Alien Skin Software https://www.alienskin.com Simple Tools. Simply Beautiful. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:52:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why Exposure is Catalog-Free https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/why-exposure-is-catalog-free/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/why-exposure-is-catalog-free/#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:00:15 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25550 Exposure was designed to be catalog-free, which provides you with many workflow benefits.

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We often describe Exposure as a catalog-free photo editor. That is a key element of its design. But what is a catalog, and why does Exposure use a different approach? Read on and find out.

A catalog is a database that tracks all of your edits and organizing changes. The first generation of photo editors made catalogs central to their design. People associate certain features with a catalog, such as keywords, collections, and virtual copies. But catalogs aren’t necessary to support those features – Exposure has them all and its catalog free-design gives you several benefits.

1. Skip the import step

In catalog-based photo editors, you need to perform an import step before you can work with your photos. In Exposure, you just navigate to your photos and start working.

Bringing in photos to your computer for the first time is easy, thanks to Exposure’s fast and flexible tool for copying from a camera card. You can immediately begin to process your images, even while they are being copied.

2. Easy transfer of files to another computer

In Exposure, edits are stored in small metadata files in the same folder as your raw images. When you copy or move a folder, the edits go with it. To copy between machines, just use a network or USB drive to copy the files. On the new machine, open them in Exposure and your edits will be there already.

This makes syncing your edits while traveling or shooting on the road very easy.

In a catalog-based system, you’d need to export on the first computer, copy the exported files to the new machine, and then import.

3. Easy file sharing with other people

Another advantage to Exposure storing edits alongside photos is that you can easily share your photo projects with another Exposure user with a syncing service like Dropbox or OneDrive.

When you edit a shared file, the changes are saved in the metadata file and synced to the person you are sharing with. On their computer, Exposure notices that the photo has been edited and updates the view to show the latest changes. This enables very fast collaboration.

Here are some scenarios where this helpful:

  • Two photographers working on a wedding together
  • Working with a retouching service
  • A marketing team working on photo projects using a central file server

4. Backups that are easy and safe

Backups are easy to do in Exposure. Just back up the folder containing your files, and your Exposure edits are saved along with the photos they go with. In catalog-based editors, you have to remember to back up both your photos and catalog, which are in separate locations.

Conclusion

Exposure’s advanced design provides all the organizing features you need, while making it easier to move your files to other machines, collaborate, and back them up. It’s a smarter way to work, and is part of what makes Exposure the fastest way to bring your creative vision to life.

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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/#comments Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:56:16 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25546 If you are interested in switching from Adobe Lightroom to Exposure, this article shows you how.

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If you are looking to switch from Adobe Lightroom to Exposure X3, this article is for you. Exposure offers many unique attributes including a lightning-fast, catalog free design, robust organizing tools, and gorgeous special effects. After they try Exposure, many people prefer its faster, more intuitive workflow. We’ve answered plenty of questions about how to migrate data from Lightroom to Exposure, so we put this guide together to help with that.

Before you begin, there is one important caveat to mention. If an Exposure sidecar file already exists for an image, Exposure will ignore Lightroom’s data to keep from merging information that could cause conflicts. Make sure to complete the steps outlined in this guide before you start performing photo editing with Exposure.

What data can be brought over to Exposure from Lightroom?

Much of the organizational information added in Lightroom can be carried over to Exposure. Lightroom normally stores changes to images in a catalog file, but you can have Lightroom write those changes to a location Exposure can access.

Some of the edits made to your images in Lightroom are recognized by Exposure. They are:

  • Crop
  • Rating
  • Image SIze
  • Image Orientation
  • Color Labels
  • IPTC Copyright, Name, Address, and Email

Exposure will not recognize any visual edits you have made to your photos in Lightroom. This includes adjustments such as exposure, white balance, tone curves, or vignettes. If you want to preserve visual edits on your images, you will need to perform an export step to render those changes to the image files. Additionally, Lightroom’s collections, virtual copies, presets, and stacks are not transferable.

Prepare your Lightroom data

You need to write Lightroom’s metadata to the images for all files in the catalog. This enables Exposure to access that info. When that is complete, Exposure will read the saved metadata info when you open the folder. And when it does, it will convert the info to an Exposure sidecar file.

To save Lightroom’s metadata to all your images, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Library module.
  2. Select the ‘All Photographs’ catalog.
  3. Select all images in the catalog — Edit > Select All.
  4. Save the metadata to images — Metadata > Save Metadata to Files.

If you only want to write metadata to some of your image files, instead of selecting all images, you can just select the ones that you want to bring into Exposure.

Migrate Lightroom data into Exposure

Exposure reads XMP files and existing image metadata stored with your photos, so it will automatically import any keywords, ratings, color labels, etc. that you’ve applied to your images. Exposure’s catalog free workflow means there is no import process, so you only need to navigate to a folder of images to start working on them.

Exposure’s folder panel is where you navigate to the images you’d like to work with. Adding bookmarks in the folders list gives you one-click access to your photo library. When you add a folder bookmark, all subfolders and image files contained within them can now be accessed. If your photo folders aren’t already listed in that panel, here is how to add them:

  1. In the Folders panel, click the Add (+) icon.
  2. Navigate to the folder that you want to bookmark.
  3. Click Open.

One last tip: If you have a structured hierarchy of folders, it’s best to add a single root folder that contains them. Learn more about file management in Exposure in our tutorial video.

If you haven’t used Exposure, but you’d like to give it a try, download the free trial and use it for 30 days. Subscribe to our newsletter for new tutorial videos, inspiring customer stories, and the latest information about contests and other special promotions.

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How Exposure Meets The Photo Editing Efficiency Demands of Photojournalism https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/how-exposure-meets-the-photo-editing-efficiency-demands-of-photojournalism/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2018/how-exposure-meets-the-photo-editing-efficiency-demands-of-photojournalism/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:52:37 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25501 Christobal Perez shares his experiences as a photojournalist and an Exposure user.

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Christobal Perez is a former photojournalist who crossed over to weddings and portraiture in 2004. During his time as a professional photojournalist, he worked for several large daily newspapers including The Shreveport Times, The News and Observer in Raleigh, NC, and the Houston Chronicle. During his career in photography he’s won lots of awards, as well as a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

In the interview below, Christobal compares the role he played as a photojournalist to his experience as a corporate and wedding photographer. He shares details about his post processing workflow including the goals he sets for photo editing. Additionally, Christobal provides advice about how to improve your work regardless of the type of photography you do.

efficient photo editing

What differentiates photojournalism from other kinds of photography?

Photojournalism and commercial photography are very different. In photojournalism, you don’t get involved. You can’t dictate, or tell your subjects what to do, or where to stand, and you’re not supposed to move anything in the frame or change the image in any form. You are the truth, you are the eyes of your readers, you’re there to show what’s really happening, and not to alter it in any way, shape, or form. Photojournalism is unique in this way. You have to connect with the subject, and be able to tell their story without direction–that’s challenging. You have to have a lot of skill to perform a job in that manner. Especially the documentary photographers that are out there. They have a tremendous amount of responsibility to the public to generate and create images that tell a story without manipulating the frame or without getting involved.

On the other end of the spectrum is commercial photography, where you have absolute control over all aspects of the story. You can tell your subject what to do, where to stand, how to act, how to dress, what you’re looking for, and you can explain what you’re trying to create in order to tell their story. You are involved in helping make the story along with them as well as creating photos that express that story.

efficient photo editing

How do you prepare for assignments?

When you’re shooting for a photojournalism assignment, or for an assignment for a paper or a magazine, you first gather information to learn about the subject as much as you can. The most important thing you need to be concerned with when you’re photographing people is establishing a connection with them. You have to be able to connect with people. Your connection with them opens the door for them to connect with you. When that happens, they let down that protective ‘you’re an outsider’ wall and you can get some good photos of them, but they have to let you into their world before the magic happens.

When you look at photos and people look uncomfortable, or stiff, or that things look a little off is typically because that connection with the photographer never happened. You can see that the photographer didn’t talk with them enough to build a rapport before they took the photos.

If you really want to connect with your subject, don’t bring a camera with you. Just meet with them and talk about what’s happening and build camaraderie. The stronger connection you build with the subject, the more they will allow you to get out of them in your photos. After enough time has passed, and they trust you enough to let down their walls, then you can go get your camera.

efficient photo editor

How often do you shoot? How much?

When I worked in newspapers and over at the News and Observer in Raleigh, NC, and the Houston Chronicle in Houston, TX, we had several daily assignments, but that would greatly depend on what news was happening. On any typical day I would need to shoot a couple of portraits, a quick assignment for a feature section, and then I would cover a sporting event, like a basketball game or something of that nature. Rarely it was just one assignment per day. Everyday I was out there beating the streets to get things done. It was always a struggle.

My schedule has changed a lot now that I’m not doing photojournalism. I’m definitely not as busy. I’ll do two or three shoots a week, on average. That includes preparation, planning, emails, paperwork, and all the other front and back-end business tasks. As a journalist, you’re reporting to a picture editor who divvies out the assignments per day, and that’s all you had to worry about. That’s it. When you’re done with the shooting and culling, then deliver and go through the images with a picture editor, you’re done for the day and can go home.

