I am a longtime fan of DxO Photolab and the Nik Collection especially for correcting and then editing my images.
Now Luminar AI has come along from Skylum which promises to change the way that you edit. Skylum’s approach to using artificial intelligence to analyse, suggest and edit images brings a whole new way of thinking and working when processing your images.
At first, I was not sure that Skylum had delivered on their promise of “AI photo editing. Awesome. Faster.”
However, when you remove the hyped marketing and start to use Luminar AI as intended, the results are very good.
Luminar analyses your image looking for people, objects and other elements in your photos. Based on the content it suggests one or more templates to apply to your image. The templates are a combination of using AI and more traditional photo adjustments. Once you have applied the template you are free to make further adjustments to your image through the edit tab in Luminar AI.
One of the really interesting features of using Luminar AI is that if you have a set of similar images, once you have applied a template and made any adjustments, you can then synch the edits to the other images. Luminar AI will analyse those images too and using AI apply just the right amount of corrections and enhancements to the synched images.
I have found some templates to be more useful than others, and you can even create your own. For instance, I have created a basic template that only uses the AI functions of Luminar AI, If I do not like the suggested templates I use my basic template as a starting point for processing my image. Templates are just that, starting points to creative image enhancements.
The image above was taken on my small travel camera, a Lumix LX100. You can see the camera settings below.
I underexposed by -0.7 of a stop to keep the detail in the sky.
Whilst this is a contrasty backlight scene you can see from the histogram that the the RAW file will have nearly all the data from both the shadows and the highlights recorded.
And here is that same image after being corrected in DxO Photolab and then output as A TIFF file to Luminar AI.
This is a tricky shot to process as you need to work on bringing and retaining details in both the highlight and shadow areas and to enhance the colour and vibrance of the scene as well as thinking about a good crop for the scene. All of this was handled in an instance with Lumiar AI! Of course, once the template has been applied you are free to edit and change the look to your liking.
The edit above was quite a dramatic change to the original RAW file but changes can be more subtle too, check out the before and after below.
Combing pre-sets in DxO Photlab and Templates in Luminar AI provides me with a way to quickly correct and enhance my images.