Luminar has evolved from a regular image-editor into an all-in-one photo cataloguing, browsing and editing program. In the old days, you opened an image, edited it, then saved it as a new file in the Luminar format (to keep your adjustments intact) and/or exported it as processed JPEG or TIFF image.
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With the new integrated image library, however, you import whole folders and then choose images to edit within the library window.
So does that mean you can no longer open and edit single images in Luminar? Do you really have to import a whole folder just to work on a single image?
In fact you can still edit single images in Luminar. It doesn’t quite work in the old way, with separate Luminar image files, but the outcome is much the same and you don’t have to import a hundred images in a folder just to edit the one you want.
Here’s how it works.
How carry out Single Image Edits in Luminar 4
How to open and edit one image at a time
- Click the ‘+’ button
You will find this in the top left corner of the Luminar Library window. Normally you import whole folders into Luminar, but this time use the Edit Single Image option.
- Locate the image on your computer
It doesn’t have to be in any specific location. Luminar will simply work with the picture wherever it is.
- Make your adjustments
- The Single Image Edits shortcut
So how do your find your photo again when you finish editing and you’re back in the Library? Look for the Single Image Edits shortcut in the top section of the Library panel. This will show all the single images you’ve added and edited in this way, including the last one you worked on.
- So where is the image?
It’s still in its original location on your computer. You can check this at any time by right-clicking an image and selecting ‘Show in Finder’ (Mac OS).
- Moving single images
If you want to move the edited image to a new location in one of your imported folders, that’s easy. All you have to do is drag its thumbnail from the main window and into one of the folders in your library. Be very clear, though, that you are moving the photo to a different location on your computer.
Important: Where your edits are stored
There is a key difference between Single Image Edits in Luminar 4 and the custom Luminar file format used in Luminar 2018 and earlier. In Luminar 4 you are not creating a new image file with your adjustments saved into it. The original photo is not modified in any way, and the adjustments you make are stored in your Luminar catalog, not within the file itself. If you open the file outside of Luminar, it will look completely unaltered. If you want to created a permanent JPEG or TIFF version of the edited photo, you must export it from within Luminar.