About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Macphun Luminar Neptune Launches

Macphun Luminar Neptune Launches

Macphun have just released a new and updated version of Luminar. The update features some big new features, as well as a lot of little improvements. I’ve had a chance to use the beta version for a few days, and there are some interesting new features in the application.

So what’s new? Well, here’s the list of new features from the Press release:

New feature highlights in Luminar Neptune:

  • Accent - AI-filter Uses artificial intelligence to create stunning images with a single slider movement, tapping into the power of dozens of filters.
  • Quick & Awesome workspace A workspace consisting of the Accent AI, Saturation & Vibrance and Clarity filters. Great for achieving fast results in a fun and easy way.
  • Plug-in integration with Creative Kit and Aurora HDR 2017 Seamlessly access Macphun’s other photo editing tools you own with Luminar as the host application
  • Brush, Gradient and Radial Gradient tools Dramatically faster performance yields smoother selective editing.
  • Vignette filter Addition of Vignette Styles, Place Center and Pre- and Post-Crop modes deliver even more flexibility to this popular photo finishing tool.
  • Memory management Increased overall performance for large files and 5+ simultaneous open images.
  • User Interface changes Extensive improvements to in-app animation and mode transitions make for a more pleasing editing experience.
  • Crop tool update Added the ability to specify custom crop ratios.
  • Local history Provision for reviewing separate history while in Transform, Denoise, Clone & Stamp modes helps optimize editing.

At first, I thought that the Accent AI filter was going to be a bit of a gimmick, but it actually works, and it works really well. I was surprised at how good it was. I wasn’t expecting it to be something that I would use, but it actually is quite good. Here’s the official blurb on it:

The Accent AI Filter in Luminar uses artificial intelligence to analyze different areas of an image based on its structure, objects, dark and light zones, colors and other parameters. As a user moves the slider, the filter intelligently and automatically “understands” what each area on the photo is lacking and improves it. Moving the slider can also adjust the intensity of changes, making the picture look more natural or revealing a more dramatic look, depending on the desired effect.

Here’s a quick demo of it in operation:

I’ll post a more detailed video demoing this soon. One of the other interesting changes is the way you can now send your image to any of Macphun’s other applications such as Aurora HDR and when you do your processing it will send it back as a new image layer in Luminar.

In terms of the speed increase, I didn’t notice anything massive, but it definitely seems a good bit snappier. The brush tool is definitely faster, in my opinion. Raw files are still a bit slow to load though, and the Noiseless option is still quite slow to process. However, one of the good things is the, if you have the separate noiseless app, you can send your image to that using the new plug-in architecture. This gives you a bit more control, and I think its a bit faster too.

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Watch how I use X-Transformer and Lightroom to Process Fuji Files

Watch how I use X-Transformer and Lightroom to Process Fuji Files

Thoughts on WWDC 2017 for Creative Professionals

Thoughts on WWDC 2017 for Creative Professionals