Amateur Photographer – Lightroom Alternative

I have been playing around with photography for a couple of years now. As much as I like Lightroom and Photoshop, I can’t justify the £10 a month for the small amount of photo editing I actually do. I’ve been on the lookout for a good value alternative for some time now.

I’ve played around with some of the opensource alternatives like DarkTable, but I wasn’t that impressed. Recently, I downloaded the trial for Skylum’s Luminar, together with Aurora HDR to see if it was any good. What I like about both of these is that they are a one-off purchase, rather than a perpetual license. In addition, i’m often seeing discounts and offers.

Since I don’t want to spend hours editing photos, I was particularly interested in the out-of-the-box filters. I know Luminar, like Lightroom etc allows me infinite sliders to change Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows etc. However, I wanted to see how good their own technology is. Luminar comes with a wide range of filters categorised different types of photography like landscapes, street, portraits etc. It also has some clever in-built processing called “Accent AI Filter”. Here are a couple of photos from a holiday a couple of years ago. I have done no processing of them, other than select the “AI Image Enhancer” filter so see what Luminar would do with the photos itself. Here are the outputs.

Before

After

Before

After

For me personally, I thought the first filter made this landscape a bit too bold on the sky, so I changed the filter to “Haze Removal” and got this instead, which I was more happy with.

Yes I can tweak the photos more if I want, and Luminar certainly has all of the bells and whistles to enable me to do that, but for me, it’s all about minimal effort to make my home snaps look better.

I would highly recommend you give Luminar a go. Click here to download the trial.

I hope you like it.

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