Version 1.2.0 (4199)
Developer Macphun USA
Website https://www.macphun



Macphun a San Diego, USA based software company, is famous for its outstanding photo editing software products. Their latest software tool LUMINAR NEPTUNE has now been upgraded to a new product supporting numerous improvements.
LUMINAR NEPTUNE is launched 15th June 2017. This review will discover and disclose wether the Neptune upgrade is a true improvement to its predecessor LUMINAR Pluto.  Macphun has a great reputation for their outstanding products and aim to listen to their clients and implement their wishes in new product versions/upgrades.


The new Luminar Neptune program is built to adapt to a user’s skill level and personal preference. It offers everything from filters and presets to advanced exposure adjustments and retouching tools normally reserved for Photoshop. Luminar Pluto being a well received product by the public, is even better now with the new additions and improvements to the earlier version.
Luminar Neptune is more sophisticated, faster and provides more tools and adjustments then before. The Luminar Neptune user interface is built around the idea that every photographer is different, and therefore their photo editing needs are different too. Users can choose from 3 default interface variations, designed for: quick image fixes, photo enhancement with presets, an intermediate level of control, and advanced editing.


Installing Luminar Neptune is a very easy process. Just download it from the MacPhun website and install as you would any other program. Luminar Neptune, like other MacPhun software, is only available for MacOS, but Macphun is developing Windows compatibility. When you first open the software after installation, you’ll be prompted to choose your desired editing level (picture below).

Choose your desired application capabilities/level :


New Feature Highlights: 

  • Accent – AI-filter – Uses artificial intelligence to create stunning images with a single slider movement, tapping into the power of dozens of filters.
  • Quick & Awesome workspace – A workspace consisting of the Accent AI, Saturation & Vibrance and Clarity filters. Great for achieving fast results in a fun and easy way.
  • Plug-in integration with Creative Kit and Aurora HDR 2017 – Seamlessly access Macphun’s other photo editing tools you own with Luminar as the host application
  • Brush, Gradient and Radial Gradient tools – Dramatically faster performance yields smoother selective editing.
  • Vignette filter – Addition of Vignette Styles, Place Center and Pre- and Post-Crop modes deliver even more flexibility to this popular photo finishing tool.
  • Memory management – Increased overall performance for large files and 5+ simultaneous open images.
  • User Interface changes – Extensive improvements to in-app animation and mode transitions make for a more pleasing editing experience.
  • Crop tool update – Added the ability to specify custom crop ratios.
  • Local history – Provision for reviewing separate history while in Transform, Denoise, Clone & Stamp modes helps optimize editing.



Depending on your earlier choice made, all of the presets are shown at default, but you should see that if you hover over any individual preset, a star appears which you can click on to add it to your favourites if you think you’ll want to use it regularly. Now, if you click on the “all presets” icon to the right of the presets bar, you’ll be able to go straight to your favourites.


Choosing one of the implemented presets, triggers a number of pre-adjusted settings showing right below the main picture. Each preset has its own specific ‘filter’ options and settings.
There are more than 60 of these one-click presets to choose from.

Alternatively, you could add another filter to your effect, simply by clicking the Add Filter icon. If you’re happy with the look you’ve created, you save it as a preset which is displayed along the bottom with the others. Click the symbol which looks like three lines with a small plus sign on it, give the preset a name and save it for future use. Another nice feature of Luminar Neptune is the implemented ‘ workspace ‘, Quick & Awesome, Essentials, B & W, Landscape , Portrait and Street. Choosing any of these ‘spaces’ give you all the basic filters needed. Adding your personal filters is easily done with the + sign, and can be saved as your personal  ‘workspace’. So the next time you want to edit your pictures you may find and use your ‘workspace’ in just one click.

Presets are available in the sidebar. The basic ‘workspace’ presets are standard available, but you can also buy the extra Filter Presets from Macphun as they are created by Professional photographers like Jim Nix
and may present new stunning effects for your pictures. The Presets interface shows All Presets / User defined Presets / and Favorites.

All carefully thought out to bring ease of use to the user. Simplicity is what Macphun Luminar Neptune is all about. Best result with least effort.








This short screen capture will show all available filters to choose from and use in your workspace.





Workspace makes it possible to create and define your own ‘ workspace ‘ with filters and option settings. Build your own presets by choosing ‘ Clear ‘ from the workspace menu and add all the desired filters to your need.


Keep in mind that every Workspace option has its preset filters implemented, but adding or deleting any filter is simple and easy.

