I’m a long time user and fan of Exposure along with all the other Alien Skin products having originally researched and purchased Exposure back in version 3, so Alien Skin doesn’t have to do much to impress me. I’m already convinced and know how useful and enjoyable Exposure is, and has been for me over the years. Preacher:Choir.
If you’ve spent much time on my blog over the years, you’ve probably seen me review just about every release they’ve done over the last half decade or so, and I’ve even connected with many of you that have found me because of my involvement with reviewing and sharing tutorials using Alien Skin software, or having done some articles for their blog based on specific techniques I use Exposure for in my own workflow.
If you use Exposure, Snap Art or Blow Up, I’m guessing you already have a good idea about what these programs bring to the table, and if you’ve not yet upgraded to Exposure X, I’d highly suggest downloading the trial to see the new, non-destructive RAW editing workflow and feature additions along with beautifully customizable workspace tools. For those that have not yet gone down this ever enjoyable rabbit hole, now is a great time to kick the tires on some seriously killer software.
Alien Skin has their winter sale going on, offering 30% off of any and all Alien Skin products new or as upgrades for current users at Alienskin.com HERE.
The current offerings and sale prices are as follows:
Exposure X ($149 – on sale for $104.30, upgrade for $69.30)
Snap Art 4 ($99 – on sale for $69.30, upgrade for $48.30)
Blow Up 3 ($99 – on sale for $69.30, upgrade for $48.30)
Photo Bundle (incl: Exposure X, Snap Art 4 and Blow Up 3) normally $299 on sale for over 50% off at $139.30!!!
Eye Candy 7 ($129 – on sale for $99.30, upgrade for $55.30)
The sale is on now, through next Wednesday, March 2nd, so you’ve got a week to give these programs a free trial. You can see all the programs, and find the free download links via the product pages HERE. Come on in for more of my thoughts and experiences with the Alien Skin software programs.
Exposure X (normally $149 – on sale for $104.30)
Since incorporating the fully featured Bokeh module (which used to be a separate program entirely) Exposure has continued to refine and add on to its offerings as a fully featured photo editor and film emulator. In the past, Exposure was billed primarily as a “Film Emulation Software,” and has always been a damn fine one at that. I’ve gone on record as saying that it is the best film emulation software I’ve ever seen, because of the attention to detail paid, down to the immaculate replication of famous film grain, toning and processing, along with the ability to quickly reproduce very customizable looks, especially handy for me when processing series of images (think weddings, commercial jobs, portrait sessions, landscape series, et al). One click and boom.
As time has gone by, Exposure has become the keystone to the Alien Skin empire, and has grown to include a far more capable, non-destructive RAW workflow in a standalone editor, as a fully functional plugin for Light Room and Photoshop, and provides users with an entirely editable workspace to streamline the program’s efficiency, tailor fit to your needs. I’ve said it before, but it is such a fun time to be a digital photographer. Everything keeps getting so much better.
So, who is Exposure for?
I have mostly used Exposure (every past version from 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and now X) as a plugin for Photoshop, and I would say that 95% of the images that I edit in Photoshop, are processed with a filter from Exposure. Over the years, I’ve used it to quickly punch up color and contrast, or correct for color shifts, quickly balance and smooth skin or just create a cinematic or film like look and through that time, I’ve built up a decent amount of my own user presets. These presets are often used to process groups of images to maintain a constant ‘look’ which is invaluable considering the time saved, and consistent, signature look that I can quickly and easily replicate from one image to the next. Do you shoot portraits? Weddings? Products? Street? Events? Live music? I find Exposure so beneficial to me for these types of shoots, and while it is a fun program, no matter what you like to shoot, if you see value in being able to create and replicate a repeatable, signature look, this is the best piece of software I’ve used, for that.
Try Exposure X free (or buy it on sale) HERE
Snap Art 4 (normally $99 – on sale for $69.30)
Back in the day, I forked out a lot of money for the Corel Painter software. I was drawn to it not only because I like the idea of digitally painting, but had come across some absolutely stunning results from users of that software. Well, after a couple books, and hours upon hours of working with it, I realized that I’d pretty much have to dedicate a solid chunk of my life to it, to get out of it what I’d hoped to. I seriously figured that I should probably just spend that time actually learning to paint. I found myself very discouraged, and doubting my abilities as a digital artist. Then, I found Snap Art. Snap Art allows the control of the process without the need to build an entire digital painting from scratch.
