Alien Skin Software https://www.alienskin.com Simple Tools. Simply Beautiful. Thu, 17 Jan 2019 19:36:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Organizing Photos Automatically https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2019/organizing-photos-automatically/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2019/organizing-photos-automatically/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:00:39 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27727 This quick tip video demonstrates techniques for automating photo organizing tasks in Exposure, such as generating subfolders as you copy images into your library.

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The photo organization tools in Exposure enable you to efficiently organize your images. They include automated methods to streamline recurring photo management tasks and speed you into creative editing. This quick tip video demonstrates how you can automatically organize images with Exposure as you copy them into your photo library.

Watch the video and learn how to have Exposure organize your photos into a hierarchy of automatically-generated subfolders. You’ll see how to customize the process to align with your workflow preferences for file naming and placement; how to simultaneously copy from multiple locations; and how to save workflow presets to automate more of your post-processing steps.

The images featured in this video were provided by Vesic Photography.

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Perspective Correction with Transform Tools https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2019/perspective-correction-with-transform-tools/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2019/perspective-correction-with-transform-tools/#respond Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:00:52 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27700 Distortion issues are easy to see in photos of architecture because straight lines appear curved or angled. Learn how you can correct distortion effects with Exposure’s transform tools in this article.

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Correcting Perspective and Keystone Distortion with Exposure X4

We have all experienced it at one time or another. You are walking around a city with your camera at your side and you unexpectedly see architecture that’s worthy of a capture. You point the camera upwards and press the shutter. That interesting building is probably going to look like it’s leaning backwards, and you’ll probably want to correct that effect.

This visual distortion is called keystoning, or perspective distortion, and it occurs when the camera lens is not perpendicular to the surface being captured, as when you are pointing your camera up at architecture.

This following photo in Turkey was taken looking up from the ground. I was near the pool and had to point upwards to include the pool area and the hotel in the background.

Image #1: Hotel in Turkey (Undedited)

Note that the keystoning effect can also occur when photographing the inside of a building. You want to capture as much of the architecture as possible, and while looking down you might find that the image is leaning forward, rather than backwards, as in the first example.

Image #2: Metropolitan Museum of Art (Undedited)

I should mention that there might be times when we will prefer keystoning for a certain artistic effect. But in general we want to correct it, and this article addresses how we can use Alien Skin Exposure X4 to do so.

The images shown in this article were captured with my Fujifilm equipment (X100 series, and XPro2). I use Exposure in my workflow because it processes RAW and JPG files beautifully, has film simulation presets and adjustment sliders, and a feature set that is easy and effective to use. I discussed Exposure and my workflow in an article for FujiLove’s October 2018 Magazine and in a follow-on website article with my step-by-step Exposure process for the images in the magazine.

Post-Processing with Exposure X4

The remainder of this article describes how I used Exposure to correct the two images shown above. I’ll also show the final edits, which include additional stylistic edits that I made in Exposure.

Image #1: Hotel in Turkey

I visited Cappadocia, an area in Turkey that’s known for its interesting and incredibly unique rock formations. At the end of the trip, I stayed at a hotel that has man-made versions of those formations circling the pool area.

The original photo had several complex problems to solve, which might normally result in my deleting the image without spending the time to fix it. You can see in the original image that the buildings are slanting backwards. As mentioned, this is the type of keystoning that occurs when the camera lens is not perpendicular to the structure and you are looking up to capture the image.

I opened the image in Exposure and made some initial edits. I first opened the Presets panel in the left side of the interface and selected the Fujifilm Velvia film simulation, as it adds some punch to the image. I also adjusted several sliders to the Basic and Detail panels on the right side of the interface (Figure 1) as I wanted to increase the exposure and adjust the contrast, clarity, and sharpness. In addition, the Shadow slider “opened up” the image to a more pleasing result.

Figure 1 – Image in Exposure, after selecting the Fujifilm Velvia film preset and making adjustments in the Basic and Detail panels. Click image for larger view.

Exposure X4 makes it easy to adjust for the optical distortion that I described earlier. As shown in Figure 1, the Transform panel on the right side of the interface has the controls for doing so.

The Vertical slider corrects keystoning by bringing the image forward or backward. For this image, I moved the slider to the left because the top of the buildings were leaning backwards. I checked the Gridlines box to see reference lines that I could use as a guide to make sure that the tops of the buildings would be level as I moved the slider. This step usually results in extra space around portions of the image (Figure 2). The extra space is filled when you check the Constrain Crop box (Figure 3).

Figure 2 – Image with gridlines after the vertical adjustment

Figure 3 – Image with gridlines after checking the Constrain Crop box

As you can see, there’s a small amount of cropping that took place. I accounted for this possibility by taking a slightly wider shot when composing the image in the viewfinder.

I made additional minor adjustments using the Transform Panel, as follows:

Using the Vertical slider can sometimes widen or make some portions of the image taller than they were in the original photo. I used the Aspect slider to make the necessary changes to the formations and other parts of the image.

I made a slight adjustment to the Rotate slider to level the image, and changed the Scale slider to fill the frame and eliminate parts of the image that I didn’t want to see. After making those adjustments, I finished the image with changes to the Y Offset and the X Offset sliders for positioning the image within the frame.

I moved the Y Offset slider to the left in order to shift the image upward (eliminating part of the sky) and to view more of the deep blue colored pool in the foreground. However, as Figure 4 shows, the left side of the photo was cut off in a bad spot. So I used the X Offset slider to shift the photo to the right for the final composition (Figure 5).

Figure 4 – Image shifted up in the frame with the Y Offset

Figure 5 – Final image after shifting left with the X Offset (without gridlines)

All Transform panel sliders and their values are shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 – Completed Transform Panel

Here’s a before and after for the image. It’s quite a dramatic improvement!

Image #2: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Transform panel and other image enhancement adjustments worked really well to correct the optical distortion in an image that was shot by looking up at architecture.

I decided to test the tool’s capabilities with a visit to the beautiful Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I was standing on the second floor, looking down at the many visitors who were on the first floor. As you can see in Figure 7, pressing the shutter resulted in an image that appears to lean forward, rather than away from me, as in the image of the hotel in Turkey.

Figure 7 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Unedited)

Exposure made it really easy to correct this photo. In this case, the Vertical slider is pushed to the right instead of to the left, so that the top of the image is sent back, rather than forward.

Figure 8 shows the adjustments to the original image. I made changes in the Transform Panel to adjust for the perspective distortion. I also added a layer (upper right) and enhanced the image in the Basic and Detail Panel. The final image is shown in Figure 9.

Figure 8 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (adjustments to panel sliders). Click image to view larger.

Figure 9 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (final, after editing)

Summary

I hope these two image examples and the accompanying information about how to use Exposure X4’s Transform tools will help you solve optical distortion issues that you may have when photographing architecture. I’d recommend trying the above techniques if you already have Exposure X4 or if you are currently using the free trial.

Exposure is one of those products that you can use out of the box and without a long learning curve to take advantage of its robust feature set. Perspective correction is just one of its many excellent features. You might need to use several different products to have the complete toolset found in Exposure alone. In addition to Exposure doing a great job processing RAW files, it has the file management functionality and enhancement adjustments of products like Lightroom, and provides layers and masking typically used in Photoshop. I would suggest giving it a try if you haven’t already done so.