To me personal the user-experience is most important in any software application. Photo-editing software is far more complicated to master then most applications. It is this aspect that makes me choose an application like Macphun
Luminar Neptune. Users should feel comfortable with an application and not set it apart if things become to difficult to master. Photoshop for instance is great once you’ve been trained in skills. This is what puts most users off, except for the die-hards or professionals. Luminar Neptune seems to fill the cap between experienced and novice users. Everybody is able to produce great looking pictures.






The right sidebar shows some extra editing tools like : Transform Tool , Clone & Stamp Tool , Erase Tool , Denoise Tool , Crop Tool, Plugins


Denoise Tool comes with full adjustment levels !  

Noiseless CK like.


























  • Accent – AI-filter – Uses artificial intelligence to create stunning images with a single slider movement, tapping into the power of dozens of filters. The AI-Filter magically fine tunes your picture without any further adjustments.

Like in the ocean picture I ‘added’ the AI-Filter to the workspace from the filter-menu, Secondly draw the AI-Filter to in this case 100% and your picture is adjusted to a great colorful looking picture. The ‘whites’ are stronger and the ‘blue’ is more present.
Using the 100% setting made the clouds look too dark, but now you may start using Luminar Neptune other filters and setting to optimize.





Using the ‘Erase Tool’ is brilliant for even a user like me. The software really does a good job. It works so much faster then Luminar Pluto ! A real improvement.






Macphun’s Luminar Neptune boast an great layout and interface. Sliders and settings all work in a truly pleasant way. Apart from all the editing capabilities the application needs to save and export images as required. Sharing images is easy and the menubar provides the necessary options. The final saving menu has some pretty nice additions included.





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After experimenting Luminar Neptune and see what it is capable off, time for a final verdict. Luminar Neptune is an application covering all areas of advanced photo-editing, for professionals as well as novice users. It has a truly elegant interface and modern sliders which can be reset to default with a simple click. Luminar Neptune is a real multifunctional editing application supporting actions which normally need separate applications. It combines the best of many worlds. The number of filters, adjustment sliders and presets and the ability to create your own make this application truly stand out. The improved speed and better memory handling, the new AI-Filter and Quick&Awesome workspace upgrade this application to a new level.
So is it perfect ?  Luminar Neptune definitely is a winner offering all tools for a small price and fantastic results.


AURORA HDR 2017 review



Version 2017
Developer Macphun USA



Macphun a San Diego, USA based software company, is famous for its outstanding photo editing software products. Their latest HDR software tool Aurora HDR Pro has now been upgraded to a new product supporting numerous improvements.
Aurora HDR 2017 is launched September 2016. This review will discover and disclose wether the upgrade is a true improvement to its predecessor .
Aurora 2017 is used by professionals as well as enthousiasts. HDR is a tool to make your pictures stand out from the crowd. Macphun has a great reputation for their outstanding products and aim to listen to their clients and implement their wishes in new product versions.


HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. Pictures are taken in series or one and are processed and combined to one by adjusting the contrast ratios.

An HDR image is commonly made by taking three photos of the same scene, each at different shutter speeds. The result is a bright, medium, and dark photo, based on the amount of light that got through the lens.
A software process then combines all the photos to bring details to the shadows and highlights both. The result of this magic are stunning pictures with vivid colouring and lighting.


Aurora HDR 2017 is the world’s ultimate HDR photo editing software, with added new tools and capabilities. Its a complete and comprehensive tool kit for casual and pro photographers. Its new interface offers more and better features and runs even faster. Perfect for single shots or multiple-exposure brackets, Aurora has the capability to create beautiful HDR pictures from single shots. Aurora HDR 2017 can turn any photographer into an artist.


  • Batch Processing
  • Improved Tone-Mapping engine
  • New Polarizing Filter
  • Enhanced Top & Bottom Adjustment tool
  • More powerful Luminosity Masking
  • Improved user interface
  • Faster & better HDR noise reduction
  • New Signature Pro one-click presets
  • Radial Masking tool
  • Improved Export with image resize & sharpen
  • Faster RAW conversion & DNG support


I myself am not a true Photoshop or Aurora expert unlike Trey Ratcliff who can dig deep enough into the software’s capabilities and find its short comings. I am an average user trying to get the best results with basic knowledge like most users.
To me its important to feel in control of an photo editing software application with so many features that makes you dazzle when scrolling to all settings possible. To me a program feels good if its interface somehow takes me a long the scope of useful settings.
Aurora HDR 2017, certainly has the appeal and speed to deliver its full potential to its user. Just playing around at first to make you feel comfortable with its layout and settings. Users of its pre decessor Aurora HDR Pro are familiar with its interface and features and will be interested in the new and improved additions.


