Luminar NEO: How to use HDR Merge Extension

luminar neo Nov 02, 2023
HDR Merge Extension

Luminar NEO's HDR Merge extension is a game-changer in the realm of photography. This tool allows photographers to effortlessly blend multiple exposures into stunning high-dynamic range (HDR) images. Whether you're an HDR expert or a beginner, this article will unveil how Luminar NEO's HDR Merge can elevate your photography and spark your creativity. Let's explore the magic of HDR photography together.

GIFT 🎁: Download your Free Luminar NEO Shortcut Cheatsheet and immediately speed up your editing workflow in Luminar NEO! Click here to get your gift!



In this article:



What is HDR Merge

HDR Merge is a technology within Luminar NEO that allows you to easily merge up to 10 bracketed exposures into one high-dynamic range image. This results in stunning photographs with enhanced colors that closely resemble what the human eye sees. Luminar NEO's intelligent features such as auto-alignment and ghost reduction help ensure that your merged images are perfectly aligned, even when dealing with moving subjects. Additionally, the built-in AI can analyze and adjust multiple parameters like tone, contrast, and details to increase the dynamic range of a single photo.



How to get HDR Merge

HDR Merge is a professional paid extension for Luminar NEO. Currently, there are three ways to get it:

  • Purchase it as an individual extension here.
  • Purchase it as part of the Extensions Pack here.
  • Subscribe to the Luminar NEO Subscription plan here.

TIP 👍: Are you planning to purchase the extension or subscribe to Luminar NEO? Use our discount code CPNEO10 and get 10% off your purchase.



How to install HDR Merge

Once you purchase or acquire the HDR Merge extension from the Skylum website, you will have to install it into your application from the "Extensions" panel following the steps below.

TIP 👍: To install the extension into your software, it is necessary to have an active internet connection. It is also essential to ensure you are running the latest version of Luminar NEO before installing the extension into your application.

  1. Open Luminar NEO and log in with the same profile you used for obtaining the extension.
  2. Click on the "Extras" orange button in the top right corner of the application. 
  3. Once the new window opens, select the "Extensions" tab at the top.
  4. Locate the HDR Merge extension in the available list and click the "Install" button to add it to the application.
  5. Access the HDR Merge in the Catalog module.



Introducing HDR Merge Controllers


This controller helps to ensure that the images are aligned in case of any shake or movement of the camera. We recommend always leaving it on, as it is always safe to ensure that your images are aligned.

Chromatic Aberration Reduction

If this controller is on, the application will try to remove the green and purple fringe in your photos.

Ghost Reduction

This controller should be turned on if there are moving subjects, such as cars and people, in your brackets.

Reference Image

Allows you to choose which image you wish to choose as a reference image for Ghost reduction.


Use the drop-down box to choose the strength applied to Ghost reduction.

Remove All Images

This controller removes all the images from the selection.



Getting started with HDR Merge

  1. Capture a series of bracketed images and import them into Luminar NEO.
  2. Open the HDR Merge extension in the Catalog module.
  3. Import the bracketed images into Luminar, select them and drag and drop them into the HDR Merge tool.
  4. Adjust the controllers to your liking, then click on Merge.
  5. When the merge is finished and the new image is created, you will find it by default in the newly created HDR Merge folder in the Catalog module.
  6. Once the HDR image is created, you can edit and enhance it using Luminar Neo’s various editing tools, such as adjusting the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, and more, to achieve your desired look.



HDR Merge video tutorial

Watch the full video tutorial covering all controls in this tool.


Luminar NEO

Luminar Neo is the latest editing software from Skylum. It was announced back in September 2021 and has been highly anticipated.

Luminar Neo is an AI-powered photo editing software. Skylum has said that Neo isn't replacing their previous release—Luminar AI. But Neo sets out to fix some of the issues users faced with Luminar AI.

We were impressed with the AI tools in Luminar AI. But like many others, we encountered performance issues. Luminar Neo uses the same AI tools, but the new high-speed core engine improves speed and performance.

Luminar Neo isn't just more of the same. We're happy to see Skylum has taken Neo in a different direction, adding layer and mask AI tools to the program. This broadens Neo's appeal, taking it in an Adobe Photoshop direction.

Learn more about Luminar NEO here.

Use one of our discount codes: CPNEO10 will give you a 10% discount - CP10 will give you a $10 discount.


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