Exposure lesson with Tony Sweet

By | September 21st, 2012|Tutorials, Photography|7 Comments

Tony Sweet wrote this terrific tutorial about his workflow. He integrates a series of texturing steps to change the mood of the image before applying effects with Exposure. Brilliant! Tony, you have the floor. We’re all ears.

Finishing touches can change everything!

Like many of us, I mostly use plug-ins when optimizing an image, and 99% of the time, I use more than one plug-in, texture, or effect. Alien Skin’s plug-ins are unique. I usually use something from Alien Skin during my processing routine. It’s seldom that I use any effect at full opacity. I choose to blend several effects for a different, more painterly look.

In this particular image of the Botzum barn in Cuyahoga National Park, OH, the image before me was not quite what I had in my head.

Apply a texture or two to images with a lot of negative space like this one’s clear blue sky. This starts to alter the feel of the image. For this shot I used a Flypaper texture called chlorophyll as a first step. It’s a very fine-lined texture for the foundation. It was applied with Uwe Steinmuller’s texture blending script.

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view

Next, I applied another Flypaper texture called cirrus skies. This will show up mostly in the sky suggesting clouds. The texture was treated as a regular file (which it is) and curve adjustment layer was added to increase contrast. Then, blended again using Steinmuller’s texture blending script.

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view

Now the image is ready for Exposure 4 for those critical final touches. You can see the color image in the preview panel–it’s in the upper left corner.

I chose the preset Border – Grungy (Fuji Neopan 1600). This rendered the right tonality and has a moderate grunge border. On the Age tab I added the Wet Plate (damaged
surface) texture.

Click for a larger view

I consider image captures as raw material, the first step in the image making process.
In this case, I wanted an image that had the feel of a very old photo like it was discovered in an old chest. But, it needed a bit more contrast to finish it up. This is a well known final “pop” move created by digital photography pioneer, Jeff Schwee.

Click for a larger view

And here’s the final image, quite a bit different from the initial capture. This was what I had in my imagination at the beginning. I have Exposure 4 to thank.

 Check out more of Tony’s work on his website, blog, and on Facebook.

About the Author:

Jimmy is the marketing nerd at Alien Skin. He makes workflow training tutorials, handles affiliates, writes for the blog, manages our contributing authors, governs our social media, and he is the king of swag orders. He also makes a mean cup of espresso, so if you stop by the office, remember to give him cash tips for his efforts.


  1. mark crislip September 22, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I own exposure 4… the trouble is that there’s not enough of a variety of overlays so a lot end up looking the same.

  2. Robert September 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Hi Mark,

    One thing you can try is using the Random Seed button on the Age tab of Exposure 4. This will randomly rotate the texture to provide a more unique look. If you are looking for more control, I will make sure to send your comment on to the development team for consideration.


  3. Tom September 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for the tutorial. I was interested in knowing where you got your blending scripts from that you mentioned. I’ve never really thought of using scripts before in Photoshop.

    • Jimmy September 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Tom,

      No problem, I’ll add a link into the post too. I’m sure there are others that would like to know where to find the script mentioned. Here’s a link to Uwe Steinmuller’s texture blending script.

      • Joyelle October 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm

        I was rlealy confused, and this answered all my questions.

  4. Jeanee James November 28, 2012 at 11:47 am

    HI there,

    I’m brand new to Alien Skin and was wondering if when using Exposure 4 in LR4 can you take the texture or action off certain spots of the image?

    • Robert November 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

      It depends on which part of the image you want to take the texture off of. There is the option to “Protect Center”. This will take the texture out of the middle of the image. If that does not address your issue, please open a support ticket and attach an example of your image. There we can help you in more detail.

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