I have problem with seeing an alpha channel...
I exported a picture from after effects as a straight unmatted file. When I open it in photoshop it sees the alpha channel in the channels but my RGB CHANNEL has a red backgroud. I don't know how to apply the alpha channel to my actual layer.
If you could help it would be great thanks.
It sounds like you have Quick Mask turned on. This shows your alpha channel to you as a red mask over your picture. Try hitting "Q" to turn it off. Regardless, to select the alpha channel, control-click it in the Channels palette. You should see the marching ants around it to indicate it's been selected. At this point you can apply it to another layer as a mask from the menu (not sure exactly where, I use the icon) or by clicking the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette.