I’m always looking for ways to more easily enhance the photographs I take. With Luminar 2018, you can use the Accent AI and Polarizing Filters to further boost your image quality.

Boosting Skies

I started off by testing this on a shot I took at the Out of Chicago Conference this June, from a rooftop bar I visited before the conference began. The rooftop overlooked Millennium Park, and had the lake visible in the distance, with a few buildings on the left side.

You can see the image is grey, without a lot of colors. But it has potential, as it’s a great view of the city on a partly cloudy evening. To get started, I chose the Landscape workspace.

I started off by doing what I always do — my basic edits. For this photo, it meant fixing the tint, boosting the shadows and making a few adjustments to the highlights and black levels. I also adjusted the saturation and contrast slightly.

From there, I boosted the Accent AI filter slider. This analyzes your photo and corrects it using several different controls at once. It combines corrections for shadows, highlights, contrast, tone, saturation, exposure, details and more into one filter.

It immediately made an impact on my image, and allowed it to pop off the screen. The sky was much bluer and vibrant, but almost too much. To get around this, I changed my Blending Mode from Normal to Lighten. This helped to lighten the sky a bit.

I’ve Got Sunshine

Following these adjustments, I used the Transform tool to straighten and crop my image.

But I wasn’t done yet. I wanted to add a bit of sun into my Millennium Park photograph. With the new Sun Rays filter, you can add an artificial sun with rays selectively shining on to different parts of your photograph.

For this, I went ahead and added a new adjustment layer, and selected the Sun Rays filter. Doing so immediately added a sun ray to my image in a position it believed would work best. I can drag this around to different points on my image if I’d like, or I can start customizing the sun.

With this filter, I was able to change the position, the number of rays, the penetration of the sun against the buildings, and even where the rays were located with the Randomize slider.

For this photograph, I changed the position to the upper left corner so the shadows on the buildings would be more realistic, and increased the number and size of the rays.

While this might seem like a fun effect, it can come in handy for landscape photographs…even when you’re out photographing the city.


Along with the Accent AI and Sun Rays filters, there are several other new filters that have been introduced in Luminar 2018. Effects like these help to give Luminar a unique place in the photo editing world and can offer you endless possibilities for your images.

To learn more and pre-order your copy of Luminar for a special price of $59, click here.