I’m going to share a few ideas for how to use our software tools in travel photography. For more travel topics, see my recent article on low key travel photography and photogenic destinations.

Exposure: Old Looks

Exposure has many presets for old looks. If you want just a little old then there are faded Polaroids or 1970s bluish Ektachrome. Exposure does many variations of Kodachrome, from 1974 all the way back to 1936. And for really aged photos, there are early photographic processes like Calotype and many texture overlays. Just type “vintage” into the settings search box and then mouse over the huge list to quickly see previews.

When you are trying to make a photo truly look like it was shot many years ago, it is important to choose a scene that does not look modern. You will ruin the effect if a Toyota Prius is in a photo that is supposed to look like it was shot in 1940 or 1890. This is where travel photography can help. On many vacations you will encounter scenes that don’t have modern clutter. Just a few examples that come to mind are a Buddhist temple, European castle, or a tropical island (when you aren’t facing the hotel).

The preset used in the photo below is “Wet Plate – Lens Blur” from the “B&W Film – Vintage” category.

Ta Prohm temple near Siem Reap, Cambodia. Wet Plate old effect made using Exposure product from Alien Skin Software.

Ta Prohm temple, near Siem Reap, Cambodia

Exposure: Light Leaks

Some of the new texture presets in Exposure 4 are light leaks. Those look most appropriate in sunny outdoor scenes like you would encounter on a beach trip. The assumption is that really intense light is more likely to be seen through a crack in the camera body. You can find the light leaks in Exposure 4 in the Age tab in the Texture section. For presets that incorporate light leaks, browse the Lo-Fi folders.

The preset used in the photo below is “Kodak Portra 400VC – Light Leak” from the “Lo-Fi” category.

beach scene. close up of starfish. light leak rendered with Exposure product

I also find that the more washed out or faded presets feel appropriate in bright outdoor scenes. Maybe I’m subconsciously thinking that the print was faded by sitting in a sunny place for a long time.

Snap Art

Skies or landscapes are good subjects for Snap Art paint media, such as oil paint, impasto, and watercolor. With portraits you usually need to use Snap Art 3’s layer system to apply more detail to faces. Landscapes are much more forgiving and often look better when you just use large brushes and abstract presets.

Mount Rotui with Snap Art impasto paint effect

Mount Rotui with Snap Art oil paint effect

orange sunset with small fishing boat. oil paint effect from Snap Art software


If you are going for the tilt-shift toy model look then you need a scene shot from high above and far away. At home I don’t have any viewpoints like that, but I find them sometimes when I travel. A view from a tall building or hill usually works well. Here is an example made with Bokeh.

bright green rice terraces from Vietnam. toy model effect from Bokeh software

Rice paddies near Sapa, Vietnam

Blow Up

Tony Sweet pointed out that he sometimes crops landscape photos to make panoramas with wide aspect ratios that he prints very large. That throws away a lot of the image, so Blow Up really helps to preserve sharpness when enlarging to make those prints. The example below is one of my photos, not Tony’s, but you get the idea.

wide panorama of an orange sunset behind clouds


Exposure X4

Exposure is the creative photo editor that gives you everything you need to create beautiful photos.

Try Exposure X4 free for 30 days, and discover a new world of creativity with gorgeous customizable looks and a complete set of editing and organizing tools.