I bought Luminar 2018, with known free upgrade to Luminar 3, because it was the only program I could find allowing a red-blue swap on JPEGs (not just on RAWs), because I had infrared converted cameras with JPEG but no RAW. PS killed the workaround for red-blue swap on JPEGS and Luminar has worked well.
Then they improved importing images on Windows 10 (as in it was no longer a royal pain). They improved file sorting and I really like that.
Luminar 4 seems to be going down the heavily AI route, with Luminar 3 going down the more tweak-your-photo route (my impression, which may or may not be accurate). For example, I realize many folks like the new Sunburst and Sky Replacement and skin replacement and Golden whatever and all the change-your-entire-photo-with-a-slider stuff coming out...but I hate that stuff. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to see what it does on their photo examples for jollies..but so far I have not liked the look of quite a few of the AI changed photos. Others love the looks. I like some paintings that others don't and vise versa...art is like that and there is nothing wrong with different tastes or preferences.
BUT...when I take a photo of someplace I've been, I want a photo as close to what *I saw* as it can be...not something bearing no resemblance to the actual view. If my photo has stunning lighting, exposure, color, sky, etc...I want it to be because I bothered to get a good photo in camera, not because I replaced large sections of my picture with someone else's picture. But that's my preference for my photos. Otherwise they would just be snapshots turned into photographic wonders because most of my picture was tossed and replaced...in which case, it is no longer the view I saw.
Maybe all this AI and replacement stuff is really closer to creating paintings for people who can't paint...except they have someone else paint their skies and paint their highlights and change their colors, instead of doing the work themselves. That's ok, as long as you realize the photo is now a snapshot "fixed" by others who took the time to do it better. But hey, if you're happy with the result, print it, frame it, hang it on your wall.
We don't need to fight a war over this. There is room for differences. I know someone who takes gorgeous photos and has never done post processing...he does all his work ahead of time so the in-camera product is great. Others rely on post-processing a lot. I think AI will be similar...I don't like it for my photos. But others will prefer taking quick snapshots then totally changing them with AI to create a completely new image. They are different. Some want to record what was there and what they saw...others want to create fantasy...there is room for both, if everyone just represents how the final results were obtained honestly. Are they photograph-art, or are they AI-altered snapshot-art?
So those are my thoughts...I would be interested in hearing from others.
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