Exposure 4 Details

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.

About the Author:

Jeff Butterworth is the founder of Alien Skin Software. He used to create the products, but now he does marketing and gets coffee for the programmers.


  1. Dean January 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Great work Jeff & Tom! I love the looks of this. I’ve been an Exposure user for years and can’t wait to get my hands on this! If you are looking for a beta tester, hit me up, I’d love to help! I have almost 5000 photographers on my newsletter mailing list and I’ll be helping spread the word via a video tutorial : )


    Hollywood, CA –


  2. Darrick Moran January 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

    is jan 2011 close enough to get it for free

    I really like the speed thing and light leaks

    • Robert January 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      In order to receive a free upgrade your purchase must be within 90 days of the release.

  3. Mark Terry January 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Holy hand grenades, Batman! This does look like quite an impressive update. All the features are welcome and look fantastic, and I can’t wait to try them out! Now we have to wait two whole weeks before getting our sweaty little hands on it. ;p

    Counting down the hours…

  4. Debra Wilkes January 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I see the things that can be done and am trying to get the software so can do even more than I do with my little things. I love taking picture of all things and making slide shows with mi=usic as well for family, friends, and even just me. This is why I get newsletters from the site so can make sure keep up. Have a Great Week Debra

  5. Mark January 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    The upcoming release looks great. I’ve been using exposure 3 as part of my portrait and wedding workflow for over a year now and love the product. Thanks for providing such great software.

  6. Stefan January 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I made an upgrade from Exposure 2 to Exposure 3 in November 2011 at your store, because I changed my Mac OS (now Lion). Will I get also a free update to Exposure 4?


    • Jeff January 17, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      Yes, if you purchased Exposure 3 in November then we will automatically send you Exposure 4 when it is ready. An upgrade to Exposure 3 counts.

  7. Dave Butler January 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    So, if we bought the whole suite for $299 after 11/11because we already own one of the apps in the suite, will we be provided the Exp 4 without charge?

    • Jeff January 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Yes, if you purchased Exposure 3 as a full version, an upgrade, or as part of the Photo Bundle in November or later then we will automatically send you Exposure 4 when it is ready.

  8. teresa vigil January 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    OH yeah you just made my day!

  9. Angela Stanton January 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Awesome updates!!! I can hardly wait. Is it February yet???? =)) I LOVE all of your software and have every single one of them!

  10. Kaili January 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    So excited!!! I got my exposure 3 in the beginning of November! Looking forward to 4!

  11. Jan January 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Just awesome guys! I’ve been using Exposure since it first came out, and from what I see, it keeps on getting better and better! I’ll definitively upgrade this time around too! A feature I would like to see though, is a slider to adjust the user interface from light to dark. Today, most editing software UI’s are dark and switching between them when you’re in the middle of editing hundreds of images, takes your focus from the images and can almost make you snow blind for a second or two. I would be truly grateful for being given the choice to adjust the color of the UI myself. Anyway, looking forward to getting my hands on Exposure 4 in Feb!

    • Jeff January 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      I will pass your idea on to the team. Version 4 will not have that feature, but it is a good idea for the future.
      By the way, I like your web site.

      • Jan January 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

        Thanks Jeff! Looking forward to the feature in version 5, then. Meanwhile, I am sure I will just love Exposure 4! There are some features there (textures etc) that I am really excited about!

    • Claus January 24, 2012 at 4:33 am

      That’s a good idea… but CS6 has a new interface and NikSoftware also uses a dark background. I don’t understand why this isn’t an option in Exposure 4.

      • Robert January 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

        I have forwarded this idea to the development team.

  12. Henrik Bengtsson January 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Hey there! Any chance of seeing some examples of the Wet Plate photography settings? (Pref. with a before & after 😀

    I use Exposure on pretty much every project i work on (and as a matter of fact, most of the images on my webpage have been Exposurized in some way, and quite a lot bokeh’d aswell 😉 so this will be a no brainer update for me. “Unfortunately” i got the entire pack in June so will have to dish out the upgrade molas 😀

    Bring it out asap please =) Can’t wait.