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Our Favorite Exposure Quick Tips https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2019/our-favorite-exposure-quick-tips/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2019/our-favorite-exposure-quick-tips/#respond Thu, 03 Jan 2019 18:55:59 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27671 Learn how to use a helpful feature in Exposure in under 2 minutes with our Quick Tips tutorials. They are a great way to learn about specific workflow processes in Exposure.

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Our Exposure Quick Tip videos are short, helpful tutorials. They focus on a specific feature in Exposure, and are designed for busy photographers who want to learn more about the product. Their goal is to provide tips to help with productivity without taking up a lot of time.

These condensed videos are a great way to learn detailed processes in Exposure. They concentrate on workflow areas where users get stuck or confused, or highlight helpful features that users may not be familiar with. Listed below are few of our favorites from 2018.

Gradient Tools

Exposure’s gradient tools enable precise control over effects and presets. They enable you to seamlessly blend edits in your images. This video demonstrates the options available for controlling gradients in Exposure.

Export Profiles

Export profiles are a simple way to make photo exporting in Exposure more efficient. They enable you to export images with specific properties for various uses with a single click. Watch this video and learn how to create, customize, save, and use image export profiles in your workflow.

Histogram Tools

The Histogram panel tools in Exposure display further information about the tones in your images. They include clipping warnings, adjustable clipping thresholds, and a feature to closely-examine the RGB values of your image’s tones. This video shows you how to put all these tools to use in your post-processing workflow.

Virtual Copies

Exposure’s virtual copies enable you to make exact replicas of your images without filling up your hard drive. You can use them to create different crop ratios, quickly experiment with other creative looks, and more. Watch this quick video and learn to utilize this powerful feature.

Preset Audition

A great way to quickly find the perfect Exposure preset for your photos is by using Exposure’s preset audition ability. That tool enables you to compare up to six different presets on the screen at a time, which makes it easier to find the right look. Learn how to compare numerous presets in Exposure in this video.

You can find all of our Quick Tip videos on our YouTube channel. We created a dedicated video playlist just for them. Here is a link to our Quick Tip video playlist.

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Including Exposure Presets in Batch Actions https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/including-exposure-presets-in-batch-actions/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/including-exposure-presets-in-batch-actions/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2018 15:00:19 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27665 Watch our latest how-to video and learn how to integrate your favorite Exposure presets into Photoshop batch actions.

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Integrating Exposure’s effects in Photoshop batch actions is a great way to speed up your editing workflow. They enable you to easily apply your favorite Exposure presets to multiple files all at once.

Watch our latest video tutorial and learn how to record and use your own Photoshop batch actions. We’ll show you how to create a new action that includes your favorite Exposure preset, use it on a whole folder of images, and we offer helpful advice about using Photoshop batch actions with Exposure.

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Best of 2018 https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/best-of-2018/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/best-of-2018/#comments Thu, 20 Dec 2018 16:00:39 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27642 Check out our top five articles from 2018. Topics include comparing Fujifilm in-camera simulations side-by-side with Exposure presets, migrating from Lightroom to Exposure, and more.

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We shared a lot of great content on our blog in 2018. After reviewing every one of our posts, we identified a select few that did a particularly good job providing helpful insight into using our software. The list below is our favorite five blog articles from this year.

#5 – Blow Up Image Enlargement to the Rescue

Increasing the size of a photo usually results in a loss in quality, but not with Blow Up. In this article, Raleigh-based wedding photographer Christopher Nieto recounts how Blow Up’s crystal clear photo enlargement came to his rescue when things didn’t go as planned. Blow Up helped Chris preserve a wedding shoot, and even recreate family heirlooms from cell phone photos.

#4 – Photo Makeover Workflow with Andrea Livieri

We invited everyone to submit an unprocessed RAW image for a chance to have it edited by photography guru Andrea Livieri. Carl Valuquet’s RAW photo underwent the full start-to-finish post-processing in Exposure. Throughout the editing process, Andrea explains how Exposure helps him make creative decisions. Check out the article and learn from each editing adjustment he makes.

#3 – In Search of the Perfect Image Look

Fujifilm X-Photographer Michael Schnabl​ uses Exposure to give his images a lasting first impression. His search for the best tool to give his pictures that perfect look came to an end when he tried Exposure. Now he recommends editing with Exposure because of how well it handles RAW images. In this article, he explains how he uses Exposure to perfect his photos.

#2 – Migrating from Lightroom to Exposure

The easiest way to transfer a Lightroom catalog into Exposure is to do it automatically. Exposure’s migration tool provides you with several options to customize the process. You can efficiently manage what information you’d like to include such as your keywords, copyright, collections, and more. Learn more about using this powerful tool in this quick video lesson.

#1 – Fujifilm Presets in Exposure

Exposure puts a complete library of accurate film simulations at your fingertips. Among them are emulations of the in-camera effects available in modern Fujifilm digital cameras. In this article, avid Fujifilm photographer Michael Gillman compares the in-camera effects from his Fuji XT-2 with Exposure’s Fujifilm presets, including Astia, Provia, Velvia and more.

Thanks for reading our blog this year! We look forward to all the exciting new content we have planned for 2019. Keep up to date with the latest info by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on social media.

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Considering Light and Shadow https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/considering-light-and-shadow/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/considering-light-and-shadow/#respond Tue, 18 Dec 2018 16:00:38 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27626 Ibarionex Perello discusses his method for studying shadow and light to create better photographs. He explains how to make adjustments in Exposure that impact how viewers experience your images.

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By paying attention to shadow, you can understand a great deal about the quality of light. Deep shadows with strong lines inform you that you are working with hard direct sunlight. Soft, diffused shadows reveal that the light is soft and even. That information helps you make a series of choices to make your composition in every kind of photography, including street photography and portraiture.

In this portrait image, the softer lighting of open shade is flattering to the subject. On the other hand, direct sunlight can create a stronger graphic interpretation of a scene. By paying attention to the light, you can better understand where to place a subject and how to expose for the location. That same understanding plays a role when post-processing, where the exposure is just a starting point from which to work from.

By working with RAW files and layers in Exposure, you can enjoy great flexibility without having to launch another application like Photoshop to enjoy that level of control.

Though Exposure X4 provides a wealth of presets to work with, they don’t always need to be used as a starting point. Instead, you can begin the process of interpreting the RAW file to suit your personal vision, and then apply a preset in a separate layer.

Using the Tone Curve panel, you have fine control over the contrast inherent to the image. It is in the development stage when your awareness of light becomes essential. Creative choices can be made for how the highlights, shadows, mid-tones are rendered. In this example, contrast was increased in the darker tones, which push the shadows into deep, rich tones. Or the decision could be made to flatten the contrast for an airier look.

These changes, however, have an impact on color. Increasing the contrast can result in certain colors becoming more saturated. The color adjustment tools in Exposure make it easy to change the luminance, hue or saturation of individual colors. This also provides an opportunity to shape where the viewer’s attention will be drawn in the photo. For example, you can increase the saturation on a subject’s face while desaturating and darkening color values in the background.

