I Review Luminar in TidBITS

I review Luminar, an excellent editor that takes a modern approach to the process of adjusting photos.

Are you looking for 2,100 words about a new photo editor for the Mac? Of course you are! In TidBITS, I review Macphun’s Luminar:

… a bold bet intended to compete against Photoshop — still the biggest gorilla in the jungle for professionals and enthusiasts — while also beckoning those who haven’t yet moved on from Apple’s long-discontinued Aperture. Luminar is also trying to appeal to casual photographers who want more image editing capabilities than Apple’s Photos.

Luminar is an excellent editor that takes a modern approach to the process of adjusting photos. Nearly every type of adjustment is a “filter,” and you can mix and match filters as you like. Luminar’s concept of “workspaces,” which group filters together, isn’t a new one, but their implementation is smooth and flexible. And it even does a few things I haven’t seen in other software, such as allowing any filter to have its own blend mode, even if you’re not using layers.

Some people may also find Luminar appealing because of the cost: $69, no ongoing licensing fee required. I still use Lightroom as my main photo management software (and Luminar offers a Lightroom plug-in and a Photos extension, so you can use it with other applications), and have found no reason to complain about Adobe’s Creative Cloud licensing for the Photography Plan. However, I know some people just don’t like the ongoing payment scheme.

[Since I’ve written about Macphun before—my Aurora HDR Photoversity Guide—you can buy Luminar using this link, which tosses me a small amount of affiliate revenue. Or, feel free to order Luminar directly from Macphun’s site.]

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  1. i was wndering when your luminar book will be released


    1. Hi Tom. I don’t have a release date to share yet, but I’m working hard on getting the book done. The announcement of Luminar 4 required me to rework a lot of existing material, but I’m getting closer.


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