Exposure 4 is here!

Come and get it! Exposure 4 is now available. We have lots of pretty examples and videos. If your brain is exploding with anticipation, then maybe you should go straight to our store.

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 February 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    LOVING the new Exposure 4.

    GREAT job guys!!!!!

  2. Paul February 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    any reason it won’t work with photoshop cs3?

    • Robert February 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

      We did not test Exposure 4 in Photoshop CS3. There is a possibility that it will work, but we cannot support it if there are problems.

  3. LTOE February 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Got it 3 minutes after the announce 🙂 Thanks !!!!!

  4. Wesleyalee February 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

    A treat! I “Discovered” many of the effects offered in Exposure 4 by being a self taught film developer, (Dark room, chemicals, ect,). OK, they were concidered mistakes, but I enjoyed them. Perfect isn’t always the most satisfying.

  5. Derek Wong February 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Always excited to hear about a new version of Exposure! I loved V.3, can’t wait to see how V.4 works!

  6. Al February 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    How do you import your own textures to overlay?

    • Robert February 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

      There is currently no way to import your own textures. That sounds like a great suggestion. I will mention it to our developers. In the meantime, you can use the Random Seed button on the Age tab. That will randomly flip the texture and frame, giving some variety.

    • Tom February 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Hi Al,

      We did consider adding the ability to import custom textures but we also wanted to keep the texture feature simple and easy to use to start out with. Depending on the feedback from customers we will consider new features for a later version so thanks for letting us know your thoughts. For now I recommend you blend your own textures from photoshop AFTER applying the main effect in Exposure. You could even create an action to do this automatically.

  7. Richard February 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Why are the results when using LR3 or Ps5 so different on the exact same RAW (DNG) image after auto conversion. Ps5 works well, similar to what I experienced before, LR3 seems to blow the highlights and is poor when used in conjunction with X4 as an editor.

    • Tom February 16, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Hi Richard, Lightroom by default uses different camera raw import settings than Photoshop. It is using Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) though, so you should be able to get them to have the same results. This article talks about how to set up the import process in Photoshop:


      Although Lightroom doesn’t seem to have a way to easily match the default setting of Photoshop ACR (that I know of), you should be able to create your own preset in Lightroom that is the same. I recommend you try opening Photoshop and Lightroom at the same time and import the same image into both. Take a look at the slider values in ACR and Lightroom and get them to match up (make sure the images look the same too). I know that Lightroom settings often increase contrast, so make sure the contrast is pretty low. When you have the image adjusted to your liking, save that as a preset. Next time, when you import an image you can select that preset as the default. Hope that helps.

      • Richard February 18, 2012 at 5:40 am

        Hi Tom

        Thanks for the valuable input. I’ll stick to my current workflow, import all into LR3, tweak if needed, export DNG out of LR3, open and adjust if needed in Ps5 ACR and use X4 as filter out of Ps5. Seems complicated but it works. Prefer X4’s behavior in Ps5!

  8. Joseph Francis February 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    You know what would be good? If you would go through Exposure 4 section by section and discuss ways of preparing a shoot which plans for its eventual use.

    For example, wardrobe or room color selections that complement, or fight with a certain setting. Lighting ratios / levels of contrast that get enhanced, not crushed, by certain settings. Exposure times (adding slight motion blur to the sitter) and DOF that support a wet plate look.

    I’m glad the filters work for anyone, are easy to use, and are adjustable to handle whatever the photographer throws at them, but you must have a bunch of pro, super-user guidelines for how to set the image up for success before it reaches Exposure 4. Those would make interesting blog entries.

    • Jeff February 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      There are definitely some Exposure presets that work well on certain images and not on others. That is a good idea for a blog article or series of articles. I’ll pass this on to Tom Welsh, the lead designer of Exposure. No promises yet, but it is likely that this will turn into a blog article.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  9. Al February 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    That would be great if you guys considered this. The current textures are nice, however i have some nice ideas in mind to create some additional effects that are limited for what i need to do. I tried using texture blends outside of the plugin using photoshop itself but it appears you guys have a special way of blending the texture within exposure using some unique blend mode specific to the plugin. I could be wrong but i tried very hard to recreate the effect within that exposure feature. I was assuming the light leak was just an add mode blend but it looks to be something more. Obviously you guys can not spill the secrets so as you said if enough demand calls for it then hopefully a simple import button will make in through.