Using the various adjustment tools in Exposure, you can easily move from global adjustments to localized changes. These effect particular areas of the image, where you can use them to further enhance light and dark tones.


Take the photo above, for example. Burning (darkening) and dodging (lightening) areas of the composition provide the means by which to adjust brightness and contrast to selective areas of the frame. This enables you to control how the viewer’s eye navigates the image by emphasizing the most important elements in the composition. Darkening areas, such as extra people in the frame, can soften visual distractions, while brightening areas can pique the viewer’s attention.

Exposure’s helpful display options enable you to easily select and compare different looks. And by massaging the RAW image before applying presets, you can make more accurate decisions about the final look of your image. The comparative views in Exposure help you make preset selections that are in line with your personal vision for the photograph.


The virtual copies functionality in Exposure also makes it possible for you to create different edits of the same file, including color and black and white versions. Not only does Exposure provide a variety of black and white presets to choose from, it also gives you the ability to refine the look to their personal taste. This is all done while still editing the original RAW file.

The power of Exposure X4 is that its many tools and controls allow you to approach an image in any variety of ways. It ensures that you create a final image that is a personal expression of your own creativity.

His latest book: Making Photographs: Develop a Personal Visual Workflow is being released this year. The eBook version is currently available and the soft-cover will be in stores in December. You can place an order now and receive a 40% discount off the list price directly from the publisher’s website at RockyNook.com.

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Exposure’s Commitment to Film Simulation https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/exposure-film-simulation/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/exposure-film-simulation/#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:00:51 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27613 Exposure began as an analog film simulator. It's since grown into a full standalone photo editor and organizer, but its core as a film simulator is integral to making it an unmatched creative editing tool.

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As Exposure continues to evolve as a standalone photo editor and organizer, it’s always good to restate our commitment to film simulations, which is what made Exposure such an industry-respected tool for photographers wanting to recapture the look of analog film in their digital photography.

In 2005, we launched Exposure as plug-in for Photoshop, with the goal of bringing the look and feel of analog film to digital photography. To achieve this ambitious goal, we studied every well-known film available. Among the qualities we investigated were grain patterns, sharpness, saturation, color response, and contrast
. With the help of photographers who were experienced film shooters, we succeeded in creating several hundred authentic film presets, as well as grain tools, color toning, and cross processing.

Today, Exposure features more than 500 gorgeous presets, with over 350 accurate film looks. This puts a complete library of film simulations at your fingertips. A full selection of iconic B&W and color films are available, as well as a variety of creative looks that offer different directions. To see a full list, visit our Presets page.

Exposure also enables you to mimic darkroom effects like push and cross processing. You have unmatched control of film grain effects. With Exposure’s grain tools, you can adjust shadows, midtones, and highlights to achieve a truly creative grain adjustment, not simply applying it universally to your entire image.

Exposure is now a standalone editor, which avoids the drawbacks of using it as an external editor in Lightroom. It’s faster, does not take up additional disk space through the creation of a TIFF file, and you are able to avoid unnecessary complexities like catalogs and slow image imports.

Exposure is the only RAW photo editor built on a sophisticated engine designed for film simulation. The work we did to achieve this makes Exposure able to handle your most sophisticated edits in addition to precisely simulating iconic film looks.

It’s not hard to see why digital photographers love analog film presets. They bring a warmth and human element to digital photography. Being able to select and customize your own film looks is a big part of bringing your photo to life. Exposure is unmatched in giving you this ability. We intend to continue evolving Exposure to make it even better for achieving gorgeous film looks.

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Landscape Photography with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone and Exposure X4 https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/landscape-photography-mavic-2-pro-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/landscape-photography-mavic-2-pro-exposure/#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:00:55 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27564 Travel photographers Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale of Follow Me Away share their experience shooting in Iceland with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and how they used Exposure X4 to bring their images to life.

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Hello! We are Victoria and Terrence from Follow Me Away. We love travel, beautiful landscapes, and of course, photography. We are long-time Alien Skin Exposure users and recently added aerial photography to our bag of tricks over the past year and a half. Iceland is one of our favorite destinations on this planet and holds a special place in our heart, so we were excited to return to this beautiful country for a third time last September. We planned to photograph with the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and edit the landscape images in the new Exposure X4 software. Here is our experience shooting and editing our content from Iceland!

Shooting with The Mavic 2 Pro

In case you didn’t know, DJI recently released two brand new drones, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic Zoom. We had owned the Mavic Pro for almost exactly a year and when we saw the impressive updates that the Mavic 2 Pro would come with, the decision to upgrade before our big trip to Iceland was easy. Now we have to be honest, we are not strictly aerial photographers, but instead are DSLR/Mirrorless shooters who love the unique nature, ease, and new artistic heights owning a drone allows us to achieve.

Aerial photography is a wonderful asset to our current work. It provides us with a new perspective on travel and landscape photography that we would never have been able to achieve for such an affordable price prior to owning a drone. The Mavic 2 Pro features are game-changing for portable aerial photography and within moments of our first flight in Iceland, we were hooked. The Mavic 2 Pro is a fabulous addition to our gear bag.

The most outstanding feature of the Mavic 2 Pro is the impressive image quality. The camera on our original Mavic Pro was 12 megapixels and although it was still a great piece of equipment, the image size did lack when compared to our full-frame DSLR and Mirrorless cameras. That is no longer even the slightest issue because the new Mavic 2 Pro comes updated with a 20 megapixel Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch sensor. The Mavic 2 Pro also supports a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile that yields higher dynamic range for more flexibility in the grading room while leaving greater space for post-production, which we couldn’t wait to test in Iceland.

The 20-megapixel upgrade is a fantastic evolution in aerial photography and really allowed us to implement drone work into our workflow more easily. Now, if we want to zoom, crop, or enlarge an image taken with the Mavic 2 Pro, we will have no issues and won’t lose any noticeable quality. It is also worth noting that the drone will shoot both JPEG and RAW and writes to a microSD card. We choose to shoot in both formats for greater freedom in post-production.

This image taken from Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland is the perfect example to showcase the quality of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This was also the first drone image we took with the Mavic 2 Pro in Iceland. What you see here is an unedited photo straight out of the camera. Upon first inspection, you can see that the quality appears to be fantastic and it leaves you curious to see just how great a drone with 20 megapixels can do.

Although the Mavic 2 Pro does come with an updated camera, it does not come with a “portrait mode” feature like the Mavic Pro did. Thankfully, that doesn’t matter as the 20-megapixel quality allows for cropping later. We wanted this photo from Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland to be portrait oriented so that we could more easily share it on our Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Here is what a vertical cropped version of this straight out of camera image looks like.

As you can see, the image quality isn’t reduced in the least bit and all features of the landscape show up crystal clear. You can even see that the tiny sheep in the photo are sharp and in focus. Can you spot them?

Finally, let’s say we wanted to do a real tight crop of this image. Sometimes tight crops are necessary in photography and shooting with a drone is no different. As you can see, once we crop this unedited image all the way until it is so tight it just features Skogafoss itself, there is still great quality in the image. Everything from the detail in the waterfall itself to the rocky cliffs surrounding it are sharp and in-focus, and the reduction is relatively minimal when compared to the original un-cropped image.

