Luminar's smart Sky Enhancer filter does the dodging and burning for you

Skylum has released a free update to its Luminar photo-editing software which adds an AI-powered 'smart' filter for enhancing skies.

Developed by the company's AI Lab, the AI Sky Enhancer automatically enhances skies in images without the need for layer masking and manual edits such as dodging and burning. 

Skylum used hundreds of thousands of photos of skies, which were then used to train a deep neural network that powers the filter. This enables the software to analyze each image you're working on, detect the sky and apply an automatic adjustment, the strength of which you can fine-tune with a single slider. 

According to the company, AI Sky Enhancer works with sunsets, blue skies, partly sunny skies, stormy skies, and virtually any other sky imaginable. 

Skylum co-founder and CTO Dima Sytnik said the new filter was "just the beginning", with the company planning to introduce more smart tools.

"Luminar now includes an innovative core neural processing engine that enables all Luminar users to harness the power of AI," he added. "This will give the Skylum team the possibility to introduce more smart and automated tools more frequently."

Luminar 3 with Libraries

The arrival of AI Sky Enhancer comes ahead of Luminar 3 with Libraries, which is set to launch on December 18. The good news for existing owners of Luminar 2018 is that they'll get every new feature of Luminar 3 and its updates until late 2019 at no additional cost. 

Luminar is available to new customers for $59 / £53, while current users of other Skylum software, including Aurora HDR, Photolemur, and Skylum legacy products can purchase Luminar for $49 / £44. Australian pricing is to be confirmed.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.