So Luminar 4 has been out for a little while now, and there are some great features to really make your images pop! I adore the Creative panel and the AI enhancements are really quite clever. One thing I found quite handy was the AI Sky Replacement tool. While it is not really ‘one-touch’ as such, it is really quick and easy and can really make your images sing!
Where can you find it?
You can import a single image, import the whole folder or even use as a plug-in from Photoshop, one you have selected your image, open the Creative panel on the right-hand side (looks like an artist palette). AI Sky Replacement tool is right at the top.
How do you use it?
From the dropdown, you can select from a list of some really cool skies, from a blue sky to sunsets and starry skies. Just try a few and see what works best for your image. You can finesse your sky by altering the position, blending the horizon line and even relighting the scene.
I also like to add some Sunrays, these a super easy and add a touch of sparkle, you can also try some of the LUTs, I really like the Long Beach one, but not at 100% — mine is set at 35%. You will find both of these located in the Creative panel as well.
Can you add your own sky?
Of course, you add your own skies as well, go to the bottom of the AI Sky Replacement tool and select Load Customer Sky Image. A pop-up window opens you can browse and then select your images on your computer. I have a whole host of images on my website, granted mostly are pretty blue skies.
Is this considered cheating?
Well, the short answer is yes! And that is the point. Do you want images shot out of camera that can win awards? Or do you want to make your images exactly how you wished they DID look? If you want a picture-perfect sunrise/sunset, then be prepared to get up early and shoot every morning (or evening) for that perfect shot. I know photographers who do, but I have a business to run and a job and a family. I just don’t have the time.
Sometimes I just want a great image; perhaps the day I did find time to shoot sunrise or sunset the light was great, the location was great, but the sky lacked a little bit of impact. Sky Replacement can fix that. True it may no longer by award-worthy, but that is OK too. This sky replacement is enhancing your images, not making major alterations. So relax, have fun and make the images YOU want. Check out the before and after below. I know which image I prefer!