Luminar AI – Portrait Enhancement / Sky Replacement

My question: What can AI do for my mobile photos today? Not RAW, not DSLR, just JPEGs from my current iPhone SE. Minutes instead of hours for tweaking a couple of shots. Import, tweak, export, share.

Used the Luminar AI trial on Windows 10.

Sky Replacement

This feature created the most stunning effect for me. Take the town hall of Hamburg / Germany and put it in completely different context. Nearly no tweaking was needed, just the selection of a simple color filter as well as choosing a matching background from Sky AI and Augmented Sky AI. Not an everyday use case maybe, but still an impressive eye catcher. The sky was detected and replaced perfectly in all my different test pictures. So for the specific task it saves you a lot of time.

Portrait Enhancement

For some shots it is enough to apply a little effect template, here “Feather Light”
Cleaner skin, whither teeth. redder lips, larger eyes
Cleaner skin, whither teeth. redder lips, smaller head, new eyes, maybe too much already
Tough job: applied the “flawless” template and added a vignette to de-focus from the strange background.

Portraits created via This Person Does Not Exist

In this section I think it is fair to say: Anybody can look awesome! It is really, really easy to make someone look younger, healthier, fitter. Again the AI perfectly separates the person from the background, finds eyes, lips, teeth correctly and allows you to manipulate all of them with ease.


The workflow splits into catalog, templates, edit, export. Nothing special to report on catalog (import) and export, standard thumbnail gallery and output options. Templates are basically predefined “Edit” settings that are somewhat recommended by the AI, e.g. working on a portrait suggests e.g. the Flawless template or Black & White templates while working on the town hall picture suggested e.g. the New York template. So they are a good starting point, but I found that I wanted to spend some time in the “Edit” screen to achieve most of my results still.

For me this is the main screen where all the action happens. It is split in Essentials, Creative, Portrait and PRO with most of the AI functionality being either in Portrait (Skin AI, Face AI, Body AI, High key AI) or in Creative (Sky AI, Augmented Sky AI, Atmosphere AI).

There is a ton of “normal” (aka non-AI) photo editing stuff including context-aware erase, however my focus are the AI features.


Stability was perfect, performance good on my Intel i7-8650U laptop. All calculations have been applied within 2-3 seconds, so no painful long waiting time during the different steps. I would have preferred to do the test on my Apple Silicon M1 Mac mini however the product isn’t available natively and even doesn’t run in the Rosetta 2 emulator.

Try before you buy

I cannot give a buy/don’t buy recommendation as photo editing is not my common use case and I didn’t spend enough time on the product. However I enjoyed reviewing it a lot and if I had the need to do such task regularly I would consider it. Just jump into the trial and see for yourself if it fulfils your needs, before you spend 79 €.






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