Luminar Flex – 6 Reasons Why You Should Buy

Use promo code MANUEL at check out for a discount

  1. Compatible and non destructive – 1:24
  2. Customization – 4:15
  3. AI capability – 5:50
  4. Lots of filters – 7:19
  5. Layer base environment – 8:22
  6. Image cleaning capability – 9:44

Picktorial 4 – What’s New?

I was excited to try the Picktorial 4 since I received an email a few weeks ago letting me know it was in the making. I really enjoyed working on some images in the previous version and was impressed with the Digital Asset Management / library and the editing capabilities with some local adjustments. It was at time and still is a solid alternative to Lightroom. This is why I was looking forward to see what type of improvement I could find in Picktorial 4.

There a new pricing model offering 4 different options.

  1. It’s FREE! Well you won’t have access to all of the features…
  2. Pay $69.99 to get the full version. You’ll only get the maintenance updates.
  3. Subscribe to an annual Premium Plan for $4.99/month. You’ll get full access to version 4 maintenance updates and upgrades.
  4. Pay $9.99 monthly and cancel anytime. You’ll get the same advantage as the Premium Plan without the commitment.

I tested version 4.0.0 and 4.0.3 and made a video base on the 4.0.3 version. First let’s say that the software is fast and responsive. There will be some updates in the near future to iron out the bugs. All and all version 4.0.3 is working great and worth trying if you haven’t already.

One area that stands out right away is the work on the library. It is now possible to choose a square or regular thumbnails preview. The customization is getting better. The searching engine is refined and give you a world of possibilities to find specific images. The experience of creating folders, moving images and searching for them is up to par or above the competition.

Batch processing have been introduce for Metadata and Adjustments. It is now possible to enter a caption to hundred of photos in just a few steps. Same thing apply to adjustments made to images. They can now be copy and paste in Batch.

An Assistant Viewer Split Screen options have been added. Just split the screen when looking or editing images. It will allow you to take a close up view of your local adjustments as well as a global fit to screen preview of your image.

I would recommend Picktorial 4 to anyone looking for a fresh alternative to Lightroom or Apple Photos. Give it a try it is FREE!!

Skylum Black Friday Sale!! Luminar, Aurora HDR, Photolemur.

It is the time of the year where you can get some amazing deals on photography gear and editing software.  Skylum is a great editing software company who produced Luminar, Aurora HDR and Photolemur.  Click on the banner if you are interested to take advantage of the great deals.

Luminar 3 is coming and there will be a free update for their brand new library sometime in December.  I personally use Luminar as a plugin with Lightroom CC Classic.  The feature and filters make my images pop so much.  I highly suggest that you take a look at this video on the new Sky Enhancer AI Filter.

Luminar Black Friday - 728x90

Aurora HDR have been my editor of choice for all of my HDR images.  The software is pack with filters and you do the minor adjustments or go the long run and tailor your photo straight in the application.

Aurora Black Friday - 728x90

Photolemur 3 is a great one click AI wonder for those who want to spend less time editing and more time shooting.  It works as a plugin for most software or as a stand alone app.  Great little investment!

Luminar 2018 AI Sky Enhancer – Quick Look And Review

I was very curious about the new AI sky enhancer filter in the updated version of Luminar 2018.  Most of my time editing landscape and lifestyle photos is spent making sure the sky looks great.  Could the new filter can save me some time?  Well I tested it and in most case it can save me some time but it is not perfect yet.

The filter works best with clouds and blue sky or a well overcast sky.  The results on sunset and sunrise images is decent but could be a little more vibrant and less dark.  The algorithm for the blue hour need some work.  By the look of things the filter darken and add saturation to the blue, orange, yellow and red cast, add some contrast and play with the highlight of the clouds.  There is a gradient or mask that is well apply to the sky portion of the image.   I will say this filter is a good starting point and combine with the other filters will create some fantastic images.

These are the best type of images to use with the filter.

The filter did not perform all that well with these images.

Luminar Update – AI Sky Enhancement Filter.

Skylum is releasing a new version of Luminar on November 1st. The update will include the new AI sky enhancement filter at will be free for current 2018 Luminar users.

You can expect to see changes to any type of skies found in your images. Add depth, definition and details. Just adjust the slider to the desired effect! At least it’s been the case for the previous AI filters.

So I hope you are as curious and excited as I am to try the updated version in November 1st.

