First Trial of Luminar Software.

A possible replacement for Adobe – like Lightroom with layers

I hadn’t heard of Luminar until recently, but the reviews looked good so I decided to try it as a possible replacement for Adobe. (I am working with the PC version)

Having a software that is like Lightroom with layers is very attractive, and it is not a subscription, just a one of payment.

I have been using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for years and I do believe they are possibly the best editing software available.

However, for me they are expensive. In Australia I am paying $15 per month. That is not a lot if you are gaining an income from your photography to cover it. I take photos for the love of it and am always striving to improve. Sharing my work is important to me. But, so far, no income.

I have tried several possible replacements in the past but all have come up short for one reason or another – confusing interface, steep learning curve, etc.

So this past weekend I bought both Luminar and Aurora HDR. I hadn’t planned to buy aurora, but there was a very good 72 hour offer going and processing HDR images is one of the things I would lose from Adobe.

I couldn’t get the free trial to work for either software, so decided to buy them as there is a 30 day money back option if I decide they are not for me.

NB I had sent an email to the tech support team about this and had a reply within hours.

Learning the software

Putting time into learning new software is always a challenge, but Skylum have a printable User Guide for both, and there are lots of videos available.

I started out by reading the Guide for Luminar. I’m glad I read to the end as I discovered that Luminar can’t save layered documents except in its own native format. It also can’t open layered images. I have yet to find a way around this.

The editing is non destructive, like Lightroom, but saving gives you a “flattened” JPEG or TIFF.

I have created a new folder for the layered images – so no problem.

First practice

The Develop interface is almost identical to Adobe Lightroom.

There is no library, though Skylum are apparently releasing one as an update in June, free to existing users.

To open an image is a bit problematical if you shoot in RAW, and also have converted images to DNG in Adobe, as I have. Drag and drop from Adobe Bridge is working fine for me.

So far I have only had a quick look around the interface, and a play with a couple of images.

I will be posting information as I learn along.

I’m going to start by editing an image in both Lightroom and Luminar for comparison.

A note on closing images. Don’t spend time searching for a close icon – there is none (I was bemused by this then ‘googled’ it). Opening a new image will automatically close the existing one – with the choice to save. I’m sure Skylum have this on their list for future updates.

Adobe Bridge

I am a great fan of Bridge, and do all my sorting there. It has saved me many times when totally confused by Lightroom.

I was worried about losing it but have found it is available as a free download. Phew!

here is the info and link I found..

The NIK Software collection.

I have been using this as a Plug in for Photoshop and didn’t want to lose it. So was relieved to find that I can use it as a stand alone. Here is the link

At present it is still a free download.

Till next time, Lorraine.

Tags,. image editing, Adobe replacement, Luminar, Skyline software, Lightroom, Photoshop, Lightroom with layers, photography, photo editing Adobe Bridge, NIK Software


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