Skylum, is a dPS advertising partner.

The post Your Guide to Understanding the Luminar 2018 Dashboard by Andrew S. Gibson appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for landscapes

20 Dec

Landscape photography isn’t as simple as just showing up in front of a beautiful view and taking a couple of pictures. Landscape shooters have a unique set of needs and requirements for their gear, and we’ve selected some of our favorites in this buying guide.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for students

19 Dec

If you’re looking to learn more about photography there are some great cameras available. We’ve chosen a handful of models that offer an affordable way into photography, but give you plenty of scope to grow as you develop your skills.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for parents

18 Dec

Quick. Unpredictable. Unwilling to sit still. Kids really are the ultimate test for a camera’s autofocus system. We’ve compiled a short list of what we think are the best options for parents trying to keep up with young kids, and narrowed it down to one best all-rounder.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for sports and action

10 Dec

Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes ‘zoom’? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child’s soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for video

09 Dec

Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best consumer drones

09 Dec

Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $ 2,000.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best fixed prime lens cameras

07 Dec

The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it’s here that you’ll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best enthusiast long zoom cameras

06 Dec

Long-zoom compacts fill the gap between pocketable cameras and interchangeable lens models with expensive lenses, offering a great combination of lens reach and portability. Here’s a look at the category’s current offerings and which ones we like best.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras over $2000

05 Dec

The very best digital cameras on the market will cost you at least $ 2000. That’s a lot of money, but generally speaking these cameras offer serious enthusiasts and working pros the highest resolution, best build quality and most advanced video specs out there. Here are our picks in the group.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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