eXtensions - Wednesday 23 November 2016
Macphun releases Luminar: Photo Editing Software for the Mac (Bangkok Post, Life)
By Graham K. Rogers
That is not the case for professional users of course. The wide range of tools offered by Photoshop his essential for them. In comparison, I make use of some quite modest applications. Over the years I have been able to produce some reasonable work, some of which I print out in larger formats.
My primary editing tool for images from my DSLR camera is Apple's Aperture. While that is intended as a workflow application (like Adobe Lightroom), there are enough tools to cover many tasks. Apple's Photos now has a fair number of ways that allow basic editing and there are now a number of applications that provide extensions for Photos. It is like working with the original application, but from within Photos.
I use several applications: Graphic Converter, for some of the detailed spade-work images may need; Affinity Photo, with its advanced editing tools; and the slightly similar Pixelmator, updated this week with support for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar.
I installed this on three Macs (the licence allows up to 5): my MacBook Pro, a Mac mini in my office, and a MacBook. As well as the standalone application, I have tried it as a Photos extension on all three; and with the Aperture plugin for the first two. Apart from saving files, there is no major difference to the way it works in any of the permutations I have tried.
Luminar Running in Photos
Each preset has its own set of filters, with sliders that allow for a considerable range of fine adjustments to an image. As effects are applied, the main image changes, so an accurate edit is easy to achieve. Just above the main panel are tools for showing "Before and After" or a "Quick Preview", so I was able to make quick comparisons while working.
Luminar as a Standalone Application
To make working easier, both the presets panel and the selected filters may be hidden using icons on the top toolbar. The first is useful when a preset is decided on and detailed work with sliders is being carried out. Hiding the filters makes the entire workspace clear so additional tools may be used. To the right are Move, Masking Brush, Gradient Mask Mode, Radial Mask Mode, Transform Tool, Clone & Stamp, Erase, Denoise and Crop.
Luminar in Aperture
I am now re-examining photographs I have taken to see how I can apply the range of new effects I am able to access using Luminar. This is a really easy way to edit images. Users can see the changes as they are applied and do not have to select filters, options or tools from a complex menu system.
For those who want to read detailed information about what it is and what it does, a user manual is available online.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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