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Last month, I shared why I am loving skin retouching in Luminar 4. I had a friend reach out to me after reading it and asked if I could share how I got my images into Luminar.

If you aren’t familiar with Luminar, Luminar 4 is an amazing app for editing your images. It’s so easy to use that it allows your editing to be the least of your worries. One of the coolest features about Luminar is that it can be a plugin for Lightroom Classic. I know you’re probably thinking, “Why not just use Luminar as a stand-alone editor?”

My answer is simple: I don’t edit every image and sometimes I don’t edit images at all. When I do edit something, I am not doing all the cool things like adding filters and effects. My friend and Luminar Ambassador, Michele Grenier, does those things really well. I just need to touch-up on a face.

Plus, to be 100% honest, I have used Lightroom Classic for years now and I have my cataloging, organizing, etc. right where I want it. So moving everything right now scares me as I am trying to figure out Luminar and see what works best. Who knows, maybe in a few months I’ll only be using Luminar. :)

Using Luminar 4 as a plugin

If you didn’t install the Lightroom Classic plugin when first installing Luminar 4, go to Luminar 4 > Install Plugins… and do so. Then follow the instructions below.

  1. Make sure Adobe Lightroom Classic is open.
  2. From Lightroom Classic, choose your image(s) that you want to work on with Luminar.
  3. In the top menu, click Photo > Edit In > Luminar 4, or right-click on the image and select Edit In > Luminar 4.
  4. The Edit In dialog opens. Choose your settings.
  5. Click Edit to send the file to Luminar. A new file is added to your Library and stacked with the original in your Library.
  6. Make any edits or adjustments.
  7. When done, click the Apply button to send the adjusted image back to Lightroom.

If you aren’t using Lightroom Classic, you can also use Luminar 4 as a plugin with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Apple Photos for macOS and Aperture.

Keep in mind that Luminar is a full-featured stand-alone application, meaning you don’t have to use it as a plugin. But using it with Lightroom Classic, for me, makes it so easy to have the best of both worlds!