A review of Alien Skin Exposure 6 photo editing software. In Exposure 6, you can quickly drag and resize all tabs to get the experience that suits you. Exposure 6 will be available in June at aargas.me for $ From fast lens simulation through to tilt/shift and motion blur looks, To help users get started and for advanced techniques, the Alien Skin website has a. Download Alien Skin Exposure for Windows PC from FileHorse. Alien Skin Exposure X5 · Alien Skin Exposure X4 · Alien Skin Exposure It also offers powerful organizing tools, fast performance, an intuitive design, tools help you transform your photos and get the most from your RAW files.
When I reviewed Alien Skin Exposure X3 , I noted several features that make it unique among other photo editing and organizing applications, such as its extensive library of professional presets, a quad-layout interface option for reviewing multiple similar shots at once, and a novel way of storing nondestructive edits on disk. The changes in this release address some prior rough edges, add features and refine the experience of processing your photos Although the new Exposure X4 version 4.
The changes in this release address some prior rough edges, add features that are now expected for this class of software, and in general refine the experience of processing your photos without feeling like the software is getting in the way. Using the brush to paint adjustments was like watching a movie with dialogue out of sync: The improvement between that experience and Exposure X4 is noticeable: The Shadows control, which was oddly heavy-handed in the previous release, now behaves as you would expect, manipulating just the tones in shadow areas instead of lightening or darkening the entire image.
New Organizing Features When importing photos from a memory card or camera, Exposure X4 now includes image thumbnails so you can choose which photos to copy - a seemingly essential feature that was missing in previous versions.
That fills out the Copy Photos from Card dialog, which also allows you to select multiple cards or directories at the same time, make backups to a separate location during import, and assign metadata to the images. Preview and select which photos to import. The new Smart Collections feature displays photos based on criteria you set, such as revealing all photos captured with a 50mm lens rated three stars or higher. When defining capture time as a criterion, you can enter only specific dates.
Lightroom, by contrast, requires any file management be done within the app, or else it loses track of where photos are stored. Exposure X4 is quick about updating folders when new images are added to them. Monitoring a folder lets you assign metadata and rename files as they arrive via a tethered connection. I also discovered, by accident, that Exposure X4 does a good job of keeping edits and metadata together with original files if the images are moved on disk.
When I moved some images to a different folder in the Finder on my Mac, Exposure X4 automatically moved the associated sidecar files to the new location. You can apply color lookup tables LUTs to affect how colors are translated and to apply distinct looks. The application includes nearly a dozen sample LUTs, with the ability to import more.
Get different looks by applying LUTs. Now some of those effects can be freely moved, scaled, and rotated. With controls for zoom, opacity, and blend mode, you can make an effect as dramatic or as subtle as you wish. But now you can remap every shortcut in the preferences if you want to, or just see which keys perform which actions.
Still, metadata, color labels, and ratings all transfer. Odds and Ends Review similar shots in quad-layout mode. Also helpful are export presets for generating photos formatted for social networks; Exposure X4 now also includes print presets.
One item on my feature wishlist remains unchanged: You can remap every shortcut in the preferences if you still have years of Adobe muscle memory I also ran into a weird problem that ate up several hours of diagnosis. Sometimes, the Folders panel—and therefore, my library—would not appear when I launched Exposure X4. It turns out to be part of a feature, but one which looks like a bug.
Conclusion Exposure X4 is a solid update that shores up some areas that needed attention and builds on a photo editor that already stands apart in interesting ways. And most important, Alien Skin improved the performance in areas that make a difference. Upgrade pricing for earlier versions of Exposure is also available, and you can try the software for free during a day trial.
What we like:
By Theano Nikitas March issue Share Alien Skin Exposure software has grown from its start as a plug-in with great analog presets into a raw processor with an ever-expanding feature set.
While version 2. Keywords are a critical component of organizing a searchable image library, and Exposure X3 offers several options to ensure that all images are properly identified. There are a couple of ways to build a keyword library. One is to create lists and sets of descriptions in the new Keyword Library panel; these can be applied to images already on your hard drive or during import when copying files from a media card.
When the card is plugged into a card reader, the software automatically opens a dialogue box. The metadata in the dialogue box now includes options to apply keywords from the library and directly in the panel.
Since the keywords live in a sidecar file—along with other metadata—the information travels with the files. Collections and Quick Collections have also been added to Exposure X3. Creating Collections and Quick Collections is drag-and-drop simple. A Quick Collection is created with nothing more than a single click of the L key click again to delete the selected image. Thanks to virtual copies more on that in a moment , the same image can be added to multiple collections without gobbling up additional hard drive space.
Another useful feature is the side-by-side view, which is ideal when comparing similar images. I find quad the most efficient, especially for vertical shots. Just look for the little pin icon in the upper right corner of each image. To the left of the pin, the Audition Presets icon allows you to choose a single image and view it with different presets with the same layout options used in the comparison mode.
Just drag and drop a preset into the other three spaces in the display. To apply the preset you like best, click Apply in the lower right corner and the other presets will be discarded.
In this version, Alien Skin has added linear and radial presets to its collection of more than film emulations. Which leads us to virtual copies—another new and welcome feature in Exposure X3. You can create as many virtual copies as you like and even make virtual copies of virtual copies, edit each one differently, and save or discard any or all of them. Exposure X3 identifies virtual copies by a small turned up corner on the lower left of the thumbnail. Head to the Metadata panel to name the virtual copy for easy identification later.
Alien Skin has added other features to X3, including linear and radial gradient tools, new overlays and a batch overlay import option , along with new sliders for Blacks and Whites, Orange and Purple color saturation sliders, and a few others. You can find the full list of features, with the new additions highlighted, at alienskin. Although all the updates in this version are welcome additions, the new keywording and collections features alone are worth the upgrade for current users.
Beyond the new features, there is a lot to like about Exposure X3: Available for Mac OS X Theano Nikitas has been writing about photography for more than 20 years.