This 7-day photo editing challenge will help you get started if you’re new to this process, or get unstuck if you’re in a rut.
You will learn different processing techniques and terms in the video tutorials I share each day. But the goal and my mission for this challenge are to get you trying new things!
This is all about asking yourself, “What if?” and then going for it! You’ve got nothing to lose here, you can’t mess anything up because you get to use MY images!
New Challenge for 2021: With the launch of Luminar AI, we’ve created a brand new 5-day challenge using its amazing artificial intelligence features. Luminar AI has a free 7-day trial available (I provide that for you), which will allow you to follow along with the NEW video tutorials. If you’re new to photo editing, I recommend you take on the 5-day challenge.
If you already own Luminar 4, or you use Windows 7 or 8 and are not able to use the new Luminar AI, you can still do this challenge and practice while improving your editing skills. A free Luminar 4 trial download is provided by email when you join this 7-day challenge.
Over 3.5 hours of photo editing training videos are provided, delivered in easily consumable snippets so you can practice along on my own files as well as your own.
When we initially launched this challenge, over 1400 people took part. Here’s what some of them had to say once completing all 7 days:
- My first attempt at photo editing (never done this before)….using the trial of Luminar 4…had so much fun and learned a lot from your videos. Thanks Darlene – Bing D.
- Anyway, it’s been a great week and I’ve learned so much. I feel 100%+ more comfortable with post-processing as a result. There are a few LR features I miss in Luminar, but the ease with which this software works makes up for that. Thanks so much, Darlene; it’s been a great learning experience! I can’t wait to put it to use with my own images. – Martha S.
- Thanks Darlene for these fabulous tutorials. I have learned a lot and gained confidence in editing my images. – Diane H.
Photography Challenge Themes for the Week
Over the course of the next 7 days, we’ll be working with these photography themes and practice these editing techniques:
- Street photography – learn about basic edits like contrast and color adjustments and how to apply a Look or preset.
- Portrait and people photography – learn how to do skin retouching and facial enhancements the easy way, and keep it looking natural.
- Black and white conversion – see how to do it the right and wrong way, and how to take your b/w images to another creative level with split toning.
- Details and masking – you’ll learn how to do local edits that apply to just part of the image, and how to enhance sharpness and detail in those targeted areas.
- Landscape photography – take your nature photos up a notch, bring out details in highlight and shadow areas, and see how to replace the sky (not everyone’s cup of tea but you’ll see how easy it is with Luminar 4).
- Texture overlay – learn how to give your images a fine art style with a texture overlay (you’ll even get a few of mine to play with and try out)
- Night photography – learn how to apply many of the techniques you already learned and bring it all together to enhance and bring out details in a stunning night photo I took in Japan.
Here’s more of what photography challenge participants had to say:
- Thanks, Darlene for an excellent series of educational tutorials, I enjoyed the challenge immensely. – Aidan Lawlor
- Your videos are great, easy to follow, clear, & full of learning. – Magdelena B.
- This week has been an amazing experience and such fun to be able to learn so much. Thanks a million, Darlene. – Marie-Christine G.
Step 1 – Sign-up and Download the RAW image
Raw Image File to Process
If you subscribed to join this 7-day challenge, you’ll have been sent the RAW file to edit in the email for this challenge. If you’d like the file to process for today’s exercise, simply join the challenge here. You’ll be sent the files one day at a time by email, giving you time to practice with your editing software each day.
Step 2 – Photo Editing Software
You’ll need to download a free Luminar 4 trial or have a copy of Luminar 4 photo editing software already installed.
A link to a fully functioning 7-day trial of Luminar 4 is provided by email when you join the challenge, so you can follow along with the video tutorials.
Step 3 – watch the video tutorial
Next, watch the video below and follow along if you want. Feel free to pause if you need to, or rewind and watch any parts again. If you have any questions just leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
7-Day Photography Challenge
You’re reading one of a seven-part photography challenge on photo editing. To follow along with this 7-day photography challenge, enter your email address here.
You’ll be sent a daily email with a new editing challenge, and have access to my RAW files to work with so you can follow along.
Join: 7-Day Editing Challenge
Step 4 – Process the image
Now it’s your turn!
Open the image in Luminar 4 or your software of choice and give it a go. Have some fun with it, but remember to not go overboard.
Experiment and play around with different filters and sliders, and try some of the built-in Looks that come with Luminar 4. Here are two more variations I made of this image.
Feel free to get as creative as you like with this. Just remember we have a dedicated black and white day coming up so you might want to save that for later.
NOTE: Remember to apply the look to a new adjustment layer so you can always get rid of it if you don’t like it and it doesn’t overwrite all your other great adjustments.
Step 5 – Share your finished image
Lastly, we want to see what you’ve created – your final finished version (or a few of them).
Use the commenting system on the bottom of this page to share your image, how you did it, and any experiences you had while doing the challenge. You can also share on social media using the hashtag #DPM-7DayChallenge
FAQ’s About Luminar 4 and Windows 10
YES it does run on Windows 10. So if you are getting error messages or have issues getting it installed, there is another issue. Contact Skylum support and they will help you.
If you are having trouble installing Luminar 4 on your Windows machine please contact Skylum support and they can help you solve it.
Check to see if you have a virus software or firewall running that may be blocking the installer from running.
The image provided for this photography challenge was taken on our Cuba photo vacation, held each year in January.
More Photography Challenges: check out our entire collection of photography challenges. You’ll find our daily and monthly challenges with lots of ideas and inspiration for creative photos. Perfect for beginners or experienced alike.
There are 7 days of practical action taking steps in this photo editing challenge.
Join and follow along and you’ll find you get more confident each and every day. By spending some time each and every day practicing editing your photos, you’ll find your friends and family starting to say “WOW, that’s a great photo!”