This is a serious testament to the superb image quality of the Mavic 2 Pro. If you are a traditional DSLR camera photographer and have been holding off on trying aerial photography because you are worried about potential reduction in quality, now is the time to give it a try. The Mavic 2 Pro will seriously impress you!

Shooting with The Mavic 2 Pro in Low Light

So how does all of this transfer to low-light shooting? During our time in Iceland, our schedule was so jam-packed we were driving 8 hours a day. That means that we may not have gotten to our desired location until sundown. When we arrived in the Westfjords, the sun had already set, but we knew we wanted to send up the Mavic 2 Pro for a flight so we could test out the low-light features.

For evening shots, the Mavic 2 Pro’s new HyperLight feature is a low-light setting designed to enhance your images while significantly reducing noise. It is also worth noting that the Mavic 2 Pro has an ISO range from 100-12,800, which is incredibly helpful when shooting in the dark or during low-light situations. Our Mavic Pro had a range of 100-3,200 so we immediately noticed a significant improvement.

In the image below, since there was still a bit of light left in the clouds, we shot on manual mode and exposed for the sky. We will bring back the color and light in the foreground later in Exposure X4, which we will discuss further below in this article. In the meantime, we wanted to show you what a true straight-out-of-camera low-light shot looks like on the Mavic 2 Pro. Just wait until you see the “after” later in this article!

We wanted to see just how good the low-light quality of the Mavic 2 Pro is, so we cropped the unedited image, which you can see here. When inspecting the cropped image, you can still see great detail and image quality in the landscape. You can see the lines in the road, the detail in the water and beach, and the rocks along the fjord. We were quite impressed with the low-light improvements, and additional features such as the “tripod” mode make the Mavic 2 Pro a great asset to your camera arsenal. Tripod mode slows the speed of the drone down to just 2.2mph, which allows for easier night and low-light photography.

Editing Mavic 2 Pro Photos In Exposure X4

We have been editing with Alien Skin Exposure products in our workflow for years. Pretty much any photo of ours that you look at has been touched by Exposure in at least some way, and it is our favorite color grading tool on the market.

Over the years, Alien Skin has come out with many new improvements to Exposure. Exposure X4, the latest release, offers features like better RAW conversion tools, enhanced color toning tools, smart collections for organizing your images, and even light effects that you can add and rotate on any image. Alien Skin has evolved Exposure so much that it makes a wonderful stand-alone editing tool.

Since we already use Exposure in our DSLR/Mirrorless photography workflow, we were excited to try out Exposure X4 and all of the new features on our Mavic 2 Pro photos we captured in Iceland. We couldn’t wait to try some of our favorite tools coupled with some of the new additions Exposure X4 has to offer.

Exposure X4’s Outstanding Shadow and Highlight Recovery

Vestrahorn Mountain, located along Iceland’s east coast, is one of our favorite places in the country. We had thought about our return visit to Vestrahorn for over a year, and never could have imagined we would be bringing a 20-megapixel drone with us along the way either. When we arrived, we were a bit sad that shadows had covered the mountain, but as they cleared, we realized they added to the moody atmosphere.

We shot this image on the Mavic 2 Pro in RAW and on manual mode. Unfortunately, during the shoot, we didn’t do a great job “exposing for the sky” as the day wore on, which led to little detail and separation in the sky with the clouds being a bit blown out. You can see the RAW unedited image in Alien Skin below. Pay close attention to the sky.

Luckily, we knew about the brand new Exposure X4 update, and wanted to see what it could do to help us bring back detail in the sky. One of the best features is the overhaul to shadow and highlight recovery, something this photo from Iceland sorely needed. Once we pulled the image from Vestrahorn into Exposure and applied the new and improved highlight and shadowing tool, we were able to recover all of the detail that originally appeared lost in the unedited shot. As you can see, using the highlights and shadowing tool allowed us to provide depth and drama to an image that would have been much more “flat” otherwise.

Exposure’s layering feature really helped us bring this image together to take it from the drab “before” to the striking “after.” Unlike other color grading programs on the market, Exposure offers the ability to create layers and masks, just like Photoshop. Couple that with the RAW processing and other features offered, and Exposure really is a powerful tool for editing drone photography.

In the screenshot below, you can see all of the layers used to create this image in the top right. If you look closely, you can also see the masks and where we “painted back” the area we wanted or erased a part we didn’t love.

We used layers to help us achieve the desired look on the water, sky, and sand. We really wanted to make the mountain and the beach stand out to showcase the beautiful black sand, but we didn’t want that to affect other areas of the photo and layers made that easy. Similarly, we wanted to color tone the water and sky to add depth and drama, but we wanted to do so individually so the colors wouldn’t run together. The layers feature in Exposure is one of our favorite tools and coupled with the improved highlights and shadowing tool, we were able to create a great finished edit of our Mavic 2 Pro drone image.

Remember that Westfjords photo we shot on the Mavic 2 Pro? We shot it after it was already dark out and the Mavic did a great job shooting in low-light. Now that we are at the post-production stage, we brought the image into Exposure to see what we could do. Check out the straight-out-of-camera shot below to remind yourself of what the “before” image looked like.

To recover this low-light image in Exposure, first we brightened the image using a combination of the exposure slider and the Tone Curve tool. We love that Exposure offers a detailed curves adjustment tool, as it allows us to play around and really achieve the look and feel each image deserves.

You can see us begin to brighten the image using curves if you look to the right of the image below. As you can see on the left of the screenshot, we could also have chosen to use one of Exposure’s many preset options or created our own. If we were going to be editing multiple images from the same set, we would create our own preset and save it for future applications. Since we only edited one shot from the set, we didn’t use any presets and edited by hand instead.

We also used the Tone Curve tool to darken the image to make a vignette, and then used the layers feature to paint back the darker area where we want to see it on the image so that our editing draws the eye to the featured parts of the photo. If you don’t want to go about it that way, Exposure’s Vignette tool that enables you to set and customize vignettes as you see fit.

Since this image was shot after dark, we didn’t want to brighten it too much so that we would lose the quality presented by the Mavic 2 Pro. We worked with our favorite Exposure tools from HSL adjustments, curves, layers, and white balance sliders to bring the image back to life without making it look fake, overly done, or “too bright” for the time of day at which it was shot. This allowed us to edit a realistic version of what the Westfjords actually looked like during our visit. Below is the finished edit of this image!

The Finished Product

As you can see, editing in Exposure X4 really allows us to bring out the fabulous color tones and detail captured with our Mavic 2 Pro in Iceland. Below are some of our favorite shots from the trip edited in Exposure X4 and shot on the Mavic 2 Pro all around the country. Iceland is one of our favorite places in the world for landscape photography and although we didn’t get ideal conditions every day (it rained a lot), we were still able to make it work with Exposure X4 and the Mavic 2 Pro by our sides!

To learn more about the Mavic 2 Pro, visit DJI’s site.

To view more of Victoria and Terrence’s work, visit their travel and photography blog Follow Me Away. This article was produced in collaboration with DJI, makers of drones and aerial photography systems.

