Luminar 4 and Apple Photos

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi,

    Unfortunately it is not possible to import photos from Apple Photos directly into Luminar or sync the two programs.

    We recommend using the Luminar extension for Apple Photos - instructions here: https://manual.skylum.com/4/en/topic/using-luminar-as-a-photos-for-macos-extension

    If you prefer to use Luminar to catalog your images you'll need to export your images from Apple Photos to a new folder on your hard drive (File > Export > Export Unmodified Originals). You can then add that folder to Luminar. 

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    Member

    It's technically possible to sync the Apple Photos Library, because Apple offers an API in Catalina to do it, but Luminar don't support it. I don't understand why Skylum don't offer better support for Apple Photos (library support and non destructive editing with their extension) like their competitors. The APIs are there and Skylum just have to use it. Check the new Raw Power 3 with full support for iCloud Photos and they support non destructive editing with their Photos extension (and this is not a new feature).

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    Marcel Moré

    I just lost more then 130 edits in Luminar because of misunderstanding the given workflow-options between Apple Photos and Luminar 4.

    After bouncing the issue back and forth to Skylum support with no helpful insights I made some further investigations by myself.

    This is what I found out:

    When I editet a picture I did a right-click on the image in Apple Photos and then choose "Edit in Luminar" from the menu. I discovered, that the pictures are stored inside the Library-Package from Photos when they are opened in Luminar. The filepath looks like this:
    Macintosh HD/Photos Library/private/com.apple.Photos/ExternalEditSessions/7A5AEDBD-F0FE-4967-BD75-7A87A4F45E00

    After finishing the edit in Luminar the picture was still visible in the Luminar filmstripe on the left side. But without any warning the reference to the picture location was somehow invalidated later, when Apple Photos flushes its cache. I could not find out, when exactly this happens. But in the result I ended up in a situation with broken links to the edited pictures in Luminar and no way to restore the full image (because the images did not exist any further in the mentioned filepath).

    So it looks like a bad idea to make use of the "Edit in Luminar" feature in Apple Photos!

    This looks like a fundamental design misconception in the Luminar workflow, when using Apple Photos as the main library.

    Are there any instructions or suggestions for a better workflow when editing Images from Apple Photos with Luminar? It would be nice if there is any way to prevent exporting the whole Library from Apple Photos to Luminar.

    I will have a look at the mentioned Plugin. But it sounds like only the result of the editing process is stored back to Apple Photos, while any settings that are applied to the photo inside Luminar are lost afterwords?

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    Helga Rowles

    Hi Marcel,

    When you right-click an on image and choose Edit in Luminar, Luminar is invoked as a standalone application. Instead, please invoke it as a Photos extension. The correct workflow is described in our user manual:
    https://manual.skylum.com/4/en/topic/using-luminar-as-a-photos-for-macos-extension 

     

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    Member

    Hi Marcel,

    If you care about non destructive editing, don’t use the Luminar Photos Extension and forget about using Luminar with Apple Photos because you will never get a good workflow. And you need to know that the Luminar Photos extension is really unstable and when it crash, you lost all your editing (because in this context Luminar support destructive editing)! I just don’t understand why Skylum don’t want correct these workflow issues, because the APIs are there in Catalina!

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    Iliyan Georgiev

    I came here to confirm that the Luminar extension for Apple Photos is dangerous to use with raw files, and the way it's implemented prevents me from purchasing this otherwise great software.

    When you have a raw file in Apple Photos, you can edit it with the Luminar extension. Unfortunately, once you're done editing, you're really done editing. If you try to make further edits later to the same file through the extension, you'll be working on the JPEG file that the Luminar extension produced earlier. As a result, you cannot modify those early edits. Note that this is an issue with Luminar, not Photos. Other photo-editing apps like ON1 Photo RAW and PixelMator to store their edits to raw files as metadata that is read upon re-opening the extension and those same edits can be tweaked, just like in Lightroom.

    This issue is basically a show-stopper for me. And I'm really frustrated because there I just can't find an Apple Photos extension that is fast, reliable, high-fidelity, and allows multiple edits. Luminar seems to tick all boxes except for the last one. Ironically, this box is the easiest to click from a coding perspective.

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Iliyan,

    With the Apple Photos extension, you always have the option to Revert to your original, raw image. However, you're correct that Luminar AI edits cannot be modified once you click Apply/Done and return to Apple Photos. This is typical for extensions/plugins as you're using Apple Photos for your cataloging.

    The only way around this would be to export an unmodified original from your Apple Photos library into a specified folder. Then add that folder to Luminar AI's catalog and work your images that way. Once you're finished, you can right-click on the photo and choose Open In > Photos to send the edited version back to your Photos library.

    If you ever need to go back and modify your edits you'll open the picture direction from Luminar AI (not Photos), make your changes, then send a new copy to Apple Photos.

    I hope that helps!

     

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    Iliyan Georgiev

    Thanks for the response!

    > However, you're correct that Luminar AI edits cannot be modified once you click Apply/Done and return to Apple Photos. This is typical for extensions/plugins as you're using Apple Photos for your cataloging.

    Actually I can't agree here. As I noted in my original post, other software like ON1 Photo RAW do store the edits in a sidecar file which is returned to Photos, so that next time Photos can pass both the RAW and sidecar files back for alterations. Yes, not all Photos extensions have that functionality but many do. They're not as snappy and polished as Luminar AI, and I was hoping to find a way to make it work. Alas.

    Maybe if at some point you re-introduce the .lmnr sidecar files, these can be passes to Photos as the editing metadata. Fingers crossed.

    Thanks!

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    Member

    I totally agree to Iliyan‘s post. For me it is also a show stopper that it is not possible to modify previous edits made with luminar. This is a basic requirement for a non-destructive tool!
    Very frustrating as luminar tools do a exceptional job in terms of image editing. Please address this workflow limitation.

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