Are you looking for an easier way to take control in Luminar from Macphun?  Well the answer is simple… Adjustment Layers.  Rather than putting all your adjustments on the original photo, consider using one or more Adjustment Layers for precise control.

What’s an Adjustment Layer?

Luminar offers a special type of layer to precisely edit a photo, and adjustment layer. Any filter or filters in Luminar can be applied to an Adjustment Layer. This is a very flexible way to work with you photos as it means you can easily control advanced options for filters such as their application order, opacity, or blending modes. Adjustment layers give you the most flexibility when editing a photo.

Advice on Adjustment Layers

Here’s an easy workflow for any photo that allows for nondestructive editing.

Step 1: Open an image within Luminar.

Step 2: Use the Default workspace to develop the raw file or image.  This allows you to isolate all of the corrections to the original raw file and lock it in.

Sometimes developing the Raw file will reveal spots or small areas for touchup.  This photo in the dusty desert needs some cleanup.

Step 3: Use the Eraser tool to remove any unwanted blemishes.  
A new layer is made where you can paint out any spots and then click Apply to heal them.

Step 4: At the top of the Filters section click the + button.

Step 5: Choose the item Add New Adjustment Layer.

Step 6: You can now use the Filters list and choose to attach them to the adjustment layer.  Here I am using a custom black and white preset I made.  If you want to download it click here.

It’s also quite easy to apply a preset to the adjustment layer and then tweak its blending mode or opacity.  By isolating the styling or color grading to one adjustment layer, you can easily change its blending mode or opacity settings.  This give you total control over the look.

Step 7: Using the Overlay blending mode, I mixed the black and white layer in to create a strong contrast look that matched the subject.

Remember, you can continue to add additional effects as needed to their own adjustment layers. As needed, you can turn layers on or off to alter the image’s appearance. You can also drag adjustment layers up or down in the layer stack to generate new effects.

Try Luminar Today

If you’re a Mac-user who hasn’t tried Luminar, give it a free try today.  To read our thoughts on Luminar, check out our detailed review.

Luminar FAQ

For more Luminar Tips — Read Our Weekly Column.

For 15 free Luminar presets —Click Here.