Also Luminar library is coming soon. Click here for

Aurora HDR 2019 Pre-Order. Release Oct.4

Aurora HDR 2019 introduces AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine. Aurora HDR 2019 has Skylum’s new AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine with new tone mapping technology to create the most realistic, immersive high dynamic range photographs possible. Pre-orders for the Aurora HDR 2019 start September 12th.

Aurora HDR 2019 is available for pre-order starting September 12th. Pre-orders include bonus downloadable content and costs $89 for a new purchase and $49 for an upgrade. When released on October 4th, the price will jump to $99 new and $59 for an upgrade.

The bonus pack includes:

    • Video tutorial “Getting the Most from Aurora HDR 2019” by Trey Ratcliff.
    • The Landscape Photography Handbook by David Johnston
    • Exclusive interior Aurora Looks by Richard Harrington
    • Burning Mood LUTs by Richard Harrington
    • 3-month 500px Pro membership
  • $300 OFF a multi-day Iceland Photo Tour

UI_12_Aurora HDR'19

Photolemur 3 – Review and Tests

Photolemur 3 is a great all in one AI software that can easily create stunning images in seconds.  It works as a stand alone or plugin in most of your favorite editing software.  Edit a single image at the time or with batches, this software is a time savor.  I created a video were I tested several RAW images ranging from landscape, portrait, city, and interior.  The result were very solid and I am sure the algorithm will continue to evolve in the near future. 

Nik Collection 2018 By DxO. The wait is over.

The Nik Collection 2018 by DxO is out for grabs.  The suit is offered at $49.99US for a limited time, regular $69.  You may ask, why pay for this suite when it have been free for a few years?  Well the Nik Collection was free when Google took over a few years back.  They did not invest time or too much energy developing the collection.  DxO on the other hand have upgraded the apps to work better and be compatible with today’s editing world.  The collection offers lot’s in term of editing possibilities and works as plugin with Adobe and DxO products.  Here is a list of the apps offered:

  • Analog Efex Pro
  • Color Efex Pro
  • Silver Efex Pro
  • Viveza
  • HDR Efex Pro
  • Sharpener Pro
  • Dfine

I have used the collection from time to time and felt that some apps were very useful and other not that great at all.  The HDR did not produce great images but Color Efex Pro and Analog Efex Pro had some fantastic filters to offer.  There is lot’s of competition out there and I am sure that DxO took that collection to the next level.  It looks like the Google version of the suit still works.  Unfortunately I can’t seems to find  upgrade or discount offers towards the new suite.  So here it is,  you can download the suit for a 30 days trial and decided if you want to invest the $$ or not.

Picktorial 3. A new and fresh editing software.

Editing photos is an art form that requires skill and complicated software, right? Well you might want to rethink this idea. There is a new player in town and it’s name is Picktorial 3.

This new RAW editing software brings a fresh look to post processing in a very saturated market.  Picktorial 3 has lots of advanced features that are easy to use so no one will have any excuses not to use them.  Features like luminosity mask and colour mask are two examples of complicated techniques that until now has been reserved for advanced processing skills.  This software works as a stand alone product but also works in all of it’s glory in MAC Photos.  Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the details.

One great aspect of Picktorial is that it is a fast working software.  You can see the result of any changes without delays.  It is slick looking and there is no need to navigate between windows or search for tools as it is all-in-one nice and clean looking, single-space window.  It is very easy to import folders or photos when used as a stand alone application and also works seamlessly with MAC Photos.

There is a lot of great editing features from basic exposure to brushes and overlays.  Some features have a lot of depth that separate them from the competition.  Let’s start by talking about the crop & rotate tool.  There is an option to choose certain size ratios including Facebook cover and feed.  This alone will please a lot of people for sure.  Then there are features like the Sharpen tool that can be used with a brush or on the overall image.  It offers incredible flexibility and control over the look of every detail in the photo. Another great option is the Smooth tool.  It can be used in editing photos from a photo shoot with models for example, and you can smooth anybody’s face like a pro in 2 minutes.

