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Relighting your scene for a perfect balance

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Sky replacement is a great technology. But what happens when we need to balance out our scene’s lighting? With LuminarAI and the upcoming Luminar Neo, you can easily relight your scene, and with the latest Update 2, even relight your subjects.

Last fall, I took some rare family photos for some friends of mine, Sam and Katie. I took them (and their kids) down to a local park, and we photographed in a variety of spots. This scene was one of my favorites. The fall colors really showed themselves, and Katie and Sam really popped.

However, the sky was … well, uninspiring. We get a lot of grey skies in Michigan, and I wanted to see a blue sky.

I originally had trouble with SkyAI when I shot these photos, but with the latest update to LuminarAI, I decided to give it a go again. The updates to SkyAI made it easy to replace the sky and make it look realistic. I was able to close the gaps and make sure the details stayed in the scene. No more halos around the leaves or around my two subjects.

But something wasn’t right.

Relighting for a more realistic look

SkyAI has a Relighting panel inside of it, and when you replace your sky, it intelligently relights the scene for you. This makes it so that the colors of the original image can better match your new sky. While this has been there for quite a while, I feel that with this latest update, it’s more accurate. The results I’m seeing are more realistic, allowing me to finish my photo and have something representative of what the day could have been like.

When I get started with my sky, I like to zero out the Relight Strength slider. This makes it so that I can just focus on tweaking the sky, before relighting.

After I get my sky right, then I focus more on the relighting. There are three sliders in the Relighting panel — Relight Strength, Relight Saturation and the new Relight Human. I boosted the Relight Strength slider quite a bit (more than what LuminarAI had done automatically). I also increased the Relight Saturation, ensuring that those fall colors continued to shine.

I start with the strength and saturation options. These don’t touch my subjects in the photo, meaning that, once again, I can focus on the scene and background without having to worry about Sam and Katie.

Once I’m happy with my scene, that’s when I start relighting my subjects. In this case, it helps me dial back some of the exposure on Sam and Katie, making them better fit into the scene. In this case, I just dialed it back slightly, as I still wanted some separation between the rest of the scene and my subjects.

With SkyAI‘s easy relighting options, you can adjust not only your scene, but now your subject. It makes for the perfect finishing touch!

Create more, with Luminar Neo

Fulfill your creative ideas with Luminar Neo! Preorder now and get the Photofocus preorder bundle, full of extras like a deep dive training video, templates, LUTs, textures and more when Luminar Neo launches.

Bryan Esler

Bryan Esler

Bryan is a photographer specializing in capturing corporate events, food/drink and advertising imagery. Based in Grand Rapids, MI, he has worked with clients such as CNBC, Michigan State University, ArtPrize, Grand Rapids Magazine and more. His work has also been featured by Delta Airlines, NBC, Microsoft and Pure Michigan. He also serves as a Fotopro tripod ambassador.

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