It’s the start of a brand new year, so I thought it would be a good time for another photography challenge to kick it off right. This one will be about photo editing, but this time you’ll be working on your own images!
Before I get into the details of this challenge, may I just say HAPPY NEW YEAR from everyone on the DPM team. I hope you had a great holiday full of laughter and love and you used your new flash photography skills too. You did, right?
Process your images – photo editing challenge
You may recall that a couple of months ago we ran a similar challenge. But that one involved using my images to practice with and follow along over seven days.
This one is all about you and your images this time. I want to see the original image and the final finished version like this:
How to participate and win
This one is pretty simple, and yes I said WIN! Once again the generous folks at Skylum have given me THREE licenses for Luminar 4 as prizes to give away to some lucky participants.
To be eligible to win all you have to do is the following two things:
- Pick one of your images and process it with Luminar 4 (you can use the trial version if you haven’t already bought it).
- Post the before and after images in the comments below along with a description of what you did to create the finished version.
- The deadline to enter to win one of the prizes is February 9th, 2020.
We will be using the honor system so if you tell us you used Luminar 4 to create your final version, we believe you. You can use the stand-alone version, or you can use Luminar 4 as a plug-in for your favorite editing program. It works with Lightroom, Photoshop, Elements, Photos, and Aperture.
Luminar 4 and getting help
The first thing you need to do is get Luminar 4 if you haven’t already.
I’m a Skylum Ambassador, as well as an affiliate partner with them. If you choose to purchase the software after the trial expires, I earn a small commission. There is no extra charge to you. I recommend it because I’m confident you’ll love it as much as I do.
Use this discount code to save $10 USD off the regular purchase price (must be entered exactly, no spaces): DIGITALPHOTOMENTOR.
Note: Skylum current has a holiday sale on Luminar 4 for so you can get it for $79 USD ($69 to upgrade from an older version). During the same, discounts are not applicable.
Get Luminar 7-Day Trial here Luminar 4 (#aff)
To download the trial, use the pull-down menu at the top of the page and choose “Download Trial” as seen in this image below.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you out in the cold without any tips to get you started.
What I recommend is that if you haven’t already watched the videos from the 7-day photo editing challenge that you start there. To make it easier for you to find them, I’ve put them all in one place for you below. Watch them all, or just the ones that are most applicable to your image and your style.
Video #1 – Street photography and basic raw editing
Learn some of the basics in this video like how to adjust the exposure, contrast, and color, and see how to apply a Look (preset style).
Video #2 – Portrait editing
If you are working on an image of a person, this video will help you with some quick people or portrait editing.
Video #3 – Black and white conversion
See how to convert your image to black and white the right way in this video.
Video #4 – Details and masking
Watch this video to learn how to bring out details in your image, and how to use masks. That’s really just a fancy word that means show part of something and hide other parts – like a real mask you’d put on your face.
Learning how to use masks will help you take your images to a whole new level. Masks allow you to target effects, adjustments, and Looks to only certain parts of your image that you select. It’s super powerful and really isn’t all that hard.
Watch and learn!
Video #5 – Landscape photography and sky replacement
The sky replacement tool in Luminar 4 is somewhat controversial. You’ll either love it or hate it.
But there are lots of other tips for processing a landscape image in this video. Just stop the video when I get to the sky if you don’t want to use that feature. Or watch all of it, purely out of curiosity and then decide.
Video #6 – Adding a texture overlay
This is where you get to add some style to your image using a texture overlay and/or a LUT. If you aren’t sure what those things even mean, just watch the video and all will be revealed.
NOTE: If you use Lightroom, in this video I demonstrate how to use Luminar 4 as a plugin for Lightroom so make not to watch this one for tips on that.
Video #7 – Night photography
In this last video, all the tips come together as I process a night photography image.
Keep in mind that the tips in the videos can apply to any kind of photo so consider that when you are watching them.
- How to Process Raw Files Quickly and Easily With Luminar
- Photo Editing Demonstration With Lightroom and Luminar
- Video Demonstration of the New Luminar Flex Plugin (Note: Flex has been replaced by Luminar 4, but if you’re using Flex you can still do this challenge and enter to win – any Luminar version is fine.)
- Video: First Look at Luminar 3 with Libraries – Is it Ready to Replace Lightroom? (Note: Luminar 4 works the same way as 3, it’s just been updated and improved).
Stylize your image
How you decide to process your image is up to you. Perhaps you want to convert it to black and white, or maybe add a texture overlay. Or you could use a Color LUT to give it an old-world feeling, or you would give it a faded color or matte black look.
The possibilities are endless and the goal here is for you to try things out. Just experiment and ask, “What if…?” Then go for it. You never know until you try it.
NEW – DPM Texture Packs
I’m also excited to introduce new to Digital Photo Mentor, World Texture Packs! This is the first of what will be a series of sets of texture packs from different countries. I present to you Cuba.
All the textures in this package were photographed in Cuba by Darlene personally, and bring with them the unique flavor that is Cuba.
We’re launching them this month with a special introductory price of only $9 USD (regular price $29).
You get 42 high-resolution JPG image files, ready to add style and flair to your images.
Check out this variety, unlike any other texture pack on the market. Look closely and you’ll find Ché, a Cohiba cigar, the Cuban flag, an old classic car, and lots more that is typical Cuba.
If you want to take advantage of the discounted price and pay only $9 – grab the pack here.
Note: The introductory pricing will end on February 3rd, 2020.
Just a quick note to end off here. In order to be entered to win one of the prizes (which will be randomly selected from all eligible entries) you must complete the following:
- Submit both of your before and after photos in the comments below.
- Tell us how you processed the image using Luminar 4 (which filters and tools did you use).
- Yes, you can share more than one set of images, but each person gets only one entry total.
Note: To upload photos to the commenting system you need to log into Disqus and your images must be JPGs no larger than 2mb.
Now off you go! Select your image or images, process away, and then share it with us below.
NOTE: The deadline to enter to win one of the prizes is February 9th, 2020.
By the way, if you like photography challenges and don’t already have it, download my FREE “10 Photography Challenges eBook“
In it, you’ll find 10 more photography challenges you can do at home to improve your photography without having to buy any new gear.