  10. Dean February 16, 2012 at 2:00 am

    While we are on the subject of… “Do you know what would be good?” LOL

    I really enjoy sitting in on webinars given by companies like NIk, Tiffen & others…showing how artists use their products. When you start showing how artists from around the world use your products to create their beautiful art, I think you’ll see peoples eye light up and of course, sales will grow. I just watched a webinar by Nik the other day that blew my mind. For people who can’t join the live webinar, you can always record them and start a library of them.

    Just something for you guys to think about : )

    • Jimmy February 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Hi Dean,

      You’re right; that is a good idea. This is something that we’ve thought about for a while. We are not prepared to make a webinar anytime soon, but we can make something like this as a video or as an article in our blog. You’ll see some of this soon.

  11. Arne von Brill February 16, 2012 at 2:06 am

    The new Exposure is sooo inspiring, fast… Thanks for the good work! I really enjoy the fast previews for the presets.

    Cheers from Germany!


  12. Robert February 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I brought this software today and its better then I anticipated. Just AMAZING!

  13. wedding photography dc February 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Awesome!! I will try it on 6-day. Thank you guys for your products!

    • Tom February 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Al, we do not have a setting for Photochrom. I did take a look at those links though and the photos are amazing. I put it on the list of possible settings for version 5. Thanks for the suggestion.


      • Al February 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        Indeed, thank you guys for considering such a look. I was overlooking these last night and never had heard of this photographic technique before and am surprised to see such early color process’. It certainly tends to open up the world in new ways.

  14. Jason Hudson February 19, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Had no idea this was available… and I’ve had V 1, 2 and 3!

  15. Jason de Plater February 20, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Just purchased the upgrade from Exposure 3.
    I’m really pleased to see the previews when hovering over presets. Also, combining the colour and black and white into one comprehensive dialog box is much appreciated. I can’t wait to check it out. Can I install the Exposure 4 straight away, or do I need to remove Exposure 3 first?

    • Tom February 20, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Hi Jason, Exposure 3 and Exposure 4 can live together fine. Just install Exposure 4. Also, any of your Exposure 3 settings should automatically get imported.

  16. pkisme February 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Hi, thumbs up for version 4!

    a few tiny suggestions though:
    – hope in the next release the thumbnail preview area above the settings can be resize or close completely. with the thumbnail preview at its current size, the settings area are made smaller.. quite a hassle if users have long list of saved settings/presets to scroll through, especially when working with screens with small/mid resolution (e,g, laptops).
    – that users can set Exposure to immediately opens to the User tab when first boot in Photoshop.

    again, thumns up for Exposure 🙂

    • Tom February 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Hi- thanks for praise and comment. I agree that the size of the settings tree is a bit smaller with such a large thumbnail. The large thumbnail helps when previewing settings and allows more width for settings but as you mention, more space for settings would be nice. In version 5 we need to consider how we can allow more space for settings management.

      As for starting up with the user settings… The way it works is it loads up the tab of the last used setting. So if you applied a factory setting it will start on the factory tab but if you choose a user setting it will go there.


  17. GUY MEURS February 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Is exposure 4 usable in Aperture ?
    With friendly greetings
    Guy Meurs

    • Tom February 28, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Guy, we don’t officially support Aperture for our products but if you are willing to put up with some inconvenience you can run Exposure as an external editor. There are instructions here: http://support.alienskin.com/entries/272528-using-alien-skin-plug-ins-in-aperture. The main issue is that Aperture only allows one external editor at a time so if you have other programs you use as external editors you will need to swap in/out Exposure.

      • Goran April 10, 2012 at 3:56 am

        Tom, is there a difference between the trial and retail version of Exposure?

        I downloaded the trial and all I get it the plug-in, which cannot be added as an external editor for Aperture. Am I doing something wrong?

        Kind regards,


        • Robert April 10, 2012 at 9:11 am

          Goran, there are no differences between the trial and retail versions of our software. In order to add Exposure 4 to Aperture, please follow the directions that Tom provided above.

