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How to fix a backlit photo with Luminar Neo’s RelightAI

The RelightAI tool in the upcoming Luminar Neo will give you control over the lighting in a photo. It’s perfect for improving an image creatively as well as solving technical issues for backlit photos.

What makes this tool unique from all others is that it analyzes the scene in three dimensions. By creating a 3D map of a photo, Luminar Neo can spread light naturally in 3D space across a 2D image. This produces superior photorealistic results.

I got a quick preview of some of the new technologies coming to this winter’s release of Luminar Neo. Here’s a look at how to use RelightAI.

Fixing a backlit image

Let’s enhance an image with a challenging backlight. With an outdoor portrait, the camera often can’t achieve the right exposure. Either the sky is blown out or the subject is too dark. This presents a unique challenge for proper exposure.

The background in this sample image is overexposed, causing a loss of detail in the background and the light appears to wrap around the foreground (the subject). Notice how this makes her appear washed out. Let’s improve this photo.

Balance the exposure

With RelightAI it’s possible to change the exposure of the subject and foreground independently from the background. Inside the RelightAI tool you can drag the Brightness Near slider to the right to add more light to the foreground of the photo. for this image, a value of 40 works well filling in shadows on the her face.

In order to balance the exposure, I moved the Brightness Far slider to the left to darken and restore detail in the background. A value of -80 creates a better balance and enhances the trees.

Finally, I can blend the light further into the three-dimensional space, by using the Depth slider. This helps me to balance the foreground and background lighting.

Using the Advanced Settings to refine an image

The Advanced Settings have additional options to let the artist naturally reposition and blend the light in 3D space.

Dehalo: Blends the light gradually around the subject to restore detail and remove unwanted artifacts such as adjusting hair that blends in the background of a portrait.
Zooming in at 100%, I notice around her should be a little dark. Moving the Dehalo slider to 15 spreads the light evenly and restores lost detail in her skin.

Warmth Near: Refine the color temperature of the foreground by adjusting the amount. A negative value will cool the image by adding a blue tone and a positive value will warm the image by adding a gold tone. To restore color back into the dress, I added a slight gold tone by moving the Warmth slide to 25 for this image.

Warmth Far: Refine the color temperature of the background by adjusting the amount. A negative value will cool the image by adding a blue tone and a positive value will warm the image by adding a gold tone. To cool down the image, I moved the Warmth Far slider to -8. This adds the right amount of a blue tone that helps make the image standout.

Look how much detail I was able to restore in the background by applying a negative value to Brightness Far. At the same time, I ensured the subject in the foreground was well lit using a positive value for Brightness Near. The Depth slider played an important role by balancing the light.

From there, I could make further tweaks by using other Luminar Neo tools, like AccentAI to help bring in some contrast, or Face Light if I wanted to restore some of the light on her face.

Want to experience the power of AI photo editing now? Check out LuminarAI, on sale for just $47 for a limited time!

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