IT’S NOT OFTEN we get our hands on some brand-new software that’s just hit our industry. Let’s be real: it takes some guts and determination to try to gate crash the party when there is already a bunch of high-roller rivals out there dominating the market. The arrival of Radiant Photo is no mean feat therefore, but I’m excited to welcome this product into the mix.

A proud boast is that Radiant Photo has been created by photographers for photographers. These guys have a ‘no fluff’ approach, and what they’ve set out to do with this software is to prioritise exactly what’s required from photo editing, with no extras to water down the experience and simple tools that just work exceptionally well.

And I have to say that, after having a play with a fully functioning version of the program, they appear to have done a great job, and the introductory one-off pricing of £129 – later to rise to £159 – looks reasonable for such a professional tool. Let’s take a closer look at Radiant Photo to see what their alternative editing workspace looks like. The product can be used as standalone software or as a native plugin to Lightroom and Photoshop

Scene Detection

RADIANT PHOTO USES scene detection to recognise the content of the photo and then applies some automatic adjustments through the use of Smart Presets. With a strong focus on keeping a photo realistic, with true tone colours and care taken not to over-process images, the AI at work here is arguably a lot more subtle than some I’ve seen, which can often end up pushing an image too far.

This is what sets Radiant Photo apart. After having looked at a multitude of different types of images through Radiant Photo, more often than not I was pleasantly surprised with the initial adjustments the software automatically made. There is also the option to refine this in the quick edit panel, using seven simple sliders to adjust the results to your personal preference. Two of these are ‘light diffusion’ and ‘depth,’ which aren’t commonly seen sliders amongst editing software but, in my opinion, absolutely should be.

Overall, Radiant Photo is a great tool to use as a starting point for any photo, and if you’re a photographer who doesn’t have a super stylised edit, but is looking for a more naturally realistic but beautiful feel to your images, then this software will not disappoint. 

Radiant tone and Radiant Colour

IN THE DETAILED EDIT section of Radiant Tone, the software uniquely analyses each pixel and adjusts the exposure accordingly, which is something of huge leverage here. Whenever you make global adjustments to exposure, for example, it knowingly retains the information in the highlights, which effectively means you can increase exposure without blowing the top end.

 

The software will also always preserve the black and white points of a photo, one of those things that, once you’ve experienced it, makes you question why this isn’t standard across all rivals. With the option of adjusting light diffusion to create a more natural diffused light, and the depth tool, which adds more detail in the shadows and highlights, this gives you greater control over the overall feel of the image.

Radiant Colour allows us to manipulate colour, as we would expect, but there are a couple of features here which give interesting results. There’s the option to adjust colour contrast, isolating each colour channel and adding contrast where it might be required, and then there’s colour fidelity, which focuses on reproducing the true tonal range of colours within the scene.

For scene-specific photos there are also sky and foliage toning tools, both of which, when explored, were found to deliver subtle differences, rather than big changes. It’s all part of an overall focus on avoiding over-processed images, which I’m all in favour of.

Radiant Detail and Portrait

ALL THE SHARPENING TOOLS one would need exist here and work very well, but a special mention should go to the automatic noise detection and removal. This gave great results on some less-than-ideal shots. The portrait adjustments focus on bringing out the natural beauty of your subject, with automatic face detection and an array of different adjustments, such as skin smoothing, face contouring and blemish removal to subtly enhance your shot. In sticking with Radiant Photo’s emphasis on not pushing things too far, all these adjustments are done in a natural and understated way, which contributes to a beautiful finish.

Verdict

RADIANT PHOTO IS A fresh new dynamic way of enhancing photos and it’s a great package to consider if you’re looking for true to life colours, which almost give a nod towards the richness and depth of transparency film stock.

I personally love the way this software is built, with the mindset of not over-doing an edit. With most AI software there tends to be a trend of over-cooking things, but these guys have judged this whole area perfectly. There wasn’t one image I wasn’t happy with upon initial processing. My one small niggle was the lack of being able to straighten an image, but I’m told this might well be a feature that’s coming along later.

Very much on the plus side is the batch processing ability in conjunction with Lightroom, which will be a great time saver for pros. In short, this is a solid standalone editor I’d recommend anyone to try.

More information: ❚ radiantimaginglabs.com

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