How many images do you typically edit and deliver? How quickly do you have to deliver them?

As a journalist, you shoot here and there, for smaller assignments. Unlike shooting a wedding, where you’re there for 8-12 hours on a shooting marathon, you end up with thousands of photos. As a journalist, you’re more of a sprinter. You’re there for the assignment, so you’re only there for an hour or so depending on the assignment. Your not shooting as much, so maybe you’ll end up with 100 images, and out of those, you’ll choose the best 5 or 6. So your delivery amount is very small. If you’re shooting a sporting event, it’s a little longer like 4 hours, but you’re still only looking for the very best shots, or whatever is relevant – like if the quarterback got injured. It’s the most relevant image to what readers will be interested in seeing about that event the next day. After you’re done shooting, you immediately cull each assignment down to the top selects.

efficient photo editor

What is your approach/goal for editing?

My approach and goal for editing is to get to it done as efficiently as I possibly can. I just want to get it over with. Typically from each shoot, I already know which ones are the best. I think we all do when we’re out shooting. We know which ones are amazing, and which ones our clients will love. As a photojournalist, that’s exactly what we were looking for. We want that shot that conveys the story in one image. If you did that, it was the perfect shot for page one or for the front of the section. The remaining top image selections from the shoot could be used to fill the inside pages. That’s what we were trained to do. We wanted just one leading shot for the story, with the goal to get it edited as efficiently as possible.

How do you use Exposure?

I use Exposure for everything. I used to use Photo Mechanic, but I changed over to Exposure because it’s more efficient. Exposure can do everything that I needed Photo Mechanic for, and more. Everything is inside a single program, so transitioning between workflow phases is instant. I don’t have to switch between programs, or import the selections I made in Photo Mechanic into Lightroom, or after making edits in Lightroom, exporting TIFF copies to apply Exposure’s effects. I can do everything I want to do in Exposure from start to finish.

Are there any Exposure features that are especially helpful for photojournalists?

The features in Exposure such as keywording or collections enable photographers of all kinds to quickly find the image or images they’re looking for. For photojournalists, this high speed searching capability is really useful. For example, if I have assignments to shoot college basketball games in North Carolina, I would first think to include an image of Michael Jordan. So I would search through all the photos in my library to find images that include him. Exposure enables me to immediately locate all them simply by filtering by keywords. That saves me a ton of time.

Also, when working on an assignment, making a collection of images that would work for the assignment saves even more time. That’s what’s special about Exposure, to me. There is always a feature that was made to make my life as a photographer easier.

What does Exposure bring to your work?

A little bit of everything. It gives me the opportunity to eliminate additional processes in what I do with my work. And it has lots of unique effect offerings that are easy to creatively explore, such as texture overlays, or creative lens blur effects. I can create layers, which enable me to push my edits further, and gives me more control over adjusting them. Exposure enables me to fine-tune every single image just the way I want to. And it synchronizes edits across all my computers, which is efficient and easy. I love that.

What advice would you offer to photographers looking to improve the quality of their photojournalistic images?

The most important advice I can give, regardless of the type or style of work, is to constantly improve your people skills. It’s important, vitally, to know how to communicate with people and know how to bring those personal barriers down. That’s a skill that over time, and with conscious effort, you can develop and get better at. Getting to know your subject, and learning to connect with them will dramatically improve the quality of your images. Whenever you connect with clients, they open up. And when they do, you’re going to get those images that you’re really looking for. That makes the images we all dream of taking. When you connect with the subject, they will connect with the lens, and then the viewers of the images will connect with that energy. Viewers want to feel or see what is really going on, they want to make that connection.

Thanks to Christobal for sharing his experiences as a photojournalist and an Exposure user. It’s fascinating to learn about all the different ways photographers use the tools in Exposure. The world of photojournalistic photography demands a fast turn around, which Exposure’s efficient photo editing workflow and robust organization tools are ideally suited to handle.

Learn more about Christobal on his website, or follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

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December’s Bokeh Sparkles Photo Contest Winner https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/decembers-bokeh-sparkles-photo-contest-winner/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/decembers-bokeh-sparkles-photo-contest-winner/#comments Thu, 28 Dec 2017 15:00:48 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25478 Jan Heastont was the grand prize winner of our Bokeh Sparkles photo contest. See the winning shot as well as other inspiring runners-up photos.

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A post shared by Jan Heastont (@janheastont) on


Here is the winning shot for our Bokeh Sparkles photo contest. Congratulations to Jan Heastont for her winning entry!

