Five Filters I Love in Luminar

Hello Luminar users!  I hope you are having as much fun with Luminar as I am having.  Isn’t it great?  I am literally spending a HUGE chunk of my time editing photos in Luminar - it’s just so good that I don’t need to use Lightroom (of course, I still create HDR photos in Aurora, and that won’t change).

Now that the product is widely available, I thought it would be fun to write up something about some of my favorite filters in Luminar.  There are currently 38 filters, and believe me when I tell you that I have been through ALL of them, in depth.  You see, I created all the training videos for Macphun for the launch of Luminar (which was an awesome project to work on).

You can find them all here:

Like anyone, I have some favorites among the list.  There are some obvious filters that may be your faves too, such as Clarity, Structure, Color Temperature, Saturation/Vibrance and Top & Bottom Lighting.  I use those all the time, so I thought I would list some others that I love that maybe you have overlooked thus far.  Maybe you are still figuring out your workflow and you haven’t gotten to them all. 

My point is that with Luminar, there is just so much to experiment with, and I personally love them all.  So get in there and try them all out - I think you will enjoy it!

Adjustable gradient

This filter allows you to selectively control exposure, contrast, vibrance and warmth in the top or bottom of the photo.  You can also change blend, shift and orientation which lets you customize where the edits fall on your photo.  It’s sort of like a combination of Top & Bottom Lighting and Saturation/Vibrance.  Sort of.  It’s great for any sort of landscape or cityscape photo where you have two essentially distinct sections - a top and a bottom.

Foliage enhancer 

This filter enhances the color of foliage, so it’s great for landscapes, for example.  It really works on the greens and makes things look lush and beautiful.  As you drag it to the right, things get lusher and greener.  It’s quite beautiful.  However, I also use it to go the other way, removing the green and creating more of a Fall look.  Couple that with some slider adjustments in the HSL filter and you just created a stunning Fall photo, even if you didn’t see one.  ;-) 

Orton Effect

I really can't get enough Orton Effect!!  This is a really cool filter that includes both glow and focus so it looks sharp and soft at the same time.  It’s hard to explain.  I find that it creates a really dreamy look in landscapes.  It would also be great for blue hour or sunset photos taken in a city, where you can give it a lovely, moody sort of look.

Soft Focus  

This filter adds a creative glow to portraits and wedding photos, but since I don’t shoot those at all, I use it to soften up blue hour photos, giving them a more magical feel.  See how it gets all soft and dreamy?  It's doubly helpful when the streets are wet as in the example below.

Split Color Warmth 

Don’t confuse this with Split Toning (which works on highlights and shadows).  This filter selectively enhances cool and warm tones, increasing color contrast and vibrancy.  You can really accentuate colors or even create interesting color shifts.  I often use it on sunsets to give it more "pop" - like in the example below - but also in gray, overcast scenes to give them a bit more color.

Well, that’s a quick rundown of 5 filters in Luminar that I highly recommend you take a closer look at.  They are powerful, flexible and fun, and give you a lot of room for creative expression, which I believe is incredibly important.

What are your favorites so far?

If you haven't tried Luminar yet, you can download a free trial via the banner below. Why not give it a test drive?  You just might decide it's something you need.  It took me about 5 minutes to decide it was awesome!  ;-)