    • Jeff January 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Sure, I’ll ask Tom to do a blog article showing off some of the new wet plate settings. I think he is particularly proud of those. He worked a long time with paint brushes to photograph the texture overlays just right.

      • Henrik Bengtsson January 18, 2012 at 7:02 am

        Yes, Wet Plate has such a unique look and how it renders the tones differently from other media so it’s extremely difficult to replicate properly. Really looking forward to seeing Tom’s take on them =)

  13. Leo Chen January 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Great improvements! I love that BW and Color will be combined. Will it allow output of multiple versions?

    • Jeff January 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      I suspect that combining the two filters will be the favorite feature of everyone who has been using Exposure for a while. Long overdue!
      You will have to apply Exposure separately to create each version of a photo. We’ll consider that for a future version.

  14. Jonathan Pearlman January 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    This is indeed very exciting news! I use photoshop sparingly as I prefer to share what it was I saw through my lenses. However, to have ‘Exposure 3’ on hand is a valuable tool for my work (please visit my site and have a look at ‘Supreme Court’ which became a very sucessful exhibition of mine; all images were finally processed with ‘exposure 3.’). I find that ‘exposure’ enhances and adds clarity to my medium format film work and I am grateful to Alien Skin for that! (is there, perchance, a contra deal for my sucky words??).

    The upgrade looks awesome.

  15. David Hodson January 18, 2012 at 3:38 am

    This is great news. The fourth generation of Exposure looks great with even more varied effects you can achieve.

    As someone who still shoots real film, because of the demise of many classic emulsions I find myself wanting for a particular look. Exposure has it on tap. Even film photographers do post-processing!

    For me, photography has never been so exciting.

  16. Ken Lawrence January 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

    First of all: congratulations on finishing Exposure 4. It looks great and I am sure to be upgrading from version 3!

    The thumbnail previews look fantastic and I’m very curious to see how those historical photographic processes have been included as presets.

    One question though: will it play nice with my Photoshop actions which I currently have? I often search for a “look and feel”, combining both filters from Exposure 3 as well as others. Once I am pleased with the result I save the actions to be able to apply them in a batch to a whole series I shot. I guess I will have to recreate the majority of these actions with the new version?

    Kind regards,


    • Robert January 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Hi Ken,

      Actions do not transfer over from one product to the next. You can think of them as macros that remember what program they were created to work with. In this case you will have to recreate your actions if you want them to use Exposure 4.

      Best regards,
      Robert Lounsberry

  17. Colm Rogan January 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Delighted as a December purchaser and lover of Exposure 3. Just one question, will the new version retain all the film presets (print, slide, polaroid etc) of version 3 or will I lose some of these with the upgrade? I’ve become somewhat attached!!


    • Jeff January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      All the old presets should be there. There might be some slight tweaks to some of the more exotic ones, like an added texture overlay, but all the basic film stocks should be exactly the same. A few of the more funky presets have been organized into different folders, but you can find them easily with the new text search.

      • Colm Rogan January 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm

        Thanks Jeff. That sounds really sweet, glad to hear I won’t lose my beloved film profiles. Really excited now!

  18. […] since its creation. Across the board everything is faster and much easier to use,” they say. Check out their blog post for details & screenshots. Posted by John Nack at 3:11 PM on January 18, […]

  19. […] = {"data_track_clickback":true};Since Jeff recently posted an article on our upcoming release of Exposure 4, we received a lot of great comments from Exposure 3 customers. It is really nice to get this sort […]

  20. rob palmer January 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    very excited about exposure 4. looks great! i know you probably have it listed somewhere but i couldn’t see it. what are the minimum system requirements for exposure 4? what’s the olderst versions of Photoshop and Lightroom it will work in?

  21. […] And this is what Jeff Butterworth (founder of Alien Skin) has to say about the new update  […]

  22. NUEVO PLUG-IN EXPOSURE 4 PARA PHOTOSHOP Y LIGHTROOM | Mirada Photos January 20, 2012 at 9:14 am


  23. Cori January 21, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Awww, come on! You have to give us a date!!!!

    • Jeff January 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Mid-February is what we are shooting for, but I can’t be more specific. I hate to make promises and then break them!

