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Radiant Photo: Processing animal photos instantly … and beautifully?


Radiant Photo promises to process photos instantly … and do it well. How does it process photos of animals?

What does Radiant Photo do?

Radiant Photos states that it was created by photographers for photographers. It’s an easy-to-use editor that runs as standalone as well as a plugin. When you open an image, Radiant Photo analyzes each image and suggests edits that it feels is best for each photo. Rather than applying presets, it attempts to bring out color, detail and light in each photo.

Most of us probably enjoy photographing animals. Whether it’s our favorite cat or dog or an Icelandic horse or puffin, photos of animals often bring us joy (unless the encounters are like this!). I decided to see how Radiant Photo would process animal photos that I hadn’t really touched yet.

This time, I used Radiant Photo as a plugin in Photoshop.

Icelandic Puffin

My photo of the Icelandic Puffin was slightly underexposed. I was curious how Radiant Photo would interpret this image. Above is the before and after.

Puffin, processed by Radiant Photo.
Radiant Photo’s processing after importing the bird photo.

The initial image already looked good. It was considerably brighter. 

Radiant Photo Detailed Edit panel

Detailed Edit Panel, Radiant Photo.
Detailed Edit Panel, Radiant Photo.

Clicking on Detailed Edit reveals Smart Presets and Smart Editing. The software had defaulted to Animals as expected. Clicking on some of the other Smart Presets didn’t yield anything better than what was already there, also to be expected.

This is how Radiant Photo processed the bird photo before I applied the film stock emulation.
This is how Radiant Photo processed the bird photo before I applied the film stock emulation.
This is the bird photo with the film stock emulation.
This is the bird photo with the film stock emulation.

Radiant Photo film emulations

Film Stocks, located in Color Grading in Radiant Photo.
Film Stocks, located in Color Grading in Radiant Photo.

I opened the Color Grading section and experimented with some of the Color Film look. The first one, called Classic Film, caught my eye. I also like that it had reduced some of the yellowish glow from the sun, something that looked great in person but I had decided I didn’t want so much in the final photo.

If I were processing this photo on my own, I probably would have dipped the highlights in the bird a little and tried to bring out some of the texture of the white feathers. This is something that I feel I could probably do in RAW. With this, I am processing using a 16-bit TIFF file.

Icelandic horse

I had hung out with this horse for five minutes, petting its nose before I decided to photograph it. Consequently, I was able to get very close to the horse for this intimate view.

Radiant Photo has processed the horse photo instantly upon importing.
Radiant Photo has processed the horse photo instantly upon importing.

After importing, Radiant Photo produced results. As seems to be typical, it brightened the slightly underexposed photo and created some contrast and detail, as the original photo was a bit “flat” looking. 

This is how Radiant Photo initially processed the horse photo.
This is how Radiant Photo initially processed the horse photo.

Making mine Radiant

I found that the initial Quick Edit upon import had already gotten me largely where I wanted to go already. The ability to actually analyze the photo and process it accordingly separates Radiant Photo from many other photo editing software programs. The tweaks for these photos seem to be, well, intelligently done and bring out more color and richness. Although Radiant Photo didn’t get either photo to exactly where I wanted it to go, it provided a great start. 



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Rafael Jones

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