The best times of day to take outdoor travel photos are during the “Golden Hours,” the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, I’m not up at the crack of dawn. While I do take photos at the end of the day, many of my images are taken at the absolutely worse time of day, when the sun is out in full force.

To improve photo quality, I often use post-process editing software to adjust the exposure, colors, and other technical aspects of my digital images. Some of the tools I use to edit photos include Adobe Photoshop Express, Lightroom CC, and Photoshop, as well as, Snapseed. Recently I learned about a new software program, Luminar, which is advertised as “Everything you need to make perfect photos in less time.”

Since I’d rather be out taking photos than sitting at a computer spending hours editing them, I decided to try Luminar. The results are in – Luminar delivered. After a few minor adjustments using the Accent – AI Filter and cropping tool, I created nine different variations of a street scene in Nafplio, Greece in less than ten minutes.

Click on each photo in the collage below to see the preset I used for each image. The first image in the collage is the original, unedited version. While I had a hard time deciding on my favorite effect, I landed on the “Vivid” preset. Which one do you like best?

Below is slideshow of the same images. Use the arrow buttons to toggle through the slides more quickly and the stop button if you want to pause the slideshow to take a closer look.

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What’s a preset? In simple terms, all the manual adjustments needed to create the various effects you see in the images above have been automated via a tool called a preset. In order to save time when developing an image, Luminar offers an extensive collection of presets that were created with input from Professional photographers around the world.


This week’s Photo Challenge theme is Variations on a Theme, where Ben Huberman from the Daily Post challenges us to show the same thing — an object, place, or person — presented in several different ways.