Don’t think for two seconds that you’ll get bored with this app.  The deeper you look, more function you’ll find.  There is a whole world of blending modes you can use.  The standard blending menu is present, but what makes Picktorial that much better is the option to work with very easy-to-use Luminosity and Color Masks.  I haven’t used a more slick looking Luminosity Mask feature yet, and I will say that I primarily use Luminosity Mask over HDR 90% of the time.  Until finding Picktorial, I was creating my own masks and used panels in Photoshop, but I was only able to that after many hours of watching tutorials…  Now there is no more need to spend lots of time or money learning these techniques because the people at Picktorial just delivered the first friendly user Luminosity Mask slider.  The Colour Mask is equally impressive.  It is very easy to make adjustments to an area that has a certain color cast and preserve the rest of the image.  This will help a lot of people who shoot with different color tones like sunsets or interior shoots with a blue and orange light.

Picktorial won’t let you down when it comes to finishing and exporting the images.  There is a very interesting selection of vignettes and borders to choose from and no need to find another app for adding your watermark.  After the final touches, you just have to choose if you want to send it back to your MAC Photos, save it on your computer or sending it online to Facebook, Flickr or any of the other options available.

Here it is, a fun and easy way to edit photos at a very interesting price tag.  Take look at the Picktorial website.  I firmly believe that Picktorial is a great addition for anyone using MAC Photos and any body looking to have an all-in-one retouching software for MAC.


Luminar Neptune. The new version is now available!

Luminar Neptune 300x600

Luminar Neptune is Live!  This new version offer great features including a Accent AI filter, Macphun plug-in integration, new work space and more.

I had the chance to get my hand on a early version and did not waste time to try the look of Neptune.  First I would like to say that this version is performing well.  The improvement memory management really shows on my new MacBook Pro.  Then I was very curious about the AI filter, would it really works??  I made several tests on landscape, wildlife and portrait images.  Luminar was able to determine the lightening and type of images to edit improving the photos in a very natural and smooth way.  Definitely a quick and easy way to start editing an image.  The vignette and crop tool have changed offering more options.  I really enjoy the preset crop ratio for Facebook.

This version of Luminar include a quick plug-in link for the Creative Macphun Kit and Aurora HDR 2017.  It is now possible to seamlessly send images between Macphun products.  Keep in mind that Macphun have promotions where you can get your hands on some of their software at a huge discount.  I usually post any special offers on my journal and my Facebook page.

I would recommend Luminar to anyone looking for a versatile and easy to use all in one photo editor.  For our windows friends, Macphun is now available to PC users!  Take a look at this quick review video.

Want to see how to edit in Luminar?

I just finished two new Luminar tutorials.  I wanted to demonstrate how to blend two images together and simply use Luminar to enhance a single image.  I want to say that I am very pleased with the editing capability of this new software.

Luminar by Macphun

Macphun did it again.  Luminar is in my opinion, another editing tool that will help thousands of photographers of all levels.  The interface is easy to use and also has very advanced features that will please avid post processing photographers.  I spent one week exploring the new and slick Macphun software and here is what I have to share with you.

Luminar can work as a stand alone application or can be run as a plugin with Photos, Lightroom and Photoshop.  I personally will use it as a plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop.  There are so many features and ways to enhance an image that it just makes sense to easily send a file straight to Luminar to create a little POP.  Luminar works seamlessly between other Macphun applications like the new Aurora 2017 or the creative suite.   You can watch my video on how to work between Luminar and MAC Photos.

Luminar has over 300 + features.  Take a look at the  Luminar Comparison Chart vs Lightroom and Aperture . There are a good amount of presets and effects ready to use and you can download some more or create your own.  It is also very easy to customize your working environment to tailor your needs.  The algorithm in this software is great.  For example, the noise reduction tool is very efficient, standing out against competitors. Macphun really nailed it with new and improved filters like micro structure, a type of detail enhancer that you won’t find anywhere else.

It is a layer based environment.  This is a major game changer in the editing world at that price range.  Like Photoshop,  Luminar gives you the option to do some digital blending.  There are a few masking as well as blending options for layers.  So far I managed to create some very interesting images from two or more different photos.  You can watch a video about my Luminar workflow with layers and filters.

I hope I intrigued your curiosity about this new and solid editing tool!

Looking for last minute shopping ideas?

Here is a few ideas for last minute Christmas shopping.

Get Luminar, the brand new Macphun editing software for MAC.  Luminar is the new simple but yet very powerful editing software.  Imagine a blend of MAC Photos, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for only 69.99 CDN$. (from the app store)

Aurora HDR 2017 for MAC.  A new version of this complete HDR software is available for 119.99 CDN$.  There is good improvement versus the older version and you no longer have to choose between the normal and pro version.  Aurora is the best HDR software in my opinion because it will let you take over so much controls in the creation process.

