Don’t be shy.

As I worked on the press release for Exposure 4, Tom Welsh stopped by. Tom is the designer and lead programmer for Exposure. Knowing that the press release would contain a quote from him, he said, “It’s always a fun surprise to hear what words you put in my mouth!” I showed him a quote that listed geeky features. Tom said, “The rest of the release has enough dry technical details. Let’s have the quote be what I really think.” Here it is.

“This is the most significant update to Exposure since its creation. Across the board everything is faster and much easier to use.”

At first I thought it was too gushing, like typical marketing BS that no one believes. But Tom convinced me that if you really mean it you should say it. Tom means it and so do I. Exposure 4 is much faster and easier to explore and that is the most important upgrade any product can get.

The user interface has been completely redesigned. Here are a few of the significant improvements shown in screen shots. Click the pictures to see full resolution versions.

Group Presets

Below you can see what we call group presets. Those are presets that control a group of related sliders, like the ones for the new texture overlay feature shown below. Group presets let you quickly explore options for just one aspect of your look without fiddling with individual sliders. There is a pop up menu of group presets above each important group of controls, such as tone curves, focus, grain, vignette, etc.

Click to see a higher resolution version.

Thumbnail Previews

The thumbnail in the upper left of the window has been enlarged and now gives you fast previews of presets. As you mouse over a preset name the thumbnail updates to show you what it will look like on your photo. Just slide your cursor down the list of presets to rapidly explore them visually.

Click to see a higher resolution version.

 

Texture Overlay

The dust and scratches feature in Exposure 3 is simulated, so it sometimes looks a bit artificial. We threw that out and replaced it with a texture overlay system that uses high resolution photos. The result is that Exposure 4 can beautifully render a wide range of messy real world effects, like brushed emulsion, light leaks, scratches, dust, and frames. In the screen shots above you can see a light leak and an off-center vignette. Below are more examples. Click for higher resolution versions.

 

The Geeky List

I wouldn’t get into this much detail with the press, but most of you are familiar with Exposure and probably want to hear it all. So, here are more of the improvements. I may elaborate on some of these and show more photos in the blog later.

Improved User Interface

A redesigned user interface makes Exposure 4 much easier to use.

  • Black and White and Color filters are combined into one filter so you can find all the effects in one place.
  • Group presets let you explore custom effects easily.
  • Thumbnail Preview. Hover over a setting to preview it in the thumbnail.
  • Settings Search. Find settings based on name or description.
  • Speed. Dramatically faster on Mac and Windows.

New Controls and Effects

New controls let you create new custom looks quickly and intuitively

  • New controls let you create Black and White effects more easily (more color channels, B/W Color Filter, Split Toning Control).
  • New controls let you create custom color effects more easily (more saturation channels, color split toning).
  • New Color Infrared effect
  • New Texture Effect (light leaks, dust and scratches, borders)

New Presets

Hundreds of Presets. Many presets have been improved and new ones added.

  • Alternative Photography. New textures help you recreate historical photographic processes. Cyanotype, Lith printing and Wet Plate Photography.
  • Lo-Fi. More realistic toy camera settings using light leaks and organic textures

When? How much?

Exposure 4 will be available in February 2012 for $249. Owners of any version of Exposure can upgrade for $99. Free upgrades will be automatically sent to everyone who purchased Exposure 3 directly from Alien Skin Software in November 2011 or later.

When Exposure ships we will announce it to our e-mail list (sign up at the bottom of this page), in the blog (RSS here), Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.