Gadgets & Gizmos

Macphun has been producing photo editing apps for quite a few years, but until recently only for the Mac. Now it is available for both Mac and Windows - and for some photographers it might be an affordable option to Photoshop or Lightroom.

It's also likely to be of interest to photographers who are new to editing because it takes a slightly different approach to postproduction. Photoshop and Lightroom provide you with all the tools, but they don't make suggestions as to what tools you might like to use. Luminar is a little different in that its interface is designed around the application of filters and what they might look like, using preliminary thumbnails to guide your deliberations.

Now, a filter in Luminar terms is really any form of image adjustment, from standard curve dialogs to brightening and warming filters. The terminology is more general than photographic, perhaps making it more accessible for non-photographers.

However, once you have applied one or a series of filters, you are then able to adjust them yourself using (generally) slider controls. It's easy to preview the result on your screen (and our standard recommendation for having a good quality monitor remains).

In somes ways, Luminar lets you edit your photos a little like the Nik Software plug-ins did for Photoshop and Lightroom, but you don't need Photoshop or Lightroom to run Luminar. Interestingly, you can use Nik and other Photoshop plug-ins with Luminar!

However, there are a lot of advanced features in Luminar as well. If you want to work selectively, Luminar provides the equivalent of layers and masks. Each filter can be applied globally or locally and there are a number of different ways you can brush in the filter effect.

Luminar will open raw files and the new 2018 version is claimed to be much faster than the earlier version, with new and improved algorithms for many of the filters.

And the price? As we go to press, the online price for a download is AUS $99 – and you can download a free trial first.

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