Many Lightroom users have embraced a raw workflow. The extra information in a raw file gives you a lot of information that can be used to create the best image. With minimal work, you can create a new image from the raw file and then pass that file to Radiant Photo to create optimized exposure and color.
Remember, the adjustments you make in Lightroom are just settings applied to the file. These adjustments are stored in a sidecar file or a database (and don’t get applied until you export or print a photo). Unfortunately, Adobe doesn’t allow any 3rd party plugin vendors to write to this sidecar file which contains the corrections to be applied to the original raw photo. The Radiant Photo improvements must be added to a new lossless quality copy of the image. This conversion is an Adobe requirement for all Lightroom plugins.
Adjustments to use
Before you can work with the raw file, it needs to be interpreted into a high-quality image that can be used by Radiant Photo. In Lightroom, you should apply only minimal processing to the image before handing it off to Radiant Photo.
If needed, you can make the following adjustments in Lightroom Classic.
- Make minimal changes to tonal adjustments like Shadows and Highlights.
- Consider making any geometric adjustments such as rotating, straightening, or cropping first.
- Many lenses introduce additional issues to a photo. Take advantage of a Lens Correction preset if it’s available for your camera and lens combination. This can remove any lens distortion and vignette.
- While in the Lens Correction module, you should also enable the Chromatic Aberration correction to remove any color fringe at the edges.
- You may also find the Upright adjustments in the Transform section useful to compensate for distortion caused by the camera’s position.
- If your raw file suffers from major exposure issues, you can use the recovery tools in Lightrooms, such as the Shadows and Highlights sliders, to get a good base image. This step is optional and is only needed for raw files that suffer from very poor exposure.
Adjustments to avoid
Do not use these adjustments in Lightroom Classic.
- You should skip the Vibrance and Saturation controls and use the Color controls in Radiant Photo instead.
- 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 distorted, and we want a pure image for Radiant Photo to perform its Real Color corrections on.
- Avoid the Clarity and Dehaze sliders as they can negatively affect how Radiant Photo can enhance the image.
You might find it useful to create a base Lightroom preset to save time. One that zeros out all the other adjustment sliders and makes these recommended adjustments with one click. Simply take an image that you’ve modified and locate the panel on the left. Locate the Presets section and click the “+” sign to open a new dialog. Choose all the options you want to store in the new dialog box. I’ll call this preset Radiant Photo Base Image and click OK. It’s now stored as a User Preset and can make all of these recommended adjustments with one click.