Speed edit portraits with Luminar

One of the benefits of a powerful set of filters is that they can help you improve your efficiency in post production. A perfect example is how quickly you can enhance a portrait in Luminar.

This speed edit only takes 2-3 minutes. Yet the improvements are very flattering. Here are the steps.

Open the Image in Luminar

Once your photo is viewable in Luminar, choose the Portrait Workspace. This provides you with a set of filters appropriate for this type of image.

Set the Color Temperature

My favorite method is to use the eyedropper and click on a neutral tone, as shown in the illustration. If a neutral tone isn't available, then you can use one of the presets in the popup menu, or adjust the temperature and tint manually with the sliders.

Adjust the Tones

You may have noticed at this point that we're working from top to bottom in the Workspace. The filters are already set in an excellent workflow order. We just have to follow them down the list.

Our next stop is to use the tonal sliders to fine-tune the image's darks and lights.

Add Soft Focus

Now that we have the color and tones adjusted, we can add a little enhance to our portrait. Softening is often a great choice. I prefer Soft Focus over Soft Glow for portrait work, so I click on the + icon at the top of the Filters Stack and add Soft Focus. More often than not, I use Soft Focus #2 from the popup window, then adjust Amount and Brightness.

Brush Filter Away from Eyes

Using brushes in Luminar is so amazingly easy. I love having Soft Focus for the overall image, but I want the subject's eyes nice and sharp.

To achieve this, click on the brush icon, choose the Erase Brush from the brushing toolbar that appears, set the appropriate size of the brush and the opacity to 100 percent, then simply click and drag over the eyes to clear the filter from them. (You may want to zoom in for this task by click on the + icon in the very top toolbar.)

If you want to see the mask, click on the eye icon in the brushing toolbar, as shown in the following illustration.

Add a Vignette

Now for the finishing touch, add a vignette to direct the viewer's eye to the subject's face. The best vignettes are those that aren't immediately apparent to viewers. So don't be too heavy-handed.

Save, then Export

Before going any further, save the file as a Luminar document by going to File > Save. Make sure that you save the History as well by checking the box at the bottom of the dialog. This allows you to return later on to fine tune your adjustments as you have more time, or the need to do so.

Now you can export the image in a variety of formats and sizes by going to File > Export. Regardless of the settings that you used for the initial export, you can always return to the document and choose a different combination.

And finally, remember that you can create your own Workspace with the Filters that you use most often for portraits. Simply add and subtract filters as needed, then choose Save as New Workspace from the Workspace pop-up menu.

Derrick Story, professional photographer, writer, teacher
http://www.thedigitalstory.com/

Derrick is a member of the conference faculty for Macworld, and he speaks regularly at technology events. He has formed a virtual camera club called The Digital Story that's open to all photography enthusiasts and features a weekly podcast.

Our First-ever Luminar Sale - 3 days only
Bonus: 26 Pro presets

$69 $ 49

00 :  00 :  00 :  00

Macphun user? 
Sign in to save more!

Get THE MOST POWERFUL PHOTO EDITOR FOR MAC for the lowest price ever! Luminar Flash sale

Please wait