          You can find the Exposure 4 application file in Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Alien Skin/Exposure 4/Alien Skin Exposure 4.app.

          If you require further assistance, please visit support.alienskin.com and open a support ticket.

          • Goran April 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

            Thanks Robert, I added the right path and it worked like a charm 🙂

  18. Mobs February 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Contrast accuracy:

    I read in one of the blogs, that contrast gets slightly higher when a file is opened with CS5 (ACR-conversion), and then a film filter is applied, and I checked for myself and that is true. I tried to set the contrast in ACR from 25 down to zero, but still was not that happy.

    Now, if I do the RAW conversion bit in D. P. P. (Digital Photo Professional) – I’m a Canon user, and then transfer the image to Photoshop (.TIFF file), the contrast seems to come out just right when I apply the film filters.

  19. Mobs February 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I forgot to add above that I use Standard picture style in D. P. P. at the raw conversion stage.

  20. Mobs March 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Also: I found that if I want to maintain the raw conversion within Adobe CS5 (ACR), then I select the camera profile NEUTRAL, and also set contrast, and Blacks to ZERO. This creates a very subtle file to use as a starting point, and then when I apply the film filters the contrast and colours coming out as a result of the filter seem pleasant and not too excessive. Hope this info. helps.

  21. Nicki March 9, 2012 at 7:25 am

    In the Exposure3 you had the option to not choose “create output in new layer above current”
    That made it easy to do batch mode with exposure.
    I can’t find it on the Exposure4 demo…?

    • Jeff March 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

      We moved that option to the preferences window. It is the third item from the bottom labeled “Output in New Layer”. You can get to the preferences through the “?” button at the bottom of the main window or with Command-K (Mac) or Control-K (Windows).

      In the past the new layer option interfered with recording and playing back Photoshop actions. In Exposure 4 you don’t need to turn it off when recording actions. However, the actions will not create a new layer. If you want your Exposure output on a new layer in an action then you will have to duplicate the layer manually.

      Exposure can also work on batches of photos in Lightroom, but that can be slow to start up. Photoshop actions are the most efficient way to do it when you want to apply the exact same preset to a big pile of photos.

  22. Nicki March 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Ok thats great:)

  23. Hannah April 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    HI you use to be able to use exposure 3 on its on outside photoshop/lightroom, i can’t seem to do that with exp 4?

    • Robert April 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Please open Lightroom and then open your preferences.

      Mac – Lightroom > Preferences
      PC – Edit > Preferences

      Select the External Editing tab.
      Click the Preset dropdown under Additional External Editor and make sure Custom or Exposure 4 are selected.

      Then click Choose, and browse to the Exposure 4 application file.
      Mac – Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Alien Skin > Exposure 4 > Alien Skin Exposure 4
      PC – C:\Program Files\Alien Skin\Exposure4\Alien Skin Exposure 4 x64.exe

      Then click Save Current Settings as New Preset from the Preset drop down box.

  24. Andreas April 16, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Hi! I’ve been playing with ASE4 and I love it!
    I export JPEG from LR and then edit the JPEG’s directly from LR with ASE4.
    One thing I noticed is that the file size is so much smaller than original JPEG files.
    From approx 5mb to only 1.5 Mb.
    Is there any way to change this?

    • Robert April 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      That is a great question. Yes, there is a way to change that. When you open Exposure 4, at the bottom, you will see a little gray circle with a question mark. Click the button and choose Preferences.

      In there, you will find a JPEG Quality slider. Adjust the slider all the way to the right for higher quality.

      If you have any other questions, please feel free to open a ticket at http://support.alienskin.com.

  25. alberto November 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Does is support the randomized “function” in photoshop actions? so that I can choose a texture effect and apply it to many photo in batch using photoshop actions but without having the annoying end result of the same texture in all photos..

    • Jeff November 6, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Sorry, but Exposure 4 does not randomize textures using Photoshop’s actions. That is something we will try to add to an update. I agree that it would be a big improvement.

      • alberto November 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

        thanks for your reply, I’ll look forward to try it again when you’ll add this feature. btw it’s a really nice piece of software!

  26. Angy Chesler March 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I had never worked with Exposure, after reading about it, I have to have it. Can’t wait to work with it.

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