Decide wether you want to import 1 single or 3  images to import and create a HDR image from them. Most pro-photographers will use 3 to 5 different exposed images in order to create the best possible start for further optimising the created HDR image.



Due to the number of build in features of Aurora 2017, you may want to start getting familiar with the new build in features like Luminosity and the Polarizing filter as a simple start. The Polarizing filter lets you edit only the upper or bottom half of the photo if you wish.



Luminance Masking allows you to control the contrast of your image in specific tonal ranges. Luminosity masks are the essentials of tone-based image adjustments. These masks provide a convenient way to select specific tones in an image to be altered as the user requires. They have the ability to overcome shortcomings in the tonal values that were captured by the camera or film and to correct tones that shifted during image manipulation. Beyond simplifying these standard adjustments, luminosity masks also encourage a very individual approach to interpreting light. Luminosity masks make the captured light incredibly flexible and thereby provide the artist photographer unique opportunities.

  • Luminosity Masking

    Automatically make advanced selections within your HDR photo based on the Zone System. Simply click one or more zones and dramatically enhance the part of your image without brushes or complicated selections.




How to use Luminosity Masking in Aurora HDR 2017 vimeo play



What is tone mapping?

Macphun AURORA HDR PRO already had some Tone-mapping feature but version 2017 has a complete new build Tone-Mapping build in their application. I guess this is one of the most used features within this application. Nice to fiddle around, but what does it really do?

It’s the process of converting the tonal values of an image from a high range to a lower one. For instance, an HDR file merged from multiple images with a dynamic range of 100,000:1 will be converted into an image with tonal values ranging from around 1 to 255.

Why do we want to reduce that tonal range so much? Well the reason is simple. Most standard display devices (and printers) can only reproduce a low range of dynamic values (between 100 or 200:1 or lower). The goal of tone mapping is to reproduce the appearance of images having a higher dynamic range to fit/display properly on standard display devices, thus keeping the image looking realistic.

The algorithms that tone mapping use to scale the dynamic range down attempt to preserve the appearance of the original image captured by breaking the information up into two categories: global and local.





If you are satisfied with a preset or a preset selfmade and  wish to create images accordingly to your preset, the Batch Processing is a nice addition to Aurora. It saves time and effort, however I feel that every image is on its own, with its specific details and colors scene waiting for an individual approach towards HDR image creation. Then again there might be circumstances this feature is a true timesaver.
Importing images is easy and pressing ‘continue’ takes you to the next screen with all options and presets. Just choose and set the settings you need and processing your images starts with the press on the button.






AURORA HDR 2017 is a masterpiece for HDR editing. This application really works wonders and turns a novice user into a real artist.
I can only say ” I think I am in love ” again. Fantastic piece of photo-editing, that makes my day. It is the simplicity of the layout and provided features which make you feel you’re in control. The nice Luminosity, Polarizing filter and Tone-Mapping are the features you likely use most. There are no boundaries set by this application, just your skills are and desire to make something nice are more then enough to concur the world of HDR.
If you consider yourself to be a photograph enthousiast, this is the best deal in todays market. AURORA HDR 2017 is your best present.

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]


  • MSRP: $99
  • Current Users of Aurora HDR Pro Upgrade Price: $59
  • Current Users of Aurora HDR Upgrade Price: $79
  • Upgrades and Pricing:

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Version 1.3.1
Developer USA



Like all photographers I have trouble with noise when we photograph in poor light environment. Noise is digitally created with our modern camera’s and enhanced when using flash for instance.
Even without flash and trying to capture a night scene, noise will be part of your picture. This is where MACPHUN’s NOISELESS CK comes in.
A pretty handy piece of software, which takes care of the noise problem. NOISELESS CK is part of the CREATIVE KIT and available as standalone or part of the the bundle offered by Macphun.

When you open a photo in NOISELESS CK, the app applies a preset based on information provided by the image’s EXIF data. (If a file contains no EXIF data, no preset is chosen ).


Again like all Macphun software, nothing special. Just straight install which requires no reboot of your system. Wait for the software to detect any supported third party software to apply the plugins.
Activate your program by email and provided serial and you’re on your way. You may also use the Trial software in order to see wether Noiseless is what you are looking for.