Pulse by Alpine Labs.  Pulse is a remote trigger for your DSLR or mirror less camera.  It plug straight to the camera and allow you to wirelessly control your camera from your smartphone.  You can take control over the settings of your camera to create time-lapse,  HDR,  long exposure,  video or simply take a single photo.  Price tag of $100.

Gnarbox.  The Gnarbox is waterproof, shockproof, dustpoof and ready for your adventure.  Connect your smartphone via wifi to look,  edit or share pictures.  It hold up to 128 GB of full resolution footage and have a battery that last 4-6 hours.  Just have to connect your camera or insert your card to transfer files to the box. Pre order for $299.

Genie Mini by Syrp.  The Genie mini is an extremely easy-to-use device to create smooth panning motion time-lapse or real-time video.  This motion control device connect to your smart phone giving you all the tools for easy control.  It is compatible with a huge range of cameras and works with GoPro, mirror-less camera or DSLR.  This compact unit is for sale for USD $250.

Capture Pro Clip by Peak Design.  The Capture Pro Clip is a pro-quality camera carrying clip. Rigidly carry any camera on any backpack strap, belt or bag.  It can also be use as a tripod head itself.  You wont break the back for this great clip as it only cost around $80.

Memory Card Case by Pelican.  This water resistant, shockproof, dustpoof little case can carry 8 SD Cards & 16 Mini SD Cards.  It is compact and allow safe and easy storage for your memory cards.  There is another model that can store 6 compact flash cards. These cases go for $30.  

Bokeh. A Great New App For Photos

I have been looking lately into all of the photo apps offered on the Apple App Store.  My goal is to find good free or decently priced software that will work with MAC Photos.  The Apple team suggested the Bokeh app on the main page.  I decided to invest the $1.39 CDN and take a deeper look at this interesting software.

First I must say that I was happy that I was able to connect it with Photos via the External Editors for Photos.  That was one of my main concern.  I wanted to keep the workflow working between the two.  This app mainly apply blurriness to your image.  I will say that the app is somewhat limited in his capability but have enough freedom to do the job.  It does it in a very simple and efficient way.  I was able to quickly create some great effect to some of my pictures.  All and all I am pleased with my investment and hope other photographers who uses mainly MAC Photos get their hand on it.


PhotoBulk. The Best Watermark Tool For Mac Photos.

One of my subscriber asked me how to watermark an image with Mac Photos.  I had to dig deep in the Google world to find a work flow that works at a decent price.  I haven’t found any free way to add a image or .png file to a picture in Mac Photos.  So you’ll have to spend a little money to make it work.  There is a free option to add a text to an image with Preview but you will need an extension if you want it to look good.

I just want to say that there is a lot of different options out there.  I was mainly looking for a extension that works with the Mac Photos workflow that I have created with the External Editors for Photos.  So far PhotoBulk is the cheapest and easiest extentions I have tried. Look at the video to learn how to set it up and watermark your images.

Here is the free way to create a watermark with Preview.  Open you image using Preview. Go to the menu located in the top left corner of your screen and follow these steps.  Go to Tools – Annotate – Text.  Then a box will appear where you can enter a text.  Write down your watermark.  You can change the font,  size,  color and move it where ever you want.  After simply Export your image.

Raya Pro Panel. Luminosity Masks Made Easy!


Digital blending is one of my favorite post production technique.  It is a fantastic way to create stunning vibrant images.  The downside is it’s somewhat time consuming if you don’t have the right tools for the job.

I have been a fan of Jimmy McIntyre’s Raya Pro Panel for a while now.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  There is so much you can do with this plugin in early or late editing stage of your images in Photoshop.  I created this video showing how you can quickly create and use luminosity masks.  So this panel is only $45 and can facilitate your workflow and save you lot’s editing time.

Click here to purchase the Raya Pro Panel.  

Snapheal. A Great Extension For Mac Photos!

I have recently got the MacPhun Snapheal software for free when I entered a photo contest with Viewbug.  I quickly downloaded the software and realized that it can work as an extension for Mac Photos.  I was delighted to see that you can do a whole lot for only $7 Cdn.  This program will allow you to selectively delete things from your images, use brushes and do some basic editing.  I think that every Mac Photos user out there looking to add to their extension collection should get this software.  Watch this video to see the features.