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I thought with the difficult times we are experiencing, I would feature an image that would help to lift your spirits and you could imagine standing on this beach instead of sitting behind your computer. I know I wish I could be there right now.

With all this newly found free time on our hands, it’s the perfect time to look back into our archives for images that we may have missed or images that could have been worked up a bit more to revitalise them. Photography is all about continually learning new techniques to improve the way we work in the field and in post processing, especially as technology is ever evolving with software such as Luminar.

I was looking back through my files and found this image that I made 5 years ago of a lone kayaker in the Seychelles. I really like the solitude and the dramatic cloud formation, but I felt I didn’t take it as far as I could to bring out the emotion in the scene. So I applied a few adjustments in Luminar and Lightroom, which I will take you through step-by-step.

I’ll start out by showing you the RAW file with no adjustments, then how I worked it up initially. After looking at it with fresh eyes, I felt that not only the colour contrast between the blue and gold tones could be improved, but the overall contrast of the scene needed punching up to bring out the definition in the clouds.

I should point out that these adjustments are down to personal taste and individual images. But just in case you’re interested, here they are.

Lightroom Adjustments

  • Contrast +30
  • Highlights -70
  • Shadows +32
  • Whites +25
  • Blacks -17
  • Vibrance +17
  • Saturation +5
  • I used a couple of new features to Lightroom that came out after I initially worked up this image. Dehaze does just what it says on the tin, cuts the haze from your image. I set this to +24.
  • Texture is another new feature that I used to enhance the detail in the clouds. I set this at  +52.


Skylum have recently release their newest version Luminar 4.2, which is £69 and if you use my special code ‘Tom’ when purchasing you will save £10.

You can use one of the many presets such as the ‘AI Landscape Enhancer’ which will be shown at 100%. Then you can adjust the overall preset or make individual adjustments within the preset. I used Luminar Flex which works slightly different to Luminar 4.2 with some of the tools. For example, the ‘remove color cast’ has a drop down Method Auto #1, which corrects colour overall and Auto #2, which only affects the blue sky and not the colour in the clouds. I think this is a wonderful feature and Luminar 4.2 has updated this feature giving even more control to individual colours. You can also create a mask to selectively affect specific parts of the image.

These are my settings for this image:

  • AI Accent 46
  • AI Sky 40
  • Polariser 25
  • Adjustable Gradient: Exposure  -8,  Contrast 19, Warmth -8
  • Remove Color Cast: Method Auto #2, Amount 60
Cloud Formation over Kayaker, La Digue, Seychelles



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