Many users like to combine their use of raw files with the Radiant Photo Photoshop Plug-in. To do this, you’ll need to open the raw file using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. Before you can work with the raw file, it needs to be interpreted into a high-quality image that can be used inside of Photoshop. This task is handled by Adobe Camera Raw (a companion program to Photoshop).

Opening the raw file

First, open your raw image like any other file. 

  1. Choose File > Open or use Adobe Bridge.  
Once you open the file, a  preview image loads into the Adobe Camera Raw dialog.
    • There are some essential options to choose from to give the most information to Radiant Photo. It’s also essential to avoid applying any Photoshop adjustments that could damage the image.
  2. The only Basic adjustment to consider is using minimal amounts of the Shadows and Highlights sliders to recover exposure problems with the raw file. 
    You should also set the Vibrance and Saturation controls in Adobe Camera Raw to their Default values and instead use the Color controls in Radiant Photo. 
    • It’s important that you don’t choose the auto-correction, as this will provide Adobe corrections which can damage your photo because highlights will be lost, colors will be shifted, and depth will be distorted, and we want a pure image for Radiant Photo to apply its Real Color corrections.
    • Be sure to leave the rest of the tabs at their default values.  
  3. The Optics tab in Adobe Camera Raw is the only exception. Consider using a lens profile to remove distortion and vignetting from the image. If present, you may also want to remove Chromatic Aberration (or color fringe).
  4. If your image is crooked, you can straighten it inside the Camera Raw dialog box using the Geometry tab.

    You may also find the Upright adjustments in the Geometry tab useful to compensate for distortion caused by the camera’s position.

Choosing a file settings

Now let’s set the kind of file that will be generated from the raw image.

  1. Click the workflow options link at the bottom of the picture to select the color space and bit depth. 
We recommend using the sRGB or Adobe RGB color space for the most consistent color workflow across displays. 
  2. Also, choose 16 bits per channel so that Radiant Photo has the most information to work with. We apply a special engine for 16-bit depth photos.  
It’s important to note that most monitors cannot display all 16 bits of information. While we recommend sRGB or Adobe RGB, Radiant Photo can work with all supported color spaces, including ProPhoto RGB.
  3. If you’d like to size the image while opening it, use the Image Sizing options in the Workflow Options dialog. This Option lets you choose a new dimension for the generated file. While the Output Sharpening is okay to use, Radiant Photo also has precise sharpening controls that you can apply.
  4. One advanced Option to preserve flexibility in processing the raw file is to use a Smart Object. This choice will also allow you to apply Radiant Photo in a non-destructive manner. Just choose the Open in Photoshop as Smart Objects option to add flexibility to your workflow. In addition, this Option makes it easy to reopen the Radiant Photo dialog box and adjust controls to continue refining your image at any time.
  5. When satisfied, click OK to store the workflow options, then click Open to open the object. 
Photoshop loads your 16-bit photo into a document in the sRGB or Adobe RGB color space. 

Apply Radiant Photo

Now let’s apply Radiant Photo to the new image.

  1. Choose Filter > Radiant Imaging Labs > Radiant Photo.  
Radiant Photo goes to work immediately, automatically correcting your photo.   Select an appropriate preset or make any adjustments to your image. 
  2. When you are satisfied with the enhanced image, click OK to process the image. 
Because you’re using a Smart Object workflow, you can easily make additional changes at any time. 
  3. Just double-click on the filter in the Layers panel to refine the filter. The previous state of the filter opens, but you can easily adjust your settings. For example, if you need to adjust the original raw file, simply double-click the layer to re-invoke the Adobe Camera Raw dialog.

Saving your work

You’ll need to choose a new format when you save your opened and processed raw file.   Be sure to save the file as a Photoshop native PSD file or as a TIFF file to preserve the 16-bit working space. Both formats also support layers if working in a Smart Object workflow.


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