The Develop/DevelopRAW tool contains the most essential controls for adjusting the color and tone of an image. Adjustments made with this tool will set the stage for all further adjustments. The RAW indicator will only show next to Develop when an unedited raw file is opened for editing. All RAW images will automatically apply the DevelopRAW tool as the first tool in the Edits panel. If a different tool is applied first to a RAW image, the DevelopRAW tool will automatically be applied as the first tool without any settings. Settings can be adjusted at any time.

Camera Profile

For maximum control over your raw files, be sure to give DNG camera profiles a try. Luminar recognizes the industry standard DCP files you may already have on your computer (or have bought from third parties). These offer a high degree of control over how a raw file’s color and tone are handled.


Exposure. This slider adjusts the global luminance of the image. Moving it to the left results in a darker image (reduced exposure value). Moving it to the right results in a brighter image (increased exposure value).

Smart Contrast. This slider adjusts the contrast of the image. Contrast refers to differences in luminance or color that allow you to distinguish objects in an image from one another. Practically speaking, contrast is determined by the difference in the color and brightness of an object relative to other objects within the same field of view. This slider’s innovative capabilities limit color shift and prevent details from becoming blocked up.

Highlights. This slider adjusts the brightness of the brightest areas of the image. Moving it to the right causes bright areas to become brighter, while moving it to the left makes them darker.

Shadows. This slider adjusts the brightness of the darkest areas of the image. Moving it to the right causes the darkest areas to become brighter, revealing additional details. Moving it to the left makes such areas darker.

Blacks & Whites

Whites. This slider adjusts the white point of the histogram and white tones in the image. When you move it to the right, the brightest tones become brighter while the histogram compresses to the right. Moving it to the left causes the white tones in the image to become darker as the histogram compresses to the left.

Blacks. This slider sets the histogram’s black point and adjusts the image’s black tones. Moving it to the right makes the black tones brighter as the histogram compresses to the right. Moving it to the left makes the black tones darker as the histogram compresses to the left.


This is one of the most powerful tools for adjusting your image’s tone. It allows you to brighten, darken, add contrast, and shift colors. Curves can be applied to all color channels together or to each color channel individually and can help you manually fine-tune the brightness and contrast of an image.

  • Color selectors. You can use the white, red, green, and blue color selectors to make curve adjustments to all channels equally or to an individual channel (such as blue to emphasize the sky).
  • Control points. You can add up to 10 control points. Drag up to add contrast to an area and drag down to lighten the area. Multiple control points can be employed for contrast adjustments based on tonal range.


White Balance. To calculate a custom white balance, choose the Eyedropper tool (to the right of the White Balance drop-down menu) and click on an area in your image that should be a white or neutral gray. If you are working with a raw file, you can use the White Balance drop-down menu to choose from various presets similar to those found in a camera’s white balance menu.

Temperature. This slider warms or cools an image by adding Cyan or Yellow to change its color temperature.

Tint. This slider adjusts the amount of green or magenta and is useful for removing color casts from an image.

Saturation. This slider adjusts the intensity of all colors in your photo.

Vibrance. This slider adjusts only the intensity of muted colors, ignoring well-saturated colors. It’s helpful in achieving fine control when adjusting color.


Sharpen. The Sharpen tool helps focus soft edges in a photo to increase the clarity of focus. Use this tool to improve image quality significantly. Keep in mind that too much sharpening can give your photo a grainy look.

Radius. This slider allows you to adjust the distance from contrast edges at which the sharpening effect is applied.

Masking. This slider controls the zone in which details are amplified. Moving it to the left increases the size of the zone and makes the image more detailed. Moving it to the right reduces the size of the zone of sharpened zones.

Noise Reduction

Upon close inspection, you may notice unwanted and distracting noise or grain in your image. This is typically caused by shooting photos with a high ISO setting on a digital camera, but it can also be caused by underexposure or a long shutter speed. An entry-level consumer camera is more likely to exhibit noise problems than a professional camera. Fortunately, Luminar Neo offers an easy tool to reduce or remove unwanted noise.

Luminosity Denoise. This slider removes grayscale noise from an image.

Color Denoise. This slider removes color noise from an image.

Boost. This slider increases the aggressiveness of the Denoise tool.

Optics Auto Corrections

This tool is helpful in enhancing your image and removing lens imperfections. Its sliders are designed to remove flaws in the image caused by the lens or camera handling. The exact controls you’ll see vary between standard and raw files.

Auto Distortion Corrections (raw only). Click this option to automatically correct lens distortion. This tool analyzes your image and its metadata to calculate an automatic fix. Get rid of wide-angle distortion and get truer perspective lines and more attractive portraits.

Auto Fix Chromatic Aberrations (raw only). Chromatic aberration is a type of color fringing. It often happens with telephoto lenses and in areas of high contrast. Chromatic aberrations tend to show up as magenta or green edges around objects.

Auto Defringe. This adjustment can remove halos and edge noise (particularly in high-contrast areas).

Optics Manual Corrections

Lens Distortion. Drag this slider to the left to widen the barrel shape of the lens. Drag it to the right to pinch the barrel shape and compensate for lenses with wider angles.

Devignette. This slider removes any darkening at the edges of an image caused by the lens itself. This is a corrective tool, not a stylizing tool. If you want an artistic vignette, be sure to explore the Vignette tool.

Devignette Midpoint. This slider refines which areas are brightened or darkened by the Devignette slider.


If your image needs to be scaled or transformed, use these sliders to adjust perspective distortion manually.

Vertical. Tilts the image vertically to correct for vertical distortion, which, for instance, can occur when a tall building is photographed at street level.
Horizontal. Tilts the image horizontally to create straight lines and correct for horizontal distortion, which, for instance, can occur when an object is photographed off to the side.
Aspect. Moving the Aspect slider to the right corrects for horizontal aspect distortion. Moving it to the left corrects for vertical aspect distortion. The Aspect slider can work in tandem with the Vertical and Horizontal sliders. For example, making a correction with the Horizontal slider may distort the aspect of a subject. To correct this, you can move the Aspect slider until the subject looks natural.

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