Chapter 9: How to Develop a Standard Photo

When working with standard image files (such as JPEG or TIFF) you can use the Develop filter to the image in order to fine-tune the raw image. You can apply the filter to any raw photo:

  1. Make sure an image is open in Luminar.
  2. Click the Add Filters button.
  3. Choose Develop from the Essential category of filters.
  4. You can only have one instance of this effect and it will always apply at the top of the filter stack before other filters. 
  5. You can also apply the Develop filter by using some of the built-in workspaces.


The Adjust tab contains the essential color and tone adjustments that should be made using the raw file.  This sets the stage for all the adjustments that come after. 

Chapter 9: How to Develop a Standard Photo

  • White Balance. Use the White Balance list to reset a custom white balance to As Shot.  The Eyedropper can also be used to click on an area that should be white or neutral gray to calculate a custom white balance.
  • Temperature. Use this slider to warm or cool a shot.  This adjustment essentially adds Cyan or Yellow to an image to change its color temperature.
  • Tint. This adjusts the amount of Green or Magenta that is added to a shot.  It is useful for removing color casts from an image.
  • Exposure. Adjusts the global luminance of the image. Moving this slider to the left results in a darker image (reduction of exposure value). Moving this slider to the right results in a brighter image (increase of exposure value).
  • Contrast. Adjusts the contrast of the image. Contrast is the difference in luminance or color that makes an object in an image distinguishable from another. Practically speaking, contrast is determined by the difference in the color and brightness of an object in relation to other objects within the same field of view.
  • Highlights. Adjusts the brightness of the brightest areas of the image. Moving the slider to the right cause very bright areas to become brighter, while moving the slider to the left, makes them darker.
  • Shadows. Adjusts the brightness level of the darkest areas of the image. Moving the slider to the right will cause such areas to become brighter and additional details will appear. When moving to the left, such areas become darker, and the number of shadow areas in the image generally increases.
  • Whites. Adjusts the white point of the histogram and white tones in the image. When moving to the right, the brightest tones will become brighter while the histogram stretches to the right. Moving the slider to the left will cause white tones in the image to become darker and the histogram to compress to the left.
  • Blacks. Sets the black point of the histogram or black tones in the image. Moving the slider to the right, black tones become brighter and the histogram compresses to the right. Moving the slider to the left, black become darker and the histogram stretches to the left.
  • Clarity. Allows users to increase the contrast in the midtones introducing more depth between the relationships of values that lie in the middle of the histogram.


This set of controls lets you apply lens corrections to a photo.  These are designed to remove flaws in the image cause by the lens or  handling.  The Lens Correction command easily fixes all kinds of lens distortion, from barrel and pincushion to chromatic aberration and vignetting. 

Chapter 9: How to Develop a Standard Photo(2)

  • Auto Corrections.  With standard images files there is just one automatic correction that can fix your image.  
    • Defringe.  This adjustment can remove halos or edge noise (particularly in high-contrast areas).
  • Lens Distortion. Drag to the left to increase the barrel shape of the lens.  Drag to the right to pinch and compensate for wider angle lenses. You may need to crop the layer or use the Scale command in the Transform controls to compensate for gaps at the edges.
  • Devignette. Removes any darkening at the edges of an image caused by the lens itself.   This is a corrective command, not a stylizing command.  If you want an artistic vignette, be sure to explore the Vignette filter.


It is also possible to transform the shape of a photo to compensate for perspective issues or problems caused by the camera’s physical position.  With the Transform tool there are many options available for changing the position, rotation, and scale of a layer. The Transform tab is the third tab in the Raw Develop and the Develop filter.

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Adjust any of the following properties as needed to transform the image: 

  • Vertical. This tilts the image by rotating on the X-axis.  This tilts the image forwards or backwards and can help compensate for an image with any keystoning problems.  This type of problem causes vertical lines to appear skewed and is often caused by the camera shooting from age by rotating on the Y-axis.  This angles the image from side to side and solves the problems caused by shooting at an angle in relation to the subject.
  • Horizontal. This adjustment tilts the image on the Y-axis.  It can help compensate for perspective issues caused by shooting off-angle from your subject.
  • Rotate. Rotates the entire canvas on the Z-axis and can be useful for straightening a crooked photo.
  • Aspect.  This command changes the aspect ratio of a photo. Dragging the slider will expand the height or the width while contracting the opposite direction for the second value.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Scale. Use the Scale command to effectively crop the transformed photo.  This is a useful way to hide gaps after transforming a photo.
  • X Offset. This shifts the transformed image left or right.
  • Y Offset. This shifts the transformed image up or down.

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Chapter 9: How to Develop a Standard Photo(10)