You can participate in our next monthly photo contest by posting your work using the contest hashtags on Instagram and Facebook. This contest specifically celebrated the beautiful out-of-focus sparkles of light and color that appear in photos.

Winner

Jan Heastont is a passionate hobbyist photographer based in Southern Ontario, Canada. Her love of photography started at an early age. She was inspired by the work of photographers in her family, and she dreamt of taking her own photos some day. Now she captures, edits, prints, mats, and frames her own photography work. We connected with Jan to ask her about how she uses Exposure.

How did Exposure help you in creating your winning shot?

I use Exposure on almost every photo I edit. In my winning macro shot, the edit was really simple. I didn’t do much to it aside from adding a vignette and reducing the saturation of the cyans. After that, I tweaked the tone curve to crush the blacks.

Runners-Up

There were lots of great photos shared in the contest. We chose the grand prize winner and three runners-up winners from all the entries. Each of the photographers featured in this article will get a copy of Exposure X3, and the grand prize winner will be featured in our social media headers.

 

A post shared by Rick Birt (@romeobravophoto) on

A post shared by Marcus Clackson (@marcusphoto1) on

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest info about our next contest. We’ll include helpful video tutorials, inspiring customer stories, and announcements about product releases and special promotions.

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Our Top Five Best Articles From 2017 https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/our-top-five-best-articles-from-2017/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/our-top-five-best-articles-from-2017/#respond Thu, 21 Dec 2017 17:57:21 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25465 Our top five blog articles this year cover lots of helpful subjects. For example, Jeremy Chan teaching color grading with Exposure and when our CEO shared his vision for Exposure’s future.

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The top five most popular articles of 2017 are listed below. If you missed any of these, do yourself a favor and read through them. There is a lot of helpful insight shared in these posts.

Portrait Editing in Exposure for Perfect Skin with Miguel Quiles

Commercial portrait and wedding photographer Miguel Quiles shows Exposure users how to achieve high-quality, natural skin in their photos. He shows how Exposure’s tools enable you to create beautiful, healthy-looking skin. He offers workflow solutions such as taking the time to do a detailed analysis of the image before performing retouching. This allows him to set a clear goal, and then he makes the transformation happen in Exposure.


Using Exposure As Your Fujifilm RAW Image Editor

Avid Fujifilm camera shooter Kate Hailey writes about her preference for using Exposure to edit RAW images. She explains why she likes the way Exposure renders the colors in her Fujifilm files. There are comparison example photos in the article that point out a few strengths of Exposure’s color rendering.


Theodore Kefalopoulos Enhances B&W Landscapes with Vintage Photo Effects in Exposure

Fine art landscape photographer Theodore Kefalopoulos shares about how he uses Exposure as the central creative app for his post-processing. Exposure provides beautiful creative options that are difficult or impossible to create using other software apps. And Exposure’s layout makes the tools straightforward and the workflow intuitive.


Improve Your Color Grading Workflow with Jeremy Chan

Snap Art Natural Media | by Jeremy ChanPhotographer and educator Jeremy Chan teaches about the importance of color grading. He shows how to add powerful color grading effects to your photos using Exposure. Since color, or lack thereof, is the first thing that people notice about your images, color grading can define your image’s first impression. This sets the image’s mood, enhances emotion, and helps your photo tell a better story.


The Future of Lightroom May Be Uncertain, But The Future of Exposure Is Clear

Our CEO Finley Lee wrote an article that shared our vision for Exposure’s future. He assures photographers that Exposure will continue to provide unmatched creative editing, powerful organizing tools, speed, and reliability. And Exposure will do this without the pain points of subscription payments, proprietary storage, or tiered storage plans.

Thanks for reading our blog! We look forward to bringing you more helpful articles in 2018.

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Fast Photo Culling and Organizing with Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/fast-photo-culling-and-organizing-with-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/fast-photo-culling-and-organizing-with-exposure/#respond Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:20:50 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25444 Watch our Fast Image Culling video and learn to use Exposure for photo organizing.

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The tutorial above demonstrates using Exposure as a photo organizer. You’ll learn how fast Exposure makes the image culling process.

Watch and learn about a crucial, front-end segment of your post-processing workflow: sifting through the good, the bad, and the great image selections. Exposure helps make this process quick, so you can get to the fun part – creative editing. Streamline culling with Exposure’s helpful array of organizing tools and keyboard shortcuts. Exposure enables you to do all your work – culling, organizing, editing, and retouching – in a single interface, so you can seamlessly transition between all the stages in your workflow.

