Exposure 4, Wet Plate Examples

By | January 20th, 2012|Exposure, Photography, Fun|26 Comments

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 of response after working so hard on a product. One comment asked for more examples of the new wet plate settings so I put together a few.

First, I want to give a little background on this process. Wet plate photography is one of the earliest forms of photography (1850’s according to Wikipedia). Also, known as the “collodion wet plate process”, it enabled the photographer to make a negative image on glass and thereby print as many copies of an image as they wanted to later. Another interesting aspect of wet plate photography is that the process is only sensitive to blue light so faces are often dark and skies look washed out.

Here are a few before/after examples we created using Exposure 4. I happen to like old portraits so I think the look works well with some types of modern portraits as well as with flowers or macro shots.

About the Author:

Joe Payne was the marketing director for Alien Skin Software.


  1. Seth Anderson January 20, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Fun! can’t wait.

    Though, these are more like after/before… 🙂

    • Lawanda January 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

      Dag nabbit good stuff you whippersanppers!

  2. Mark January 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Neato Bandito!

  3. Graeme January 21, 2012 at 5:26 am

    I think I’ll be buying this as soon as it comes out!

  4. Adan Martell January 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I love exposure!
    Thanks for add textures, I really like it!

    Can’t wait to upgrade!

  5. Henrik Bengtsson January 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Stunning!!!!! Thank you for the additional wet plate examples. Please release this asap, i could use this on a project im working with right now actually 😀

  6. jtwg February 1, 2012 at 3:54 am

    OK, it’s Feb. Can I download?

    • Robert February 1, 2012 at 9:03 am

      We love to see the enthusiasm. The middle of this month is what we are aiming for.

      • jtwg February 2, 2012 at 3:31 am

        Can’t wait. Looks awesome.

        Random question: any chance we’ll see color IR film simulations?

        • Robert February 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm

          There will be a Color Infrared section. It will contain Kodak Ektrachrome EIR in various color filters.

  7. blw February 2, 2012 at 6:11 am

    Darn it, I was going to skip Exposure4 (I try to do every other release of most software), but some of that stuff looks just too cool to not play with! 🙂

    The brushed-on emulsions are something I’ve been fiddling around with for literally years, and it never looks worth a darn. This looks much better.

  8. Mark R Friedman February 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I bought the bundle on 1/13/2012. Do I get a free upgrade?

    • Robert February 6, 2012 at 7:48 am

      Yes, you will be entitled to the free upgrade to Exposure 4.

  9. James Taylor February 8, 2012 at 8:28 pm
  10. Eddie February 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    How do you get those frames – are they in Exposure 4? Or a separate application?

    • Jeff February 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      They are part of Exposure 4. Here is another article that shows them off.

      The new texture overlay feature can render a variety of frames, dust, scratches, light leaks, and other nifty effects that are very realistic.

      Exposure 4 will be out next week.

      • Eddie February 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm

        ok i found it – some wonderful stuff there. the random button is genius too. Just one thing missing are polaroid borders like type 55 and 665. Any thought of adding those? I am demo-ing PhotoFrame and might buy it just for that but would rather just use Exposure.

        • Jeff February 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

          Good question. Polaroid frames have an almost square area for the photo. Since most photos are 4:3 or wider we would need to provide controls for moving, scaling, and rotating the photo to fit in that smaller space. We decided to wait and see how the texture overlay feature is accepted before adding a lot of complex controls to it. If this feature is popular then we will add frames like Polaroid to Exposure 5. It is very likely!

          • Eddie February 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm

            Yes with PhotoFrame there are controls to scale the borders b/c images aren’t 4×5 anymore. So there would need to be something like that in Exposure 4.5/5 or whatever. I would much prefer that the border scale and not the image layer. I did a quick look in the textures overlay and I though they were very nice – great job. Defiantly room to expand there. One of the things that I dont like about PhotoFrame is that there are so many cheesy frames I would never use.

        • Tom February 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

          Eddie, I did look into those Polaroid frames a little. I do think they would be a great addition but I haven’t been able to get my hands on any examples as of yet. We will definitely consider any requests like this for the next version. Thanks for bringing it up. In the meantime, there are a couple grungy frames in the “Borders” category that might work for you.


          • Eddie February 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

            for my work once in a blue moon polaroid borders are needed – but this one magazine story wants them on something i’m working on now so I have to use PhotoFrame. but for general work I’m going to look into using some of the new textures, I like alot of them.

  11. Nate February 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Looks like the texture/frame overlay for wet plate (and other alt process looks) are not variable… every sample I have seen of wet plat is exactly the same… not endlessly variable like actual wet plate.

  12. Toby April 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Any idea when we can expect a feature to scale overlay textures? I really like the effect, but it would be nice to scale or skew them.

    • Jeff April 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

      I’ll pass that on to the programmers who work on Exposure. Any big new features will appear in the next major version which is at least a year away.

  13. […] fun site too. The pics above are my sad Photoshop attempt to imitate the wet plate look. I know alien skin exposure 4  has a good wet plate look but it’s really not the same.  It’s really hard y’all […]

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