Hello dear friends. Long time no see! I’ve been so wrapped up with the launch of the Nauti Straps stuff (and all the work from the ‘real’ job) that my blogging has suffered. For that I am sorry. Good news though! For those who’ve been waiting for a sale on Exposure X, Alien Skin has been working toward combining all of their photo apps into one super monster of a program, for a while now, and it now lives in the Exposure X Bundle. First it was a beautifully integrated Bokeh module into Exposure (while Exposure stayed the same price), and now, with the release of the Exposure X Bundle, it has added Blow Up 3 and Snap Art 4, all as a super group of software. You can see more info on all, download free trials or go for the gold and buy it over at Alien Skin software’s website HERE.
I’ve certainly shilled at length for Alien Skin in the past, but c’mon in for a little on why I use, and don’t ever want to get by without, Exposure X.
With the release of Exposure X, Alien Skin took what was already the premier film emulation software for both Color and Black and White film stocks, and turned it into a fully functional, no holds barred, RAW converter, dual threat plugin and standalone that can also function as a DAM program. Personally, I have it integrated as a plugin in Photoshop, and I freaking love it.
I’m in the process of writing up a fun comparison between Exposure for digital files versus scanned film shot on a medium format camera, so, stay tuned for that.
In the mean time, and if you haven’t used Exposure before, I highly suggest downloading the free trial. You can do that HERE, and don’t worry, we’ll wait for you to do that, and come back…
Alright, whether you’re running a full project or a single image through Exposure, one of the things that has been invaluable for me, is my personal library of user generated filters. I often start with one preset and tweak a little here and there. Some I’ve totally eliminated grain, others I’ve added it while some I leave at the defaults to replicate the look of classic film stock. I tweak colors, highlights, shadows, split tone, adjust curves, save it all with a super crafty name, and I then have a one click solution for any given series of images. Take these that we did for Mettle Cycling, for instance:
As is the case so often with photography, I wasn’t able to shoot these during the golden hour, but had to make due with harsh overhead sun. We utilized the shade, but I wanted Randall’s products to look consistent, and used his signature color (a turquoise variant) to adjust this blue wall in Exposure so that it matched his branding on his website.
Another tool that Exposure has developed for me, is using a black and white image, layered over a color image to totally correct for color temperature imbalances for my product photography.
Back in the day, Exposure was it’s very own thing, and honestly, a much simpler yet still powerful film emulation filter generator. Bokeh was another program that Alien Skin offered which enabled a user to replicate out of focus rendering styles from various, famous lenses. It was another hundred bucks or so, and at the time, was worth it for me. The results could provide anything from quirkly and toy camera effects, to remarkably controllable focus falloff through selections and masking. Well, they decided to add Bokeh to Exposure, and now it lives inside Exposure X as its own module at no extra cost. Awesome.
Now, along with Bokeh, you can include Snap Art and Blow Up into the mix with the Bundle as well. Snap Art allows you to quickly turn your images into digital art through a variety of artistic media from painting and sketching, to line drawing or pastel.
Blow Up is one I’ve yet to personally use, so i don’t have any fun example images, but the idea behind it is directed at printing. Mathematically speaking, even with a 50mp image at 100 dpi (which is pretty standard, and arguably ample for HUGE prints) you’d be looking at a physical print size of roughly 85″ x 57″ which is very large. Most of us probably don’t shoot 50mp images, and honestly, if we’re talking about a print that large, why not either increase the relative resolution or, just go absolutely gigantic and print something even bigger. Think about how cool it could be to print life size human portraits that would look just as good from 10″ away as they would 10′ away. Blow Up is for stuff like that.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. Here are a few images that I have used Exposure for over the years.
Like I’ve said many times before, give it a try. They offer a fully functional, free trial and you can see first hand if it’s right for you. This sale goes on for a week, ending next Thursday, June 30th. No need for promo codes, just go to Alien Skin HERE to try or buy, and let them know I say hello.
Thanks for the read. I hope Summer has found all of you (northern hemisphere folks) well. For our friends in the Southern side of the globe, bundle up, or c’mon up here to chase an endless summer.