Luminar 2018 adds support for fully developing raw files.  The previous version opened raw images, but the new version goes a step further.  You can only have one instance of this effect, and it will always apply at the top of the filter stack before other filters.

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How to Develop a RAW Photo

If you’ve got a raw file open, use the RAW Develop filter.  This lets you fine-tune the raw image.  The filter is easy to add, and you can also apply the Raw Develop filter by using some of the built-in workspaces.

  1. Make sure an image is open in Luminar.
  2. Click the Add Filters button.
  3. Choose RAW Develop from the Essential category of filters.

Adjust Tab

The Adjust tab contains the essential color and tone adjustments that should be made using the raw file. These adjustments are needed to get the best image before you apply any other filters.  I suggest developing the raw file first, and then add any peseta to an adjustment layer above.  Here are the primary controls:

  • White Balance. Use the White Balance preset list to choose from a variety of presets that are similar to a camera’s white balance menu.
  • Temperature. Use this slider to warm or cool a shot. This adjustment essentially adds Cyan or Yellow to an image to change its color temperature.
  • Tint. This adjusts the amount of Green or Magenta that is added to a shot. It is useful for removing color casts from an image.
  • Exposure. Adjusts the global luminance of the image.
  • Contrast. Adjusts the contrast of the image. Contrast is the difference in luminance or color that makes an object in an image distinguishable from another.
  • Highlights. Adjusts the brightness of the brightest areas of the image.
  • Shadows. Adjusts the brightness level of the darkest areas of the image.
  • Whites. Adjusts the white point of the histogram and white tones in the image. When moving to the right, the brightest tones will become brighter while the histogram stretches to the right.
  • Blacks. Sets the black point of the histogram or black tones in the image. Moving the slider to the right, black tones become brighter, and the histogram compresses to the right.
  • Clarity. Allows users to increase the contrast in the midtones introducing more depth between the relationships of values that lie in the middle of the histogram.

I recommend adding a Saturation/Vibrance filter as well to get the color right.

Lens Correction Tab

This set of controls lets you apply lens corrections to a photo. These are designed to remove flaws in the image caused by the lens or handling. The Lens Correction command easily fixes all kinds of lens distortion, from barrel and pincushion to chromatic aberration and vignetting. This is a useful way to compensate for flaws caused by the lens.

  • Distortion. Drag to the left to increase the barrel shape of the lens. Drag to the left to pinch and compensate for wider angle lenses. You may need to crop the layer or use the Scale command in the Transform controls to compensate for gaps at the edges.
  • Chromatic Aberration FIx. Chromatic aberration is another type of color fringing. It often happens on telephoto lenses and in areas of high contrast. It tends to show up as magenta or green edges.
  • Devignette. Removes any darkening at the edges of an image caused by the lens itself. This is a corrective command, not a stylizing command. If you want an artistic vignette, be sure to explore the Vignette filter.

Transform Tab

It is also possible to transform the shape of a photo to compensate for perspective issues or problems caused by the camera’s physical position. With the Transform tool, there are many options available for changing the position, rotation, and scale of a layer. Adjust any of the following properties as needed to transform the image:

  • Vertical. This tilts the image by rotating on the X-axis. This tilts the image forwards or backwards and can help compensate for an image with any keystoning problems.
  • Horizontal. This adjustment tilts the image on the Y-axis. It can help compensate for perspective issues caused by shooting off-angle from your subject.
  • Rotate. Rotates the entire canvas on the Z-axis and can be useful for straightening a crooked photo.
  • Aspect. This command changes the aspect ratio of a photo. Dragging the slider will expand the height or the width while contracting the opposite direction for the second value.
  • Scale. Use the Scale command to effectively crop the transformed photo. This is a useful way to hide gaps after transforming a photo.
  • X Offset. This shifts the transformed image left or right.
  • Y Offset. This shifts the transformed image up or down.

Other Tips

  • Apply preset or workspaces to an adjustment layer to preserve the raw adjustments
  • Use masks on adjustment layers for graduated filters.  The Develop or Exposure effect works well for this.
  • The Accent AI filter is a great way to further optimize the raw files.

Supported RAW File Formats

Luminar is designed to open a wide range of file formats. This ensures compatibility with most cameras as well as common graphic formats. Supported file types include:

  • .CR2
  • .NEF
  • .ORF
  • .RAF
  • .ERF
  • .ARW
  • .RW2
  • .DNG
  • .PEF
  • and more

Get Luminar 2018 Today

Luminar 2018 is shipping today.  Save $10 with a special bundle from Photofocus.