You can start with a preset style, and control the results down to brush style, medium and paint used. You can see one of my images being used by Jimmy for the Alien Skin software blog, going through the presets panel to show you how easy it is to quickly transform your digital image into a digital painting.
So, who is Snap Art for?
More than anything, I find Snap Art to be a lot of fun. I don’t particularly think in terms of paint, pastel or pencil. What I have realized though, is that Snap Art is the type of program that can kickstart my creativity in times that I find myself in a creative rut. I can revisit and re-visualize older projects in an entirely new way.
If you enjoy digitally painting, or having fun playing with images in a way that can bring a painterly twist to your still images, Snap Art is a powerful, intuitive and fun program to feed your inner artist.
Also, if you’re eyeballing this one along with Exposure, look at the Photo Bundle which has both, plus Blow Up on super discount, for less than the normal price of Exposure alone.
Try Snap Art 4 free (or buy it on sale) HERE
Blow Up 3 (normally $99 – on sale for $69.30
Blow Up is a program designed to aid in the resizing of images for large print. While I’ve yet to need to output anything larger than the largest my native files will produce at between 150-200ppi, I’m hoping that soon I’ll have a project with which I can test this out, and review.
If you do large output for print, I’d imagine you’re already using or at least aware of Blow Up. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, myself. If you buy the complete collection, you get it for free essentially anyway, so it might be worth dreaming up a project for a nice, large print.
Try BlowUp 3 free (or buy it on sale) HERE
Eye Candy 7 (normally $129 – on sale for $99.30)
Alright, I’ve not used Eye Candy, but this is where Alien Skin really cut its teeth and built its name. Applying effects and textures to selections with simple and easy, ready built presets for slick design elements seems like it makes sense for those doing this type of work. It is the longest standing Alien Skin program for a reason, I’m sure.
Try Eye Candy 7 free (or buy it on sale) HERE
Well, there you have it. All Alien Skin programs on sale for 30% off through March 2nd or the Photo Bundle for over 50% off, so go have a look, download the free trials and see if these can provide you the missing link in your post processing workflow. Exposure is irreplaceable for me, and I highly suggest checking that out if you haven’t already. If you’re the owner of a previous version of any of their software, the upgrade pricing is also on sale, so it’s a good time to get up to speed with the new tools if you see value in them.
Thanks for the read, and as always, please fire off any questions you may have in the comments. I’d be happy to lend any help I can from my own personal experience. To keep up with new review and tutorial articles here, you can add your email to receive articles as they’re released by adding it to the email bar at the top right of the page (on a computer) or below if you’re mobile browsing. Also, I’d love to connect via the socials, find me on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.
Tyson, I wonder what you think of Topaz software. They seem to have parallel programs to the ones you describe here. Also, I assume you use Lightroom? Forgive me if the answers are somewhere on your blog!
I love the Topaz plugins, or at least many of them. I use many of them in conjunction with Exposure, especially. The only plugin from Topaz that really compares to one of the Alien Skin offerings would be Impression vs Snap Art. Both the same retail price, both really good options and I’ve enjoyed both. Exposure is optimized from a workflow batch processing standpoint for me. I use Exposure (in Photoshop) as my mood maker (tone, color, etc) then I may use Topaz clarity for punch, De Noise or Re Mask for those types of specialized tasks, etc. Another thing I really like about Exposure is that it has a huge library of both color and black and white film emulation presets. A one stop solution in that regard as it were. While I don’t use Lightroom, and run these as either standalone a or in PS, they will run as plugins for LR which is really handy.
Thanks for stopping by!
I hope all is well,
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Thank you! I think that answers it. I will probably get Exposure. I do use LR for the first pass. Then I take the set into PS and use whatever plug-ins seem appropriate. So, adding Exposure there would be a plus.
I agree on the batch processing, especially when the light, lens and settings are all basically the same in large groups of photos. It saves time and, as you point out, gives a uniformity of appearance that I like.
Thanks for posting on this and hope all is well with you too.
Have a look at some of the videos on the AS website too. Aside from the presets, having customizable control over things like grain, halation and especially the Bokeh module is really cool!
Enjoy and let me know how you find it 🙂