Chapter 5: Side Toolbar

The Side panel gives you access to three important sets of controls.  The Histogram is a useful tool for judging exposure and details. Layers lets you work with multiple objects to create a composite image or to isolate effects or textures to their own place.  The Filters section gives you precise control over each filter you’ve added to a layer.

Histogram /Layers / Info Buttons

At the top of the side panel are three buttons that provide advanced controls over your images.  If you are just getting started with Luminar Flex, you might leave these three options deactivated.  However, as you grow comfortable with editing tasks or are looking for the most flexibility and control, be sure to explore them.

  • Histogram – While color correcting or adjusting exposure, the histogram can be a great help. This graph illustrates how the pixels in the image are distributed across brightness levels.  More on the Histogram in the next section.

  • Layers – In Luminar Flex, a layer can contain image, transparency, and filter information. This allows you to combine (or composite) multiple images into a new image as well as make complex adjustments with maximum flexibility.  By isolating discrete elements to their own layers, it is easier to control options such as transparency and blending. For most users, it’s a good idea to leave your Layers panel open while you work; this is where most of the action takes place. The Layers panel is like the steering wheel of a car. We’ll explore layers in depth in the chapter “Working with Layers.”

  • Info – The Info Bar provides basic information about the file and can help you better understand your image, as well as its resolution.

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