As most of you know, the future of the Nik Collection is in jeopardy as Google is no longer planning to support the software. While that doesn’t mean it will stop working immediately, it does mean that updates to your OS or to Photoshop/Lightroom may cause issues in the future.
I really do love my Nik plug-ins, and I don’t plan to stop using them in the short term. But I do accept the future, and in looking for an alternative, I’ve found that the Macphun software plug-ins are very good, especially their newest all-around editor, Luminar. My only hesitation for recommending these products is that they have been MacOS only. However, that’s changing as of today!
Luminar for Windows
As of today, Macphun has rolled out a live public beta of Luminar for Windows, with a release date planned for later this fall. This means that everyone can now use this excellent product regardless of their operating system.
With Luminar, you’ll have a full-featured image editor that has a workflow similar to Color Efex Pro. You can customize the tool space from a huge list of filters. You’ll also get layers, layer masks (including basic luminosity masking), and a huge suite of tools for adjusting tone, color, and detail. You can also replicate many of the classic effects found in Color Efex Pro, like glamour glow, tonal contrast, and more. You can use Luminar as a Lightroom plug-in, in Photoshop, or as a stand-alone editor.
The only real downside (for now) is that Luminar does not offer any “smart selection” tools like Control Points or Lightroom’s Auto Masking Brush. This is a minor inconvenience for the most part, and if you use Luminar in Photoshop, you can use Photoshop’s selection tools to create custom layer masks for certain effects when needed.
I’ll have more details on Luminar in the upcoming weeks.
Mac users: Download the full version of Luminar here.
Live online demos from Macphun
Macphun is offering some live demos for the Windows beta of Luminar:
Macphun LIVE on Facebook
Date: Thursday, July 13
Time: 6:00 – 6:30pm PST
A.D. Wheeler & Kevin La Rue demo and discuss the public beta of Luminar for Windows
Live Luminar for Windows Webinar 1: Luminar for Windows – Fun with the New Public Beta
Date: Saturday, July 15
Time: 9am PST, 12pm EST
Attend this webinar for a first look at the Public Beta of Luminar for Windows, Macphun’s first photo app for the PC platform. Presented by Kevin La Rue of Macphun, the demo will be accompanied by a Q&A.
Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8360238200797752835
Live Luminar for Windows Webinar 2: The Power of Luminar for Windows Public Beta
Date: Wednesday, July 19
Time: 11am PST, 2pm EST
Learn how the new Luminar for Windows Public Beta release can dramatically enhance your photo making, with power, ease and joy. Hosted by Kevin La Rue of Macphun, and featuring Pro shooter and mentor A.D. Wheeler, the demo will be accompanied by a Q&A.
Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1822667406402102019