Photographers often use color to express emotions and tell a story with their photos. The right combination of colors in a photo can evoke strong emotional responses.
One of the ways to add mood and drama to your photos is with the process of color grading, where you alter color values in midtones, highlights and shadows to generate the desired effect.
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Most photo-editing software has complex color grading setups that require a good grasp of color theory.
On the other hand, Radiant Photo offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface to color your photos quickly.
This tutorial will show how to color-grade your images in Radiant Photo.
- Read more: Radiant Photo review
Table of Contents
Overview of Color Grading panel in Radiant Photo
Radiant Photo’s color grading panel offers various tools to enhance the visual impact of your photos. But before we get into the steps, let’s first understand the difference between color grading and color correction.
Color correction is making the colors look like they were in reality. It means correcting skin tones, tints and other color contamination.
On the other hand, color grading involves altering colors to express emotion or mood in the photos. Here, the colors need not be correct but visually appealing to match your creative intent.
As color-grading decides the final look of your image, it makes sense to do it last in the workflow.
Unlike other software, Radiant Photo uses predefined but customizable LOOKs to color-grade your photos.
LOOKs are not the equivalent of presets that we find in other apps. A LOOK is a comprehensive setting containing remapped colors, tone and other adjustments.
LOOKs are applied on top of your other adjustments and can be controlled with three sliders Strength, Saturation and Contrast.
Let’s explore a few of the LOOKs.
Color Grading in Radiant Photo
Radiant Photo comes with a total of 56 different LOOKs in 7 groups. Scroll through the LOOKs section and choose one from a group you like.
Applying a LOOK
For this example, I chose Color Punch Cold from the Color Grades group to add blues in the photo to contrast with warm orange lights.
I’ve also set Strength to 20, reduced Saturation to -31, and left Contrast to 0.
See how the below photo got transformed by using Early Blue from the Light group. Additionally, I’ve reduced saturation to -20 and Strength to 81.
The cool mood in this photo is, in a way complementing the expression of the subject.
Let’s take a look at another photo.
Here, I’ve applied Deep Film look from the Color Film Stocks collection. With this, the colors have become more saturated, and the skin tone has gotten brighter.
This lovely portrait became more expressive of the lovely emotion of a mother and daughter. Here, I’ve applied 1995 look from the Vintage group.
- See also: How to edit faces in Radiant Photo
Buying Additional LOOKs
Radiant Photo offers a library of exciting LOOKs that are available for purchase.
There are two ways to buy additional LOOKs: choose LOOKs in the Radiant Photo Manager application or buy directly from Radiant Photo’s website.
Upon purchase, you’ll receive an email with the installer file and instructions on how to add them to your collection.
Color grading can give your photos a new definition. However, there are a few things to remember when working with color options in Radiant Photo.
Color-grading tips for Radiant Photo
i) Color is a powerful tool, but when used correctly. Color-grading tools can produce weird-looking photos if these sliders are pushed too far. Always start with a conservative value and gradually move up the slider until your desired look is achieved.
ii) Make good use of Strength, Contrast and Saturation sliders to fine-tune the final look of your image.
iii) Explore LOOKs and modify adjustments to create unique LOOKs of your own. Don’t forget to save them as presets for later use.
Radiant Photo’s color grading panel is a game changer for photographers of all skill levels.
The user-friendly interface allows you to achieve cinematic, moody aesthetics with simple controls.
However, as with any photo editing tool, It can be tempting to crank up the effect, but moderation is the key to achieving impactful photos.