November 2

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Luminar 2018 Announced for Both Mac and Windows

By Dan

November 2, 2017


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Macphun, who just changed their company name to SKYLUM, has just announced the latest update to their flagship photo editing program, LUMINAR 2018.

I’ve been using Luminar for just about one year now, and I’ve found it to be an extremely easy, powerful and fun program. With a great collection of presets and a host of effective editing tools it contains, Luminar offers everything you need for your photo editing needs in a simple, concise package, and it’s added a welcome and efficient component to my workflow.

Luminar has a RAW processor that supports just about every camera format, even Fuji X-Trans files, a huge selection of professional quality filters and image editing tools and some really fun presets. It also offers pro features like layers, masks and blending modes, which allow you to take your photography creativity in whatever direction you want.

​​​​​​Although Luminar is new, the developers are working hard to improve it, and today, they just announced LUMINAR 2018 for both Mac and Windows. The new version contains a streamlined user interface, number of noticeable performance improvements, some great new filters and expanded workspaces that let you customize and create an image editing workflow that matches your style.

Also, coming next year, Luminar will include a full digital asset management system. ​​​​​​​After Adobe’s recent announcement, this is welcome news indeed, and I’m extremely exited about this feature. If it’s as good as they promise, then Luminar could give you all the tools you need as a photographer to finally switch from Adobe. Even without the DAM, it still functions as a powerful and efficient image editing solution.

Full Support for Fujifilm Cameras and X-Trans RAW Files

I actually met with a number of the people behind Luminar at PhotoPlus last week, including the CEO and the Head of Product Development. Both of them were very receptive to my suggestions and answered a number of questions I had about the program.

Regarding Fuji and X-Trans RAW processing, the lead product developer assured me that they’re committed to supporting the Fujifilm cameras. In fact, he’s a Fuji X-T2 user himself and loves the system! And, they support every other major camera system out there.

Regarding their forthcoming assent management system, I gave him my input about what I feel a good catalog program should contain and how it should compare to existing programs. He told me that they’re using Photo Mechanic as a benchmark for speed, and considering that Photo Mechanic is the fastest browser around, that’s a pretty good benchmark to try and attain.

Their goal is to make it fast and comprehensive, without trying to make it do too much. That’s how programs get bloated- too many features and it starts to slow down and become inefficient. There confident that they can create a fast, usable catalog module that allows a Lightroom-style workflow, but with a high degree of simplicity and efficiency.

Judging by the preview and teaser clip on their website, appears that they’re on the right track.

Having used the pre-release version for about a week, I can verify that LUMINAR 2018 is indeed faster and snappier, and it contains some great new UI tweaks, as well as some fun new filters. It has an updated RAW processing engine, speed is improved with a number of features and new algorithms that let you get better colors more quickly.

New filters include SUN RAYS, which offer some incredible fun creative options, from realistic enhancement to over-the-top, image-popping visual candy. A MATTE FILTER allows you dial back and get a subdued, vintage look and LUT MAPPING allows for professional quality color grading.

​​​​​​​Overall, I love the presets and I love how fast I’m able to bring up a photo, make my adjustments and bring and image to life with a minimal amount of processing time. It’s just so easy to use! Check out these blog posts to see how I use Luminar with my images.

This example below shows you how you can use the SUN FILTER to achieve some cool effects without going overboard. You can see even more dramatic examples here.

As is probably the case with all of us, I’ve gotten remarkably busier every year and I don’t necessary have the time to spend lots of hours at my computer processing photos. Also, my style of creativity is pretty spontaneous. Whether I’m using the Fuji film simulations or the Luminar tools, I tend to look at a scene or an image, get an idea, then try out a couple of creative ideas before quickly finding the one I like.

I’m not usually one to labor over minute slider movements or go back and forth between A or B, I like to trust the inherent sparks of creativity that generate quickly inside my brain. Spending too much time deciding takes away from that. Plus it takes away from the time you could spend playing outside and taking more pictures.

I’ve found that Luminar fits well with my style of creativity and that’s why I’ve been loving it so much during the past year. Whether I want quick, snap creative results, or powerful processing tools to make those necessary fine tune adjustments, Luminar has both.

Pre Order From November 1-15

LUMINAR 2018 is available for preorder here, and it will be ready for download on November 16.

If you’re an existing Luminar user, you’ll definitely want this upgrade, and you’ll get a special pre-order price of only $39. If you’re new to the program, the one-time, no subscription price will only be $59. Both of those prices offer $10 savings over the full price, which will be in effect after Nov. 16.

Also, if you were a Windows beta tester, you’ll save an additional $10.

Finally, if you pre-order LUMINAR 2018, you’ll get a bundle of free content, including a pack of presets from Nicole S. Young, an exclusive pack of LUT color grading files and more.

The Pre-order goes through Nov. 15, so you’ll have plenty of time to try it out, and still get the special price if you think it will work for you.

About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 20+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUIJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.


As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.

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Terry Bourk

I have read you new book “Behind the Landscape.” I could not “put it down” meaning that I kept at it because each photo you presented/analyzed was interesting and informative. I am trying to develop an eye for composition (both the scene and the light).

Thank you! The examples you present and the suggestions are very helpful. Purple Mountains, McKinley River and Wonder Lake are fascinating.


Roger Sinclair

You have done it again! Another triumph.

Your generosity to share, the clarity of thought and concise explanation thereof is brilliant. Perhaps I should also mention the beautiful photos and the talent necessary to produce them.

Thank you, Dan.