Our Commitment to You

powerful photo editor

Last month, Google announced that it was discontinuing updates for the Nik Collection of photo editing plugins that it bought in 2012. This means that these powerful photo editor plugins will eventually become incompatible with operating systems and will become unusable on all except legacy machines. This loss to the digital photography community underscores the importance of having creative, reliable, and advanced tools for the job of post-processing. Tools and companies that will stick around.

About Alien Skin Software

We’ve been creating award-winning, advanced image processing software since 1993 — that’s almost 25 years. We create reliable tools that photographers and designers can depend on for even the most demanding workflows. Our products are fast and stable. You won’t encounter the bugs, sluggishness, and unstable performance found in many other photo editors. And you’ll benefit from our many helpful training videos and fantastic customer support — friendly, knowledgeable people who respond quickly to you.

About Exposure

For the past 12 years, we’ve been continually evolving our flagship photo editor, Exposure. It has grown from a world-class, legendary special effects plugin into a full-featured, non-destructive RAW photo editor and organizer that handles your entire workflow. It’s always growing, with new features added in response to customer feedback.

Exposure X2 is the latest version.

Fast and Intuitive

Exposure X2 features a fast, intuitive, catalog-free workflow that makes organizing simple and eliminates slow imports and complicated catalogs. Exposure provides all the organizing tools you need to cull your images, manage your folders, and quickly search and sort your photos.

A customizable user interface puts every tool you need onscreen so you can transition seamlessly between all the stages of your workflow.


Exposure is built on an advanced rendering engine that accurately emulates color and B&W analog film, and that handles your most sophisticated edits. Hundreds of tasteful, customizable presets span the history of photography and beyond. You can use them as starting points or as finished looks.

All The Creative Tools You Need

Exposure is a powerful photo editor that provides all the refinement and editing tools you need to finish your images.

Touch-up tools like brushing and spot healing make it easy to refine your photos. Advanced tools like layering enable you to blend an endless number of presets and adjustments for a unique look. Industry-leading special effects tools include vignettes and bokeh to draw attention to your subject, the most authentic-looking film grain available in any photo editor, and adjustable overlays like borders, textures, and light leaks.


Exposure is flexible enough to work as a standalone powerful photo editor and as a plugin with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

So, if you’re concerned about the eventual loss of the Nik Collection tools, we encourage you to try Exposure X2 for free for 30 days. From capture to creativity, we feel that it’s the fastest way to bring your creative vision to life.

Exposure X4

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.

About the Author:

Finley Lee is the CEO of Alien Skin Software. He's a hobbyist photographer, electric bass player, video gamer, bread baker, and experienced napper.


  1. Jeremy June 11, 2017 at 10:31 am - Reply

    I cannot thank you enough for writing and posting this article.

    How about a tutorial that shows how Exposure can make the same localised edits as Viveza, Colour Effex Pro DFine and Silver Effex Pro?

    Nik’s Control Points are so easy and useful, I wouldn’t know where to begin with Exposure X2 when attempting the same edits. The Exposure product page offers a compelling alternative to Photo Mechanic and Capture One combined but, alas, regarding edits in a specific area of a photograph, NIK remains absolute king of all editors.

    Having said that, please, persuade me and countless NIK users otherwise. Preferably with clear examples on the Exposure X2 page.

    • Jeremy June 11, 2017 at 10:46 am - Reply

      I just watched the Bokeh tutorial and now have a better understanding of the behaviour of the panels and tools. If the rest of the panels and tools offer similar behaviour, then Exposure X2 may well become my next photo editing tool.

  2. David Delahoussaye June 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I love your software and will be a long time forever user of it.

    I do have one question. When will exposure x2 have network support. All my work is done over a servers and because of that, I’m unable to utilize the features of X2.

    Thank you.


    • Finley Lee June 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Hi David! Thanks for the comment, and for the kind words about Exposure.

      What kind of network support would you like to see in Exposure? I’d be happy to add it to our list of customer requests.

      Exposure can already be used with networks drives that you attach to with Windows/macOS file sharing. It’s actually an ideal solution in this situation, because catalog-based photography tools can’t easily store edits on a network volume. It’s also possible to use Exposure with network file syncing tools like Dropbox, Bittorrent, and LiveDrive.

  3. gerd jaunich June 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Always loved your stuff. Have most of the programs. Had them for a very long time. Will always support Alien. I think I started with Eye Candy. Its was so unique.

  4. Jonathan Wieder June 17, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Although I use (and love) Exposure, I have not found a replacement for the UPpoint feature in Nik Viveza that allows me to use control points to apply modifications selectively. Am I missing something? Or is there a possibility of adding something like the future?

    • Finley Lee June 19, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

      At the moment, Exposure’s brush tool is the best way to perform selective modifications. Our nondestructive layers tutorial gives a good overview of how it works.

      We’ll look into the idea of adding a control point tool in a future version. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Mark Hames June 27, 2017 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I do appreciate this post. For many years I have used first photoshop and then lightroom with the plugins from NIK (I bought the software and paid dearly for it). And I love NIK, especially Viveza. I hate what google has done. I have been testing various software plugins for a replacement. My initial use of Exposure shows promise. But I don’t think I will ever do the same enhancements as fast as I can with Viveza. Enhancements are so much easier with the UPoint technology. Please, Please add it.

    • Finley Lee June 27, 2017 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Mark! I appreciate your comments. We’ll investigate the idea of adding control point tools in a future version of Exposure. In the meantime, check out our brush tool, which allows you to easily paint an effect in a selected area of your photo. It’s extremely easy and fast, and our new layers panel makes it easy to keep your layers tidy and well organized.

      Check out our nondestructive layers tutorial for more details.

  6. Elliot Stern June 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    It comes as no surprise that Google is getting out of the Nik business. They really only wanted one program which was snapseed. It would be great if they would release the code so other companies who actually care about creative photographers might be able to find a way to incorporate upoint technology.

    But your are correct in regards to brushes working very nicely for local adjustments and truthfully can actually be more efficient than upoint.

    Beyond all of that, and I have posed this question before to Nate who says he passes it on, and I shall ask it again here. I find it exasperating to have to leave Alien Skin X2 in order to print an image. You proudly state but this is not a quote that Alien Skin has all the tools that one would need to finish an image. I am not finished till I print. With all of X2’s sophistication and capabilities why for the life of me have you not simply put in a “print” option in the menu. I mean you have Blowup so photographers can properly size for printing so why not just let us print right from the program?


    • Jimmy Beech June 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks for commenting, Elliot. I want to assure you that we are listening. Printing support is something that we have on the list of features to consider for a future version of Exposure.

  7. Mark September 21, 2017 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Hi – I’m trialling X2 – primarily because I want to find a replacement for the “Structure” slider in Nik’s Viveza.

    Can you advise or direct me to a forum/support area that could help?


    • Finley Lee September 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      In Exposure, the Clarity slider performs a similar effect to Structure in Viveza. Viveza’s slider range is a bit greater than Exposure’s, so try boosting Contrast if you’re looking for a stronger effect.

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