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Copying Images from Multiple Locations https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/copying-images-from-multiple-locations/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/copying-images-from-multiple-locations/#respond Tue, 11 Dec 2018 16:00:37 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27596 Watch our latest video and learn how Exposure makes your photos easy to access, regardless of where they are saved. We’ll show you how Exposure gives you total control over the process.

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Exposure makes it easy to copy files to your computer, regardless of where they are located. You can copy images into Exposure from locations such as external hard drives, USB sticks, network shares, or cloud storage like OneDrive or Dropbox. Exposure’s Copy from Card feature gives you total control over your copied files. Even though it’s called Copy from Card, it can be used to copy from any folder your computer can access.

Watch the video and learn how you can copy files in Exposure from multiple locations. We’ll show you how to assign the destination folder where to copy images to, and how to organize them to subfolders automatically. Additionally, you can modify image names, add metadata, assign keywords, or even apply presets to automatically-generated virtual copies.

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Retouching Portraits in Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/retouching-portraits-in-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/retouching-portraits-in-exposure/#respond Fri, 30 Nov 2018 15:00:44 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27550 Exposure offers many great tools for performing portrait retouching. Learn how you can put them to use in your workflow in this video tutorial.

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Exposure’s editing tools are excellent solutions for perfecting your portraits. The tutorial above demonstrates how to perform everyday portrait retouching tasks in Exposure.

Watch the video and learn how to speedily edit your portraits. We’ll show you how to eliminate distracting elements like stray hairs, dust spots, and skin blemishes with Exposure’s Spot Heal tool. Correct for stains on teeth like food, lipstick, or dark lighting with the Whiten Teeth brush preset. Give the eyes of your subjects a vibrant pop with the Enhance Iris preset. And smooth unwanted skin texture to remove fine lines, redness, shadows, and pores with the Soften Skin preset.

In addition to tackling one retouching task at a time, Exposure includes a selection of multi-layer presets that apply several retouching layers simultaneously. These options can simplify your workflow and save you time.

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Using Exposure in a Tethered Photo Shoot https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/using-exposure-tethered-photo-shoot/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/using-exposure-tethered-photo-shoot/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2018 16:01:31 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27522 Author and photographer Sean McCormack demonstrates Exposure’s tethered shooting capability in his article for Lightroom Magazine. Check it out and learn more about how Exposure’s tethering capability and editing tools work for professional food photography.

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Photographer and author Sean McCormack wrote a recent workflow article for Lightroom Magazine that featured Exposure. In the piece, he demonstrates his entire workflow for food photography shooting tethered using Exposure. He covers set up, lighting, camera equipment, and then shows how he uses Exposure during the shooting, culling, and editing portions of his workflow. Check out the article PDF.

Thanks to KelbyOne for granting us permission to reprint the article. KelbyOne Pro members have access to all the issues of Lightroom Magazine. You can learn more about what they offer on their website.

Click image to view larger

To download the PDF, right-click on this link and select ‘Save Link As…’. Then choose a folder on your computer, and select Save.

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Alien Skin Gift Cards https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/alien-skin-gift-cards/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/alien-skin-gift-cards/#respond Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:00:28 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27516 Alien Skin gift cards are a great choice for the photographers and designers on your holiday shopping list.

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If you are not sure what to get for a photographer friend of yours this holiday season, a gift card from Alien Skin is an excellent option. It’s a great opportunity to share your favorite creative editing software with them.

If your friends already own a previous version of our software, they can use a gift card to upgrade to the latest version. Or they can select from any of our software titles, including the new Exposure X4 Bundle, which integrates the latest version of Exposure, Snap Art, and Blow Up into one product at a low price.

Gift cards are now available in our store.

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Creating Wall-Sized Prints with Blow Up https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/creating-wall-sized-prints-blow-up/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/creating-wall-sized-prints-blow-up/#comments Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:00:08 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27452 Aerial photographer Enrique Colección explains why he relies on Blow Up’s crystal clear photo resizing technology when creating wall-sized prints of the Pyrenees Mountains.

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Enrique Coleccion is a talented aerial photographer who meticulously documents the great Pyrenees Mountain range that borders France and Spain. His grand panoramas capture the ruggedness of the mountain peaks and beautifully document scenic landmarks in the terrain. Enrique’s work is a popular choice for installations in hotels, outfitters, restaurants, and observatories where visiting tourists admire it for inspiration and as a reference. His print pieces start at 60x90cm (24×36), but they are often enlarged to cover an entire wall.

One of the most hidden lakes of the Pyrenees is Estaing Lake in Val d’Azun, France. Enrique spent several weeks at this location creating routes for the new Auberge du Lac d’Estaing.

Why He Chose Blow Up

Resizing photos with Photoshop didn’t produce satisfactory results for Enrique. He often had to lower the image quality to 158, 118, or 38 dpi to make an image large enough to fill a wall. Enrique noticed subtle noise appearing in all his enlargements using this method. The larger the enlargement size, the more obvious the noise issues would be. Enrique would then clean up the image with a lengthy retouching process to correct resizing problems. As printers advanced to handle higher resolution photos, the time Enrique spent retouching photos grew longer. When he discovered Blow Up, it immediately changed the way he worked, which eliminated the need to retouch his photos after enlargement.

Restaurant La Ceramica in Barbastro, Spain. The inhabitants of Barbastro are great admirers of the highest peak of the Pyrenees, the Aneto, 11,167 feet. The original photo was 12 X 18 inches, but Enrique enlarged it with BlowUp to 104 x 167 inches, and the image maintained good quality.

Excellent Resizing Quality

Blow Up’s excellent photo resizing quality helps make Enrique’s massive installations possible. It’s capable of increasing the size of a photo several times over without sacrificing image quality. In 2018, Enrique produced his largest print, a massive 23-foot long photograph for the cyclist and mountaineering tourist destination in Argelès-Gazost, France, The Tourmalet Experience. It documents several ascending cycling routes of Enrique’s design, which connect to the legendary cols of the Tour de France.

Enrique scaled the slopes of Col de Tourmalet at 2:00 am with his headlamp, ice-ax, crampons, tripod, and camera to capture this impressive scene. The original image was formed by stitching four photos together before being enlarged more than six times with Blow Up.

Enrique has put Blow Up’s resizing technology to the test with the massive enlargements he creates. He has enlarged his photos up to 686% and had good results. He happily touts that the print he resized at that amount retained its quality and sharpness. Enrique says, “If a photo has good resolution and clarity, you can easily enlarge it with Blow Up to an incredible size.”

Casa Moliné in the Barrabés Valley is a Pyrenean style boutique hotel with photo walls at the heads of its beds. Pictured here are the Crabioules Circus, the Benasque Valley, and Aneto, the highest mountain in the Pyrenees. The panorama was originally 32 inches and was enlarged by 475% with Blow Up to nearly 13 feet.

Simplified Workflow

After completing initial tests using Blow Up, Enrique was confident it was the image resizing solution he needed. The pictures he resized with Blow Up didn’t need additional retouching, which simplified his photo resizing workflow. Now, his final image prep only takes him a minute. With Blow Up, Enrique is always confident his enlarged images will look great, and they won’t need any retouching clean-up.

Hut of Montgarri, in Val d’Aran, Spain. Due to its location, it is the only place in the Aran Valley where dog sledding trips are offered in winter along with snowshoeing, skis, and snowmobiles. Inside the refuge are large prints hung in several rooms, the largest of them was resized over 600% with Blow Up.

Enrique’s inspiring larger-than-life-sized panoramas have been made possible by Blow Up’s crystal clear image enlargement technology. His workflow for creating massive prints has greatly improved since he started using Blow Up. He now produces higher quality prints more quickly because he can forgo the final noise-removing retouching steps that he previously had to do during the enlarging process in Photoshop. Enrique’s huge panoramas have inspired countless visitors and tourists with the same passion he has for the Pyrenees. “In many cases, enlarging photos with Blow Up is often nothing short of a miracle,” he says.

Learn more about Enrique and see more of his photos by visiting the Routes of the Pyrenees created by Colección EGF on his Wikiloc page. It documents outdoor trails for cycling, hiking, and other activities and is a place of inspiration for photographers.

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Formatting Automatic Dates in File and Folder Names https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/formatting-automatic-dates-file-folder-names/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/formatting-automatic-dates-file-folder-names/#respond Fri, 09 Nov 2018 16:00:16 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27438 Watch this quick tip video and learn how to customize naming templates in Exposure to automatically include photo metadata in names of files and folders.

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Exposure’s file naming templates are a great way to simplify the organization of your photo library. They enable you to automatically include photo metadata in file and folder names. You can customize how Exposure formats date metadata so they align with your current organization system.

Watch this tutorial and see the control you have to format automatically generated filenames in Exposure. We’ll show you how to incorporate date and time metadata, separate elements for clarity with additional characters, include leading zeros to sort images in alphabetical sequence, and more.

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Creating Stunning Overlay Effects in Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/creating-stunning-overlay-effects-in-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/creating-stunning-overlay-effects-in-exposure/#respond Tue, 06 Nov 2018 16:08:21 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27431 This informative video shows how to enhance photos with Exposure’s beautiful overlay effects. You’ll see how to customize their placement, opacity, alter the blend mode, set protected areas, and more.

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Exposure’s overlays are a great way to add artistic elements to your photos. You can easily apply borders, light effects, and textures using the controls in Exposure’s Overlays panel.

Exposure gives you creative freedom to customize the overlays you use in a myriad of ways. Precisely position light effects using Exposure’s move and rotate abilities. Scale, adjust opacity, or use a different blend mode to achieve diverse creative possibilities. Alternatively, you can further extend the artistic limits for your images by importing your own.

Watch our Overlays tutorial and learn how you can enhance your images with Exposure’s beautiful overlay effects. We’ll show you how to browse Exposure’s library of high-quality overlays, adjust the position, scale, and opacity of the overlays, and protect areas of your images from their effects. You’ll also see how to set various blend mode options for the overlays you use and learn about how each mode will affect your photo.

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Inspiring Eerie Exposure Edits https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/inspiring-eerie-exposure-edits/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/inspiring-eerie-exposure-edits/#respond Tue, 30 Oct 2018 16:06:45 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27389 In this article, photographers Jay Cassario and Sharon Covert share editing methods they use in Exposure to enhance eerie Halloween-themed moods in their images.

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Halloween is almost here, and we all know how fun this time of year can be for kids and adults alike. Since Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, we’re celebrating by sharing inspirational photo editing methods to enhance themes of creepy, mysterious, or spooky. In the article below, pro photographers Jay Cassario and Sharon Covert share their techniques for enhancing otherworldly themes in their images with Exposure.

Mystical Monochromes with Sharon Covert

Conceptual fine art self-portrait artist Sharon Covert is a visionary educator and photographer. She’s always had a fondness for dark, mysterious images, which she has made the main editing goal for all her work. Her photos create captivating unearthly moods, which she emphasizes in her edits in Exposure.

One of the first edits Sharon usually makes is to darken the exposure of the image. This adjustment decreases the amount of ambient light filling the scene, including the appearance of any distracting elements in the background. Sharon then punches up strategic highlight areas with Exposure’s brush tool, such as the details on the skirt and veil. Then, she selects a preset from one of her favorite families: Polaroid 55. The Polaroid 55 options add an even darker tonal shift to the blues and greens in these photos specifically, which further separates the subject from the background elements.

Sharon always introduces one of Exposure’s subtle light effects in the corner of her photos. She keeps the opacity value low so the effect is delicate enough that you won’t notice it unless it’s pointed out. Sharon has been adding corner light effects to all her self-portraits for years. It’s one element of her signature look.

Sharon Covert’s work has been published in Click Magazine, The Sun, Adore Noir, SHOTS Magazine, and in several juried art exhibitions from around the world. Her driving goal is to share and teach women about the healing benefits of self-love and self-exploration through self-portraiture. Head over to her website to learn more or follow her on Instagram.

Haunting Color Scenes with Jay Cassario

Leica ambassador Jay Cassario is a respected wedding and portrait photographer, educator, and contributing writer for SLR Lounge. One of his main objectives as a photographer is to tell a unique story through his images without saying a word. Exposure’s editing tools enable Jay to make his photos tell a complete story, including any eerie tales of allegedly haunted shoot locations.

Eastern State Penitentiary was closed in 1971 and is considered by some to be one of the most haunted places in America. Jay shot a newly married couple in that location, which uniquely juxtaposed the ideas of their new lives beginning together and of death.

The well-dressed couple clearly don’t belong in that decaying location, which implies uneasy feelings like they are trespassing where they shouldn’t be. Jay increased the contrast on the photos in Exposure to emphasize the texture in the crumbling prison walls and to clarify the outlines of the couple. He also added grain to reinforce the gritty feel of the building’s deteriorating condition. These editing adjustments helped set the mood of the newlyweds visiting this nightmarish location.

To make the subjects pop with detail, Jay increased the clarity. He controlled the application of the clarity effect using the brush tool. As a final touch, he deepened the shadows to crush the mid-blacks and clearly separate the subject outlines from the background texture. The silhouettes from this shoot also suggest the idea of trapped souls that haunt the property, which helps the mood read particularly well.

Jay Cassario is a creative and artistic wedding photographer based out of South Jersey. His focus is unique storytelling through the photographs he captures. He is known for his beautiful imagery and his unique processing style. Learn more about him on his website, or check out his work on Instagram.

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Using Multiple Monitors in Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/using-multiple-monitors-in-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/using-multiple-monitors-in-exposure/#comments Thu, 25 Oct 2018 18:38:15 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27376 Exposure enables you to edit photos with multiple monitors, which is a great way to increase your productivity and comfort. This video teaches you how to customize your Exposure workspace when using a second screen.

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Exposure’s support of multiple monitors enables you to double your photo editing workspace by adding a second screen. The main benefit of using more monitors is using all the available screen area. When using Exposure, a second screen enables you to display the grid, the editing docks, and the zoomed-in views at the same time. You can edit an image at full screen on one monitor and visually confirm that your adjustments are consistent with other photos you’ve already processed on the other.

Watch the video and learn how to use Exposure in a multiple monitor workflow. We’ll show you how to enable the second screen, how to move control docks to the secondary screen, and more.

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Shooting Tethered with Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/shooting-tethered-with-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/shooting-tethered-with-exposure/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2018 15:00:49 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27335 Folder monitoring in Exposure enables tethered shooting workflows. You can preview images on a large screen, cull, edit, apply presets and more, immediately after taking the shot. Watch this video to learn how.

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Folder monitoring in Exposure enables tethered shooting workflows, which can significantly streamline studio photo sessions. When shooting tethered with Exposure, you can display images on a large screen as your camera captures them, enabling you to immediately cull them, verify precise focus, analyze your lighting, study each photo’s details, and show them to your client. Additionally, Exposure can automatically assign organizational keywords and apply your favorite presets to your images as your camera records each shot, saving you lots of time and enabling you and your client to decide on the right look during the shoot.

Watch this video and learn how to use Exposure for tethered shooting. We’ll demonstrate the entire process from plugging a tethering cable into your camera and setting up a monitored folder, through shooting, culling, and applying edits. You’ll learn how to make Exposure automatically assign creative presets or a set of keywords to your images as you click the shutter, and more.

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Our Daily Photo Feature https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/our-daily-photo-feature/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/our-daily-photo-feature/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 18:02:06 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27338 For a chance to be featured in one of our daily Instagram reposts, use our #myexposureedit hashtag on the best work you create using Exposure. Learn more about submitting, and see some of our favorite posts using that tag.

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In April 2017, we launched our #myexposureedit Instagram hashtag, and since then we’ve reposted a feature image that uses that hashtag nearly every day. Recently, the #myexposureedit tag hit a huge milestone of over 16k posts!

Do you follow Alien Skin on Instagram? If you don’t already, pay us a visit at instagram.com/alienskinsoftware/ and see all the inspiring work we feature.

If you would like to have your work considered for our daily feature posts, use the #myexposureedit on images you’ve edited in Exposure. Please avoid posting images with borders, because they can look incomplete when they are automatically cropped for our grid. And please consider that we have a diverse audience, so we only repost family friendly photos.

Our reposts always include the original post and tags to provide credit. We thank the photographer on their original post, and usually create an Instagram Story featuring the image. Additionally, we share the #myexposureedit posts at different times of day to accommodate our fans all around the world.

Check out some of our favorite shots shared using the #myexposureedit tag:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Saray Taylor-Roman (@taylorromanportraits) on

 

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A post shared by Photography – Art (@nikkiharrisonart) on

 

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A post shared by Saray Taylor-Roman (@taylorromanportraits) on

 

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A post shared by Robert Coppa ANZIPP, APP AAIPP (@robert.coppa) on

 

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A post shared by Paul Cook (@bigcookie62) on

 

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A post shared by Fotografie-Bamberg (@fotografiebamberg) on

 

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A post shared by Tampa Wedding Photographer (@stillsbyhernan) on

 

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A post shared by piia ylisalmi photography (@piiaylisalmiphotography) on

 

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A post shared by TJ Drysdale Photography (@tjdrysdale) on

 

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A post shared by Gustavo Franco (@gustavofrancofotografia) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jenna Adele Barrett (@antheminart) on

Thank you to everyone who has used the #myexposureedit hashtag! Please continue to use the hashtag on the great work you make with Exposure and even mention us in your IG stories, too.

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Toggling Dock Visibility in Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/toggling-dock-visibility-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/toggling-dock-visibility-exposure/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:00:11 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27321 In this quick tip video, we show you how to control the visibility of Exposure's docks with keyboard shortcuts. This enables you to quickly hide controls that you aren't using, so you can see more of your image.

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Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to streamline your photo editing and organizing processes in Exposure. The key combinations to open and close the docks are particularly useful. They eliminate the need to move your mouse to the edges of the screen to show or hide docks, providing you instant access to changing your view. Hiding the docks enables you to view your photos larger, which helps you stay in the creative editing zone. These keyboard shortcuts can be used at any point in your workflow.

Watch the video and see how to control docks in Exposure using the keyboard. We’ll show you several shortcuts that close and open individual docks, or all of them at once. You’ll see how they help you effortlessly change between photo editing and organizing tasks.

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Migrating from Lightroom to Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/migrating-from-lightroom-to-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/migrating-from-lightroom-to-exposure/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 14:00:26 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27307 Exposure’s migration tool makes it easy to transfer large Lightroom libraries to Exposure. Watch this video to learn how it works.

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Exposure’s Lightroom migration tool enables you to easily transfer images, keywords, collections, and other metadata from your Lightroom catalog into Exposure.

The migration tool includes the essential metadata for each image in your photo library, like culling and naming info. It converts your Lightroom library folders into Exposure bookmarks, so your organization system remains the same. There are useful migration options, such as only copying keywords you’ve applied to images in your library, or including your entire library of keywords (which includes parent/child hierarchies). The process of migrating from Lightroom to Exposure is fully automatic and easy to use.

Watch the video and learn how to transfer your Lightroom catalogs to Exposure using the migration tool. We’ll show you which metadata options you can select to bring forward, such as keywords, copyright, name, address, collections, collection sets, and more.

For further information about what Lightroom metadata is recognized by Exposure, read this article.

The Lightroom migration tool was introduced in Exposure X4. Earlier versions do not have a migration tool. If you own an earlier version of Exposure, you can manually move your work and data from Lightroom. This article shows you how.

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Exposure’s Informative Histogram Tools https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/exposures-informative-histogram-tools/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/exposures-informative-histogram-tools/#respond Thu, 27 Sep 2018 14:00:16 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27283 Our latest video demonstrates how Exposure’s Histogram panel tools can give you additional information about the tones in your photos, which can help you make creative decisions when editing.

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The tools in Exposure’s Histogram panel provide you with helpful information about the tones in your images. These tools include clipping warnings, which highlight the areas where highlight and shadow detail is lost in your photos so you can adjust your edit to compensate. Exposure’s clipping thresholds can easily be customized to include more of the brightest or darkest tones in your images. And you can use Exposure’s display of the RGB values of a sampled area in your photo to scrutinize the colors carefully.

Watch this video and learn how to use the clipping warnings to guide your editing adjustments. You’ll see how you can modify the clipping thresholds, and how to closely-examine sampled tones in your photos with Exposure’s RGB display.

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In Search of the Perfect Image Look https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/in-search-of-the-perfect-image-look/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/in-search-of-the-perfect-image-look/#comments Wed, 26 Sep 2018 14:00:23 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27260 Michael Schnabl relies on Exposure to get the most out of his Fujifilm RAW photos and to help create the final looks for his portraits.

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When I started to work intensively on image editing about twelve years ago, I quickly realized that a cool color look or first-class black-and-white conversion is enormously important for the first impression of a picture. A favorable first impression is what leads viewers to take a longer, more careful look at an image.

Let’s consider that every day, hundreds of millions of images are uploaded to social media, photo communities and photo agencies. We have to deal with hundreds, even thousands of images we see every day. And then think about it, how many of them can you still can remember the next day? One, two, or maybe three. Average photos have absolutely no chance. An image that remains in our memory must have something special. This can be a breathtaking landscape, a particularly beautiful or striking person, or even provocative image content. A beautiful color look or an impressive black and white conversion support the image statement and increase the impact enormously.

