Skylum has unveiled the fifth extension for its flagship editing program, Luminar Neo:
Focus Stacking, which will allow photographers to blend multiple photos for extreme depth of field effects.
Luminar Neo debuted back in February 2022; like Luminar AI before it, the program combined conventional processing tools and AI technology to give photographers of all stripes – including beginners – unprecedented editing power.
More recently, Skylum announced its intentions to provide a series of paid updates, called “extensions,” that offer additional functionality for photo editors. Two Luminar extensions are already available, and Skylum has promised to launch an additional five extensions before the year is out.
The company’s first extension, HDR Merge, allows photographers to blend several files for maximum tonal detail. The second extension, Noiseless AI, boasts impressive noise-reduction capabilities, while the third and fourth extensions will offer background removal and image upscaling – handy for content creators, heavy croppers, and photographers seeking to make large prints.
But Skylum’s newly announced fifth extension, Focus Stacking, promises to change the game for macro, product, still life, and even landscape photographers. Shooters can capture several images of a subject, then blend the shots together in Luminar Neo for front-to-back sharpness. Macro, product, and still life photographers rely on focus-stacking techniques to keep entire subjects in focus at high magnifications; landscape photographers use stacking to ensure close foreground elements (e.g., rushing water) and distant background elements (e.g., mountains) remain equally sharp.
Stacking techniques are far from new, and dedicated focus-stacking software currently exists. Yet very few programs boast digital asset management, RAW editing capabilities, and stacking technology. Adobe Lightroom Classic, for instance, lacks stacking capabilities (to successfully stack an image using Adobe CC products, you must open the original files in Photoshop, which offers no DAM and RAW editing functionality).
In other words, once Skylum’s stacking extension is implemented, photographers will be able to organize, edit, and focus stack images – without ever leaving the Neo environment. It’s an exciting prospect, especially for current Luminar users who rely on other software to handle focus-stacking processes.
So when will the Focus Stacking extension become available, and how much will it cost?
According to Skylum, the update is “coming in November,” though an exact date has not been set. Like the Noiseless AI extension, Focus Stacking won’t be offered as an individual add-on. Instead, you’ll need to purchase the Extensions pack, which costs $269 and includes all the announced 2022 extensions (as well as the two unannounced extensions, which will be unveiled in the coming months).
Alternatively, you can pay for a subscription, which costs $9.80/month (paid yearly) and includes Luminar Neo along with the entire set of extensions.
So if you currently do – or plan to do – focus stacking, then head over to Skylum’s website and take a look at the Luminar Neo extensions pack. And check back here for future updates!
Now over to you:
Are you interested in Skylum’s Focus Stacking extension? Will you buy the Extensions pack? Share your thoughts in the comments below!