Radiant Photo’s dynamic range magic: Unveiling the potential

Radiant Photo’s dynamic range magic: Unveiling the potential

Radiant Photo addresses dynamic range well with their instantaneous edit. However, it also allows you to refine it easily and to your liking. Let’s have a look.

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What is Radiant Photo?

Radiant Photo states that it was created by photographers for photographers. It’s an easy-to-use editor that runs as stand-alone 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.

Dynamic range in photos

One of the issues that photographers face is capturing scenes with a wide dynamic range and making it look like how we see it. Sunsets certainly are among the most dynamic, with a bright sky but a landscape that is often in shadow. Although Radiant Photo will employ a basic edit to address this, they also give you some more tools so you can refine the dynamic range easily and to your personal tastes.

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Basic edit

I opened a photo of Trona Pinnacles during sunset in Radiant Photo. You can see the original on the left. Radiant Photo automatically addressed the dynamic range while boosting the shadows. 

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Light Diffusion

In the Tone Panel, you can adjust the balance more to your personal tastes if you wish. The basic edit already used Super Contrast, which can stop a photo from looking flat. But we can go further in refining the photo if we wish.

Light Diffusion softens the harsh shadows and overly bright areas of the image. Essentially, what this is doing is softening the light in the image. “Spreading out” the light seems to help this image. Softening the light with Light Diffusion can also be particularly helpful with portraits.

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Depth

Depth, when used with Definition, can improve the richness of the shadows. You can also see how it’s improved the richness of the sky as well. This seems to add clarity to the overall image. The interesting part here is how you can set it to “stun,” setting it to 100, without it looking “crunchy” or “harsh.”

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White Point

White Point is for refining the brightest areas of the image. Here, I’ve also set this to 100. Like the Depth Control, what is interesting about this is how it is set to its maximum strength, and it still looks natural. 

Part of the reason I am setting this and Depth to maximum is to illustrate how these controls seem to behave differently than many other photo editors in that it always seems to be attempting to create something that is more natural looking and less harsh.

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Graduated Filter

In the Color Grading Menu, they offer even more controls. One of these is the Graduated Filter. This allows you to make adjustments to specific areas of your photos. Here, I’ve targeted the sky and brought the highlights down a little. 

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Finishing tools: Highlights and Shadows

Similar to most other photo editors, Radiant Photo offers basic final adjustments. This includes exposure, contrast, highlights, and shadows, among others. I’ve adjusted the Highlight Slider as well as the Shadows. This, of course, takes away a little bit of the dynamic range, but it can be quite handy in continuing to refine it. However, the previous adjustments have done a fine job, and in the final photo, I have not kept the highlights and shadows adjustments.

Radiant Photo: Simple adjustments

Radiant Photo makes a lot of good decisions on its own. But it’s not a mind-reader. Therefore, it also offers many tools for adjusting images to your own taste. But it does so in a very simple manner. Most of the adjustments are very simple sliders that you adjust to your own taste. And it makes it more difficult to adjust the parameters too far. That certainly seems to be the case with the various adjustments we’ve used to adjust the sky to look the way it appeared in person.

Before Radiant Photo dynamic range adjustments
Before Radiant Photo dynamic range adjustments
After Radiant Photo dynamic range adjustments
After Radiant Photo dynamic range adjustments, after just a few seconds of slider adjustments.