So how does it work, making noise go away? Noiseless uses algorithms to adjust the appearance of the pixels in a way that minimizes the original noise and retains detail. That is about what Noiseless software is trying to do.
Great, but does it work ? I will show you just a normal night shot with a SONY NEX camera. The first picture is the original full picture which revealed quite some noise, and some when Noiseless is applied.

As does all Creative Kit software, this works with drag & drop your picture.

ZOOM  100% FILTER OFF ( right side )

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ZOOM 100% FILTER ON ( drag to left )
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USING DUAL PANE SCREEN ( compare left & right )

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It is amazing to see what NOISELESS CK really achieves ! I used only the presets from the sidebar and adjustments are easily being made to intensity of filter use. I am impressed that without any knowledge of
noise reduction in for instance Photoshop, I am able to upgrade any picture to a desired level.


How easy can life be, with software from Macphun. Wether you opt for the standalone version or the complete Creative Kit bundle, which is a brilliant deal, you will be pleased with your buy. If you consider yourself to be a true photographer enthusiast you should have this software available for use. The complete Creative Kit is like a Swiss Army knife for photographers.
Great software and so easy to use. Get it while you can.


[Total: 2    Average: 5/5]


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Version  1.5
Developer  Macphun USA


Snapheal offers a fast and easy way to remove objects, heal skin imperfections and fix your images. We all have photo’s we wish to edit and remove unwanted objects.
As we are not all experts with software like Photoshop, a nice handy tool is what we are looking for. There is some software available on the market but they do offer or too little options or are rather complicated to get nice results. Macphun’s SNAPHEAL claims to do it all in a simple and easy way. Just a nice interface isn’t enough to proof them right, so now we give it a go and see how it performs.


  • Three Erasing Modes for Best Results
  • Custom Erasing Precision
  • Powerful Clone & Stamp Tool
    Handy Image Editing Tool Set
    Selective Enhancement with Smart Brush
    Standalone Software & Plug-in
    Built-in Social Sharing
  • Dual Pane screen
  • Retouch
  • Adjust



Installing SNAPHEAL CK is easy. An interface tells you what is happening and offers the installation of plugins for other Mac software. Just let it find which plugin is needed and it’s time to enter your
name and serial number for activating the software. You may also use the program in ‘demo’ mode for a period of 60 days.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 18.11.09


Macphun’s claim this software is designed for users with different skill levels is presented in the different tabs.

The sidebar offers the tools provided like selection, Clone , Diameter , and the three different levels of approach to ERASE.
GLOBAL , LOCAL and DYNAMIC erasing methods are based on different calculation methods.

Global Erasing Mode.
This is a general purpose mode. The powerful CleanPics algorithm tries to find new patterns throughout the entire image. It takes the full image into account.

Local Erasing Mode.
This algorithm looks specifically around the marked area trying to find similar patterns to fill the selected area.

Dynamic Erasing Mode.
This algorithm tries to fill the selected area by dynamically generating new patterns from pixels on the edges of the marked area.

The precision of your erase mode will determine how the algorithm is applied.

1. Normal Precision. Fastest Method, most useful for simple erasing.
2. High Precision. Gives quality results with faster processing.
3. Highest Precision. Gives best quality but takes a little longer to process.


This is the button that will start the object removal process, locating the selections you have made and applying the desired algorithm precision and erase mode. You can start this process by hitting the Erase! button or clicking on one of the three erasing modes, which will start the process instantly.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 18.14.15


Its no rocket science and we want to demonstrate what erase in a practical way changes on your photo. In this example we want the full tree on the right side of the photo gone.
Erasing is not simple by all means when it comes down to calculating the pixels surrounding your object. We want the object gone, but without disturbing the photo composition and quality.

Remove Tree, use hover on picture

This test is NOT EASY for any software program. It is a complicated picture with strong colours and dark skyline. To just filter out the complete tree, a lot of calculation is necessary and almost impossible without re-editing the sky and other area’s. A bird in a mostly plain sky is piece of cake for SNAPHEAL. This tryout is far more complicated.
The tree is prominent and upper and lower part are in total different colouring ( Dark and Light )


The picture object ( tree ) has been erased. The tree shadow in the snow is erased. The sky has been corrected a little bit, but larger area’s of dark colours are impossible to adjust without more complex techniques.
Still it quite impressive how much can be taken ( erased ) from a picture in order to get a required result.

And again we admit that Macphun’s claim, not having to be an expert is true. Just play around with settings and jobs done.


SNAPHEAL also comes with Retouch and Adjust panels for further image touch-up. Masking options complete all SNAPHEAL presented options to create your ultimate photo.

