Six steps for a quick portrait retouch

Nov 1, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Six steps for a quick portrait retouch

Nov 1, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Skylum Luminar has seen some pretty massive changes over the last couple of years. The latest version, Luminar 4, particularly so. It’s had a lot of cool new AI enhancements, like easy sky replacements, and the Structure tool which identifies the different parts of your image and enhances the most important bits.

More recently, they’ve also been showing off some new tools for portrait shooters, too, like the AI Skin Enhancer. We visited the Skylum stand at PhotoPlus 2019 in New York where Skylum’s Chief Growth Officer and founder of 500px, Evgeny Tchebotarev, gives us a walkthrough of processing a portrait in Luminar 4.

This five-minute tour of portrait retouching in Luminar 4 shows just how easy it is to quickly process a portrait using the software. That five minutes includes the time it takes Evgeny to explain to us what he’s doing. Once you’ve got the process down for yourself, you could easily zip through an image in just a minute or two.

The process uses only a handful of simple steps…

  • Exposure & Contrast
  • AI Enhance adds some overall subtle texture to the image
  • AI Structure to add focused texture and detail
  • AI Skin to smooth out blemishes without destroying skin detail
  • Portrait Enhancement to enhance facial features
  • Adding a subtle vignette to help frame the subject

Even though it’s only a few steps, the changes are quite effective.

Speed was historically one of Luminar’s major issues, but the last few versions have really optimised for efficiency, both in terms of workflow speed as well as the overall performance of the software. You can see in the video above that it’s become very responsive.

Luminar 4 is set to be released on 18 November 2019, but it’s already out for preorders on Luminar’s website. Pre-orders include a bonus one-year plan to SmugMug (worth $180) and costs $79//€79/£72 for a new purchase and $69/€69/£64 for an upgrade. When released on November 18, the price will jump to $89/€89/£81 new and $69/€69/£64 for an upgrade.

DIYP’s coverage of PhotoPlus Expo 2019 is sponsored by Luminar, Cosyspeed, PhotoPlus, and Spiffy Gear – check ’em out.

We’re giving away photo bags, software and lights – join the giveaway here.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Six steps for a quick portrait retouch”

  1. Chainsaw Charlie Avatar
    Chainsaw Charlie

    “AI” … No, thanks. I can make my own decisions.

  2. Huge Dom Avatar
    Huge Dom

    Title include the name of the program – Skylum Luminar