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Hands-on with Luminar’s new AI Sky Enhancer

Earlier today, Skylum released a Luminar update that adds a new AI Sky Enhancer feature. As a photographer in less-than-sunny Michigan, I was pretty excited to hear this, as it would make boosting my sky much, much easier.

I was able to play around with the tool in advance of its release, and I must say it’s downright impressive.

No more blown-out skies

In the past, I’d use a workflow to either replace the sky in Luminar, or use Luminar’s gradient tool to tone down the highlights and increase the saturation and contrast in the sky. While this worked to a point, it wasn’t ideal, and it was certainly time-consuming. I wanted the original sky, and I wanted it to shine!

By using the new AI Sky Enhancer, I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders when it comes to my landscape photos.

Take this photo I took a couple years back in New York, during the Out of New York Conference. I love the photo, and I’ve even sold some prints of it. But the white levels in the clouds, even after working on them quite a bit, were just too blown out.

Before AI Sky Enhancer

In Luminar, I can use the AI Sky Enhancer slider to bring back some of the detail in these clouds, making for a more even sky. My blues are also darker and less hazy.

After AI Sky Enhancer

I can even take it a step further, using the Accent AI Filter, which adds a bit of a boost to not only the sky, but the rest of my image.

After Accent AI Filter

The great thing about AI Sky Enhancer is it automatically recognizes what is the sky and what isn’t, and it’s extremely accurate.

Fine-tuned control

While the AI Sky Enhancer is very accurate, sometimes it mistakes something for the skies. Take this photo from my trip out west earlier this year, before and after applying AI Sky Enhancer.

You can see that the blue mountains in the background are being affected by the AI Sky Enhancer. Luckily, there’s an easy way to mask this out. Simply click the brush tool on the AI Sky Enhancer filter, and erase the parts of the image you don’t want to be affected. In my case, I didn’t have to be pixel-perfect, as there was a feather on the brush that let the affect fade out in a realistic manner.

It’s a subtle change, but being able to easily mask out elements makes this tool really handy.

Upgrade today!

Current users of Luminar 2018 get the AI Sky Enhancer as a free upgrade. And if you don’t have Luminar, click here to receive $20 off the list price! Want to see more? Below is a video showing the power of the new AI Sky Enhancer.

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