  24. дмитрий January 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    The list of changes is fantastic!
    It would be unbelievable to see such a product and to use it!
    Will look forward to seeing it!
    Thank you guys!

  25. Al January 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Can i run this plugin on Win XP because i read somewhere it’s VIsta or higher.

    • Jeff January 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      It is officially Vista or later, but it may work on Windows XP. Our system requirements are the systems we carefully test with. We don’t have time to test carefully with other configurations, but they often work. If you want to take a chance then just run it in trial mode once we release it.

      • Al January 23, 2012 at 3:05 am

        Alright, thank you sir.

  26. Adan Martell January 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I edit hundred of photos, speed is the best with exposure 3, I can’t wait to upgrade to exposure 4.

    Adan Martell

  27. New Gear: Alien Skin Exposure 4 to Launch in February for $249 · NEWS on the Dreamspace January 24, 2012 at 3:27 am

    […] toy camera effects. For more information on the new features, check out Alien Skin’s announcement blogpost, and also a closer look at the wet plate […]

  28. Exposure 4: The Do All Preset for Lightroom and Photoshop | The M Mode January 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

    […] Exposure is basically a preset plug in available for Lightroom and Photoshop. It’s quite popular (well, duh, it’s already on it’s 4th version) among a wide range of photographers (from amateur to pro ultra) because of it’s simplicity and time saving features. […]

  29. Alien Skin Exposure 4 dla Lightroom - Poznaj Adobe Lightroom : Poznaj Adobe Lightroom January 25, 2012 at 5:17 am

    […] informacji znajduje się na stronie http://blog.alienskin.com/exposure-4-details Kategorie: Aktualności, Moduł "Wywołuj", […]

  30. OliverNET.CO.CC | Oliver Zdravkovic, Sport, Politik, Technik, Psychologie » Blog Archiv » Alien Skin: Alte Filme wiederbelebt January 25, 2012 at 10:52 am

    […] dazu. Sie sollen gezielt Fehler erzeugen, die bei der Fotografie früher häufig entstanden sind. Lichteinbrüche durch defekte oder undichte Kameradeckel, zerkratzte Filme, Staubablagerungen und vieles mehr […]

  31. LTOE January 27, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Sounds like it will be amazing !!! Can’t wait till February to discover this new version, I use your product since version 1 and it was always a success 🙂 Congrats

  32. URL January 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

    … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: blog.alienskin.com/exposure-4-details […]…

  33. Alberto Cassani January 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Hi, really great news!!
    Just one BIG questio: i have so many presets i created in exposure 3. Will they be available in version 4of the plugin or will they be lost forever?

    • Robert January 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      That is a great question. All of your compatible Exposure 3 presets will be upgraded and brought into Exposure 4.

  34. Alberto Cassani February 2, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Great news!

  35. Mark Coats February 3, 2012 at 8:56 am

    The only reason I pulled the trigger on Exposure 3 a couple of weeks ago, is to get the new Exposure 4!

    Please let me know when it’s ready!!

    • Jeff February 3, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Patience, young Grasshopper.
      The middle of February is looking very good. In the mean time, I’ll post a few more photos soon made with Exposure 4.

  36. teresa vigil February 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Yeah. Cant wait!

  37. […] can see other blog articles on Exposure 4 here and […]

  38. hansam September 12, 2012 at 1:17 am

    How I can change color for light leak present? I don’t like Red color.

    • Robert September 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      It is not possible to change the color of the light leaks in Exposure 4. Perhaps in a future version, we may be able to add more control. I will make sure to pass this request on to our development team.

  39. hansam September 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Thks you so much, Robert

    • Robert September 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      No problem at all. We are here for you!

  40. Alessandro December 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Hi.. I bought alien skin 4 a year ago more or less.. I would like to know if there are some Update (new filter or new features)
    Thanx a lot

    • Jimmy December 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Hi Alessandro,

      Yes, Exposure 5 was released back in June. Here is a link to the announcement.

      There are a bunch of awesome new features introduced in version 5. The Exposure page on our website is the best place to start learning about them.

      Also, you can download the free trial to try Exposure 5 for yourself. All of our products are fully functional during the demo period.

Comments are closed.