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Macphun’s SNAPHEAL is an easy to use erase utility, that performs well. It is one of those utilities you don’t use everyday but is occasionally used by every photographer.
Most suitable for smaller area’s. SNAPHEAL makes an illusionist of every user, it makes all objects disappear.
Like all Macphun’s software your best deal is buying the complete Creative Kit bundle, as this offers ultimate value for money.


[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

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Version 1.2.2
Developer Macphun USA


INTENSIFY is a Mac only software app. It is part of Macphun’s Creative Kit bundle or as a standalone app. INTENSIFY combines a lot of picture enhancements and options
in one great looking app. It is aiming for the professional as well as the experienced photographer creating stunning results.
It offers diversity in HDR and GLOW settings which settings can be adjusted to your choice. Most tools and options are available for editing your pictures. An easy interface completes
a great package.


Installing INTENSIFY CK is easy. An interface tells you what is happening and offers the installation of plugins for other Mac software. Just let it find which plugin is needed and it’s time to enter your
name and serial number for activating the software. You may also use the program in ‘demo’ mode for a period of 60 days.

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 14.03.41


Macphun’s claim this software is designed for users with different skill levels is presented in the different tabs.

The presets are available for the user who wants to edit without adjusting, while those with some experience can use the Adjust tab to make more complicated changes.

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 19.35.30


After you’ve opened an image – by drag & drop – or the menu – you’ll see that there are a range of options available to you.
Now its time to start looking at the ‘options’ in the presets.

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The presets are all adjustable in strength and expert settings

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Once you have your desired settings ready, create your own personal ‘Preset’ for later use. Editing pictures is possible in dual screen presentation. This makes it easier to compare the changes in your picture.
This option is located on the top menu.


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Unlike Photoshop you don’t have to be an expert in achieving nice results. INTENSIFY offers some extra interface features like:

– Zoom
– Dual Pane screen
– Undo
– Export
– Fit screen


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Macphun’s INTENSIFY CK is fantastic software for those that which to add just that extra detail or transformation. No matter what your experience you will find Intensify present you that something extra.. If you just want an easy change of look for your image, just use one of the presets., or use the controls. Use the HDR and GLOW preset if you need to give the picture a boost.

Value for money is what you get, but your best value for money would be to buy the complete bundle. I happily recommend INTENSIFY to all readers, as it turns your skills in expert even though the software does the trick. The real photograph enthusiast can’t do without INTENSIFY CK.


[Total: 2    Average: 5/5]

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Version 1.1 (640) CK ( Creative Kit )
Developer USA



Macphun-250x250.2 is the well known in San Diego, California, USA based, developer of sophisticated photo editing tools. The company was founded in 2008 and soon become the leader in photo editing software.
Creative Kit 2016, offers the means to integrate into other Mac apps, as a plug-in to Photos, and enjoy the power editing tools.  Creative Kit apps are intuitive and easy to learn.

The Creative Kit is a six-app bundle with standalone apps and offers plug-ins to Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements. This makes it an allround tool.



intensify.1 Intensify CK. Easily reveal the hidden beauty of your outdoor photos and create stunning images with unprecedented clarity, drama and detail.
Intensify brings you patented tools and one-click presets to get mind-blowing results from any shot.

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fx photo.1 FX Photo Studio CK. Experiment with the look and feel of your images. Get a gigantic collection of filters and effects inside of FX Photo Studio.

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snapheal.1 Snapheal CK. Powered by patented object removal technology, Snapheal is your fastest way to fix imperfections on images, get rid of unwanted objects, erase people, heal spots on skin and even restore old scanned photos.

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NoiselessIcon.1 Noiseless CK. The most simple and advanced noise reduction software. Get vibrant, natural-looking images even if you shoot with a smartphone, low-cost consumer camera or at a low light.

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tonality.1 Tonality CK. Award-winning and inspiring black and white image maker. Take advantage of native RAW processor, over 150 professional presets and unique tools to create impressive monochrome masterpieces in minutes.

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focus.1 Focus CK. Focus Add professional lens effects to your photos without spending money on expensive gear. Easily enhance your portraits, highlight the most important subject on the product shots, perfect landscapes, add miniature effects and more.

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Macphun produces the ultimate photo editing tools money can buy. The present deal is the best in todays market. Outstanding quality and techniques are all part of this complete software deal.
These editing tools transform ordinary pictures in true professional results. A joy to work with and endless possibilities are provided.
Just one word discribes it best, truly ‘ AMAZING ‘.


[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

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