Lu­mi­nar Nep­tune

An im­age edit­ing app that takes pre­sets to the next level

Mac|Life - - REVIEWS -

$69 From Mac­phun, mac­phun.com Needs OS X 10.10.5 or later

Mac­phun’s “Nep­tune” up­date to its im­pres­sive Lu­mi­nar im­age-edit­ing app brings new tools, new fil­ters, and tweaks to the back end for in­creased per­for­mance with large im­age files. The head­line new fea­ture is Ac­cent, a fil­ter in the new Quick & Awe­some workspace that claims to an­a­lyze your im­age us­ing AI and fix ev­ery­thing it thinks needs fix­ing. We as­sume it is ac­tu­ally do­ing this rather than just rais­ing the mid­tone con­trast and sharp­ness, as the fil­ter acts very quickly even on a low-end Mac. Results are ac­cept­ably good – sunny images become sun­nier, and any over­cooked pro­cess­ing can be toned down by re­duc­ing the opac­ity of the layer ev­ery new fil­ter is placed upon.

Else­where, there’s sup­port for all other Mac­phun apps as round-trip plug­ins, so if you’re an afi­cionado of Noise­less Pro, you can send an im­age there for clean­ing up – Lu­mi­nar has its own noise re­duc­tion rou­tines, of course – and re­turn the edited im­age to Lu­mi­nar to con­tinue work­ing.

Lu­mi­nar re­lies heav­ily on pre­sets, but the huge range avail­able, along with the abil­ity to cre­ate your own and the be­fore/af­ter slider that shows you ex­actly what’s changed, make it an in­tel­li­gent ap­proach to one-shot im­age edit­ing. There are clone and erase tools too, for scratch and blem­ish re­moval. The workspaces, cal­i­brated to sup­port ex­actly the amount of work you want to put into fix­ing your images, mean you can walk away happy af­ter any­thing from five min­utes’ tin­ker­ing to half an hour’s, al­ways know­ing you’ve made gen­uine im­prove­ments.

If there’s a down­side, it’s that tooltips can take a while to ap­pear, and be­ing dropped into the app from a cold start can feel over­whelm­ing. Mac­phun has thought of this, how­ever, with video tu­to­ri­als on its web­site which, along with the user guide, can be ac­cessed from the Help menu.

For a price that’s very com­pet­i­tive with Pho­to­shop El­e­ments, Lu­mi­nar looks like a great choice for any­one who wants to fix their photos quickly and ef­fec­tively.

While it might take a few mo­ments to get the hang of Nep­tune – es­pe­cially if you haven’t used Lu­mi­nar be­fore – Mac­phun is onto a win­ner here, as long as you don’t want to get into com­posit­ing or spe­cial ef­fects,

the bot­tom line. Lu­mi­nar of­fers ev­ery­thing you’ll want from a photo ed­i­tor, and makes its changes quickly and re­versibly. The abil­ity to run it as a Photos ex­ten­sion adds to its ver­sa­til­ity. Ian Even­den

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