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I just got my hands on a very early version of Luminar Neo, so I’ve been able to play around with a few of the tools they have. One of these tools that I think is fantastic is the Relight AI tool. This tool uses AI to find the subject in a photo and adjust the light in both the foreground (subject) and background. After experimenting with this tool, here are some of the things I’ve learned about it and how to use to get the best results:

  • It works best with portraits. The AI seems to work really well with people. Since this is a very limited release of the software and it still is not yet fully functional, I’m unable to see how it works with landscape or other images that already have some adjustments added to them. I found that with some non-people photos, the light was not intense enough to compensate for a backlit scene. When the pre-release version has more tools added to it, this may make for a great addition to other types of images that do not include people in them.

  • Evenly-lit and backlit photos get better results. With photos that have a harsh light on the person’s face, the light was too intense. I have found that people who are slightly backlit get the best results, and this is the perfect tool to help correct for that type of exposure.

  • It does more than globally adjust shadows and highlights. When looking at the results, you might think that I’m simply adding light to the shadows and darkening the highlights. But it’s more than that. When making adjustments with the Relight tool, it uses AI to adjust the foreground and background independently of each other. This means that shadows on a person’s face, for example, will be lightened, but the background will not be lightened along with it.

Once the software is fully-functional, it will be interesting to see how well this tool plays with the other tools. I’m hopeful that it will be useful with landscapes, food, and wildlife images as well!

All of the before-and-after examples I have below are from raw images with no other adjustments to them before or after the Relight effect was applied. 

Luminar Neo

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BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

Learn More about Luminar Neo

I just got my hands on a very early version of Luminar Neo, so I’ve been able to play around with a few of the tools they have. One of these tools that I think is fantastic is the Relight AI tool. This tool uses AI to find the subject in a photo and adjust the light in both the foreground (subject) and background. After experimenting with this tool, here are some of the things I’ve learned about it and how to use to get the best results:

  • It works best with portraits. The AI seems to work really well with people. Since this is a very limited release of the software and it still is not yet fully functional, I’m unable to see how it works with landscape or other images that already have some adjustments added to them. I found that with some non-people photos, the light was not intense enough to compensate for a backlit scene. When the pre-release version has more tools added to it, this may make for a great addition to other types of images that do not include people in them.

  • Evenly-lit and backlit photos get better results. With photos that have a harsh light on the person’s face, the light was too intense. I have found that people who are slightly backlit get the best results, and this is the perfect tool to help correct for that type of exposure.

  • It does more than globally adjust shadows and highlights. When looking at the results, you might think that I’m simply adding light to the shadows and darkening the highlights. But it’s more than that. When making adjustments with the Relight tool, it uses AI to adjust the foreground and background independently of each other. This means that shadows on a person’s face, for example, will be lightened, but the background will not be lightened along with it.

Once the software is fully-functional, it will be interesting to see how well this tool plays with the other tools. I’m hopeful that it will be useful with landscapes, food, and wildlife images as well!

All of the before-and-after examples I have below are from raw images with no other adjustments to them before or after the Relight effect was applied. 

Luminar Neo

Get Luminar Neo

Pr-order Luminar Neo today (shipping this Winter)

Learn More
BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

BEFOREAFTER

Raw photo before-and-after, with only the Luminar Neo Relight tool applied

Learn More about Luminar Neo

Nicole S. Young is a photographer, published author, and educator specializing in Lightroom, Photoshop, and photography. She is best known for her books on food photography but is widely versed in various photographic genres, including landscape, nature, stock, travel, and lifestyle.

One Comment

  1. Stephen November 19, 2021 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Hi Nicole
    Can you do one or two samples with the Brightness Far setting turned up — so the background is as per the original, and the foreground is brightened ?
    That would give us a better indication of how effective the tool is.
    At the moment it doesn’t look too impressive.
    Thanks, Stephen

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