I’ve been using Macphun for a few years now, starting with their Creative Kit, a set of plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop. I found their Noiseless, Tonality and SnapHeal plugins to be especially useful.
I also really liked their Aurora HDR application, which is I think the best HDR app for Mac. The latest Aurora HDR 2017 edition is fantastic, especially if you’re not a fan of the exaggerated HDR look that has been so overused.
Their image editing Luminar program came out last year and they have been releasing updates at a rapid pace, constantly improving it. It is a truly easy to use but powerful photo editing program with a customizable UI. They use Workspaces that show you only as much as you need in any given context. Standard Workspaces include “Essentials”, “B&W”, “Landscape” and “Portrait” among others. You can also create your own Workspaces that contain your favourite tools. Luminar even has an easy to use “layers” implementation for local editing.
Luminar makes heavy use of “Filters” and includes a wide selection of them. I personally do not like the term “Filter” as it is reminiscent of Instagram and its filters which more often than not damage your photos. Luminar’s “Filters” are actually presets, but the brilliant thing about their implementation is that you see previews in real-time and each Filter shows you every setting that was used and how much of it was used to create the preset. You can then see how they achieved a certain effect and you can easily fine tune its parameters and even save them as your own custom Filters. You can also combine or “stack” Filters.
In the new “Neptune” version, Macphun has introduced a new Accent AI (Artificial Intelligence) Filter that is amazingly effective at improving any picture. It’s a smart Filter that analyses your picture before deciding what to do and you can dial-in the level of impact you want the filter to have and fine-tune its chosen parameters. If you look at the following article: Accent AI – Under the Hood, you will see just how powerful and easy this tool makes editing your images. In most cases, it can get you really close to your final image in a minute. Here’s an example:
It is really a great time saver, especially if you are not very proficient at Photoshop or you’d rather concentrate on making photographs than on spending time editing images on your computer. And now it is also available on Windows too! If you go to the Macphun website you can download a free trial of the Mac version or the Beta of the Windows version. Luminar is also much faster than Lightroom and very affordable, only $69 (currently on sale at $%9) and it is money well spent in my opinion.
This video provides an excellent overview of Luminar: