No matter what photo editing software you use, presets are the number one choice that gives you a jumpstart to your editing workflow. Based on the image that you’re working with and the specific look & feel that you’re aiming for, you can use a certain preset that automatically does most of the job for you.
Like other photo editing software out there, Luminar too works very well with presets to quicken your workflow and to help you get consistent looking results. However, one major point that’s worth mentioning is that Luminar calls its presets as Looks. So, don’t panic if you don’t see the presets panel. It’s the Looks panel that you should be concerned about.
We have done a full assessment of this software in our Luminar 4 Review here.
Working With Looks in Luminar
Working with Looks in Luminar is pretty straightforward. Simply follow these steps:
- Open any image or images in Luminar. By default, the Looks panel should be visible just below the image.
- If the Looks panel is not visible, just look for a button that says “Looks” on the toolbar at the top. Clicking it will bring up the Looks panel just below the image that you’re working with.
- Once the panel is up, you can notice a series of thumbnail previews in a filmstrip fashion. The previews are an indication of how your image will appear after that particular Look is applied.
- To apply any Look, simply click on it.
- You can adjust the strength of any Look with the adjustable slider that you’ll see on the thumbnail once you select a Look.
- Depending on what kind of image you’re working with, you can tell Luminar to show you a relevant set of Looks called a Looks Collection. Simply click on the dropdown menu besides Luminar Looks on the preview panel. You’ll get to see different sets of Looks such as Essentials, Street, Landscape, and Portrait amongst others.
Besides working with the default Looks and the Looks Collections that Luminar has to offer in the application, you can also import and work with your favourite Looks; just like importing a preset in Lightroom.
- Luminar Looks Collection are available as files with extension .mplumpack and installing them is as easy as double-clicking the file. Once installed, you can use them from the Looks Collection menu.
- Alternatively, you can go to Files>Add Luminar Looks Collection… and browse to your .mplumpack file to install the Looks collection from within Luminar.
- Individual Looks are available as .lmp files. To install them go to File>Show Luminar Looks Folder…
- Luminar will open up the folder where it stores the user Looks.
- Copy and paste your Looks into that particular folder and restart Luminar to complete the process.
- To use the Looks that you have manually installed, go to the User Luminar Looks section of the Luminar Looks Collection.
Ten Free Best Looks (Presets) for Luminar
By default, Luminar has quite a good number of Looks pre-installed. In case they don’t work for you, or if you want to try something else, we have put together this carefully selected list of Looks and Looks Collection for Luminar. Feel free to browse through the collection of free Looks for Luminar and see how they can take your photographs to the next level.
BLK Film Look
If you like black and white film photography, you must try the BLK Film look for Luminar. It is a black and white film emulation preset that you can use with almost any type of photos. If you are a street photographer, you’ll especially love this look.
You can see that this look does not exaggerate things much. The blacks are not crushed and the details in the highlights are also well preserved. This gives a much natural look to the image. The simplicity of this look is what I love the most. But, if you want some extra punch, you can obviously do so by taking over the adjustment controls.
Retro Vibe Look
Who doesn’t love the retro look that’s a reminder of the olden days right? The retro look invokes nostalgia to many and is also widely loved by many social media followers. The Retro Vibe look for Luminar is a one-click solution if you’d like your images to have a classic look to it. This look too works with almost any kind of image but it’s best if you have a subject that’s reminiscent of the past.
The look adds a bit of warmth to the highlights and a greenish tint to the shadows to achieve the retro look. You’ll also notice deeper blacks and brighter whites which is what makes them look so authentic.
Retouching portraits are all about the skin tones and the way the light and shadows shape up the subject’s face. The Portrait Look simulates a film look and is specifically designed to work with portraits. You’ll be surprised to see how conveniently it handles the skin tones with the click of a button. Portrait and wedding photographers, you must give this look a try. Without a doubt, it will save you guys a lot of time.
KDK 400 Look
The KDK 400 look emulates the Kodak UltraMax 400 film which is a pretty popular film amongst film shooters. This look adds a punch by deepening the shadows and brightening the highlights while also giving a subtle boost to the colours. The subtle yellowish tint then gives the image a typical “Kodak feel” which everybody seems to love.
This look works perfectly for all types of images including portraits, landscapes and cityscapes and instantly gives the images a classic film look.
City Crisp Look
The City Crisp look is designed with cityscape photographers in mind. As the name suggests, the look is all about extracting the most details and clarity from the image. You can notice a significant increase in the details in the building and a subtle boost in the colours. The look also does an excellent job of extracting details in the sky. Also, the cool tone that’s set by this preset makes the overall look of the image quite soothing.
Matte Effect Look
The Matte Effect look collection is a freely available look available to download from Skylum’s website itself. This collection has three different looks viz. B&W, film, and soft, that give unique looks to your images. All the three results come out having a vintage look with high contrast and flattened colours. Landscape and portrait images will best benefit from the looks available in this collection.
Quick Inspiration Looks
The Quick Inspiration Looks collection includes 8 different looks that were designed by photographer and director Dixie Dixon. Getting her signature look is now a matter of a click of a button. All of these looks given a beautiful and creative look to the images. If you’re in need of some quick inspiration, definitely give this collection a try as you get a greater range of choices to select from.
Stunning Portraits Looks
Portrait photographers will love the fact that the Stunning Portraits Looks collection for Luminar features a total of 18 unique looks. So, in a matter of seconds, you have the ability to give a varied look to your portraits. Colour manipulation, contrast adjustment, adding a faded look, adding a glow to the skin, or even giving the image an analogue look, you name it and this collection has it.
One thing that I noticed about the looks in this collection is that the effects were pretty strong to my liking. I suggest that you turn the strength down a notch using the slider for a more subtle effect.
Atomic Colors Looks
The Atomic Colors Looks by Wim Arys offers fantastic 118 looks for Luminar and that too for free. Interestingly, each of these looks is named after an element from the periodic table. This meticulously crafted colour grading presets totally change the look and feel of your images. Think of the techniques that they use in colour grading cinema.
The colours that these looks have to offer is not over the top. The changes you see can be subtle yet very effective. Be sure to go through each of these looks and see how it adds life to your images.
Tonality Mega B&W Looks
If you love working with black and white photos and would love to spend time selecting from a huge selection of black and white tones, then the Tonality Mega B&W Looks collection is a must-have. The collection has looks that are idle for street photos, portraits, landscapes, architecture, HDR images – you name it.
This collection has over 170 authentic monochrome looks and styles. In addition, you also get custom made textures that you can overlay on your images to give an authentic film look on your image.
It’s really appreciable how Skylum has made this extensive look collection available for Luminar for free.
Whether you’re just looking to improve your workflow when editing your images using Luminar, or if you’re looking for inspirations to edit your images, these free looks for Luminar can be a great starting point. All of these Looks give you a unique starting point that you can adjust to your taste. Feel free to use them and let us know how you like them.