So we must find tools that help us achieve this level of impact.

Lightroom and Photoshop very quickly became my constantly used tools in image editing, but I was always on the lookout for software that could better support my desire to create perfect, memorable images. I bought several different plugins, downloaded tons of presets for Lightroom, but I could not quite reach the classy look I imagined. Color Efex, Viveza, and Silver Efex from Nik were already a huge step forward and my pictures improved quite enormously through the use of these three plug ins. In 2012, Google took over Nik with the negative side effect that, at the time, the software was no longer developed any further. I do not need to explain what this means in a time when the digital world is spinning faster every day.

I think it was early 2014 when Alien Skin’s Exposure was recommended to me by a friend. He used the software in all his pictures to give them the finishing touch and was really excited about it. I did some research and quickly realized that Exposure was being used by some of the top photographers I followed. Many of these photographers had exactly the color look in their pictures that I liked so much. So I downloaded a trial version of Exposure 5 and started experimenting with it.

I quickly discovered that Exposure combined the functionality of multiple plug-ins while being well-arranged and easy to use. It was soon very clear to me that my search had come to an end and I finally had a plug-in with Exposure that enabled me to produce exactly the color looks I wanted.

In contrast to Color Efex or Silver Efex, Exposure has been continuously developed since that time, and the currently available Exposure X4 is now an excellent RAW developer and organizer with countless presets in color and black and white. But Exposure can do a lot more, replacing a whole range of programs and plugins that were needed in the past to achieve something similar. In addition, Exposure is very intuitive and has a very attractive price-performance ratio.

Exposure is particularly recommended for users of Fujifilm cameras because it clearly gets more out of Fuji RAF image data than Lightroom.

The extensive functionality of Exposure, which also includes layers, makes Photoshop superfluous in many fields. You will probably find Exposure to be an all-in-one program that leaves nothing to be desired.

RAW development with Exposure is really intuitive and the image quality you get out of your RAW files is amazing.

My Exposure Workflow

I’m currently in the process of completely switching my RAW development to Exposure, making Lightroom unnecessary in the future.

After copying the pictures from a shoot to my hard drive, I open the folder with the browser in Exposure. I rate the top pictures that I want to edit with five stars, so that I can quickly find them later. Anyone familiar with Lightroom will find themselves comfortable with Exposure immediately, as the basic structure is quite similar. The big difference is that Exposure does not create catalogs, but uses the folder structure of the operating system via browser, as it is known, for example, from Bridge. This is a point many will welcome who could never make friends with catalogs.

With the RAW development, I’m only interested in adjusting the white balance and making some minor changes in saturation, colors, and exposure. The final color look or the black and white conversion I make only at the end.

First, I send the picture from Exposure to Photoshop as a TIFF, for some beauty retouching features that go beyond Exposure. These would be the liquify filter and also advanced retouching methods such as the frequency separation to obtain even skin. In addition, I usually insert a different background in Photoshop, preferably a texture from my Fine Art Textures Collections.

For skin retouching, I still use Photoshop for some advanced techniques that aren’t currently in Exposure, but you will also find some great retouching tools in Exposure, like skin smoothing, blemish removal, and eye and teeth enhancement.

After this work, the image goes back to Exposure where I create the final color look or alternatively the black and white conversion. This switching between the programs works absolutely seamlessly and quickly.

In Exposure, I love the possibility of quickly comparing the effects of different presets and one of the biggest advantages over Lightroom is being able to adjust the opacity of the presets or to combine several presets. When it comes to achieving the final image look, there is in my opinion currently no program that comes even close to the variety that Exposure provides.

For the final look I use Exposure again, where I combine presets in Exposure’s layers.

Since I discovered Exposure, I have gradually uninstalled one plugin after the other, which makes post-production much clearer. Exposure is the only program I use in addition to Lightroom and Photoshop, and the final look of almost all my pictures bears the unmistakable signature of this ingenious software.

I particularly appreciate being able to quickly compare the look of different presets.

Here are some of my images with the final look made with Exposure. I hope you enjoy them, and find that they stand out.

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Exposure X4 is now Available! https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/exposure-x4-announcement/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/exposure-x4-announcement/#comments Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:00:32 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27042 Exposure X4 is now available! It's the newest version of our award-winning photo editor and organizer and includes powerful new features and a giant leap forward in RAW processing.

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I’m excited to announce the release of Exposure X4, the newest version of our award-winning photo editor and organizer. Powerful new features and a giant leap forward in RAW processing quality make Exposure X4 the best choice for creating beautiful photos.

Among the new features are the following:

RAW Processing Enhancements

Improved shadow and highlight recovery enables you to extract the maximum amount of detail from your RAW images, and faster photo processing times speed up your editing.

Fully Adjustable Light Effects

Exposure’s high-quality light effects are now fully adjustable, so you can rotate and place them anywhere in your image, enabling a whole new level of creative possibilities.

Transform Tools

Exposure’s new transform tools enable you to easily correct tilted or skewed perspective, such as keystoning of buildings.

Smart Collections

Exposure now helps you organize your photo library by automatically populating collections based on camera data and metadata criteria that you apply. Shutter speed, keywords, ratings, and color labels are just some of the metadata that Exposure queries to build a smart collection. It’s a great way to speed up your photo library organization, helping you quickly find specific images in your collection.

Monitored Folders for Tethered Shooting

You can now edit, cull, and share your images in Exposure with a client or subject during a shoot thanks to Exposure’s new monitored folders that support tethered shooting. You can even have Exposure automatically apply one or more of its gorgeous presets to your images immediately after you take them.

Speed Enhancements

Image rendering is now up to 30% faster, file exporting is now up to 60% faster, and launch times have been reduced by a third, thanks to improvements in Exposure’s rendering engine.

Additional Features

  • Support for new cameras and lenses
  • Print presets for easy printing straight from Exposure
  • Lightroom migration tool helps you move your workflow from Lightroom to Exposure
  • Expanded workflow options that improve image copying and exporting

Visit the Exposure features page to see a full list of the new features.

If you purchased Exposure X3 on or after July 1st, 2018, we’ll be sending you a free upgrade to Exposure X4 soon. If you purchased any version of Exposure before July 1st, you can use your license code to upgrade to Exposure X4 for the upgrade price of $99.

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Improved Shadow and Highlight Recovery in Exposure X4 https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/improved-shadow-highlight-recovery-exposure-x4/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/improved-shadow-highlight-recovery-exposure-x4/#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2018 15:00:41 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=27014 Watch our preview video and see how you can recover more details from deep shadows and harsh highlights with Exposure X4’s improved Highlights and Shadows controls.

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Exposure X4 is right around the corner, and it will bring powerful new options for editing your images. One area in the new version where Exposure has greatly improved is in recovering lost detail from shadows and highlights in RAW images. These refined controls help you transform under or overexposed shots into gorgeous, striking photos.

Watch our preview video to see how Exposure brings back detail from deep shadows in underexposed areas of an image. You’ll see how Exposure’s outstanding RAW editing quality can elevate your photos to another level.

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