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Alien Skin Software Gift Cards Make Shopping Easy https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/alien-skin-software-gift-cards-make-shopping-easy/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/alien-skin-software-gift-cards-make-shopping-easy/#respond Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:10:55 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25435 Give the gift of creativity this holiday season with gift cards from Alien Skin Software.

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If you need a good gift idea for the photographers or graphic artists on your holiday shopping list, search no further. Alien Skin now has gift cards!

When you give someone an Alien Skin Software gift card, they can apply it toward any of our software. This includes the Exposure X3 Bundle, which integrates the latest versions of Exposure, Snap Art, and Blow Up, or you can use it for individual software titles, too.

Exposure handles a photographer’s entire workflow, and helps them bring their vision to life with:

  • Beautiful creative effects
  • Fast, intuitive workflow
  • Powerful organizing tools
  • Unmatched reliability

Snap Art provides photographers with realistic natural media looks like oil paint and watercolor, and Blow Up makes it easy to create top-quality image enlargements. Each of these apps seamlessly work together in the Exposure X3 Bundle, or they can be used as plug-ins with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Gift cards from Alien Skin are an easy gift to give and are the ideal choice for the photographers or graphic artists in your life!

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Learning Basic Photo Editing in Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/learning-basic-photo-editing-in-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/learning-basic-photo-editing-in-exposure/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:00:01 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25427 Learn basic editing techniques using Exposure for photo editing in this tutorial video.

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The tutorial above shows you how to make basic editing adjustments to images in Exposure. If you’re new to using Exposure as your photo editing app, this is the best place to start.

This video focuses on the controls in the Basic, Detail, and Histogram panels of Exposure. The sliders on the Basic panel make fundamental adjustments to your images such as exposure, saturation, and vibrance. These controls relate to regions on Exposure’s histogram. You can drag regions directly in the histogram to make changes to the corresponding control on the Basic panel to give your images more impact. The Detail panel controls adjust image sharpness and noise reduction.

Exposure features helpful keyboard shortcuts that speed up your workflow. There are several useful shortcuts demonstrated in the video.

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Fast Photo Editing in Exposure with Tracey Paddison https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/fast-photo-editing-in-exposure-with-tracey-paddison/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/fast-photo-editing-in-exposure-with-tracey-paddison/#comments Tue, 05 Dec 2017 17:30:03 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25375 Press photographer Tracey Paddison talks about her experiences photo editing with Exposure for a social documentary project with Cardiff University.

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Tracey Paddison is a full-time event, PR, and press photographer in Cardiff, Wales, UK. Her passion is telling a story through pictures. In the world of press media, fast photo editing is hugely important. Tracey talks about her experience using Exposure for a unique social documentary photo project with Cardiff University in the interview article below.

fast photo editing

Can you tell us about your photo-essay project?

Ffoton, (Welsh for Photon, as in light particle) is a photographer-led community who promote photography across Wales. I was approached by one of the founders who invited me to take part in a project to revive the long-form photo-essay, and also to produce a 36-page zine to explore and document social issues within Cardiff and the surrounding area. The project was funded by the City Region Exchange, and was a collaboration with the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. I was partnered with a student journalist and given a choice of various project themes to document.

I chose the theme Cake, Jam, and Bees. This entailed documenting a research and community engagement project involving the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pollen8 Cymru, the Women’s Institute, and local schools. The project involves the installation of beehives, and pollinator-friendly gardens in the region’s schools to create bee-friendly habitats and to inspire the next generation of conservationists and scientists.

The zine took a different direction and we focused on the symbol of the bee. This story took us from Wales to Manchester, to Lancashire and back again; a total of 400 miles (640 Kilometres) round trip. The worker bee is the emblem of the city of Manchester and the bee emblem is everywhere.

 

What is a photo essay? What about the long-form photo essay appeals to you?

A photo-essay is an account of something told essentially through photographs, usually with some accompanying text. I think it’s important for a photographer when creating a photo-essay or documenting anything, to have an initial interest in the subject they are going to photograph.

The whole process of creating a long-form photo essay appealed to me; the challenge to tell a story visually and inform people through the photography about what I’m trying to say. I enjoyed the research, making new contacts, and the journey it took me on.

fast photo editing

What can other photographers learn from creating photo essays?

From my experience, I would say photographers can learn a great deal of lessons from creating a photo-essay: how to tell a story visually, research techniques, making connections, knowing where to go, who to talk to, asking the right questions. Putting all this together is the job.

Tell us about your favorite editing tools in Exposure. How do they help you finish your images?

I shoot in the RAW file format, which allows me to make adjustments in image processing should I need to, though I aim to get it right in camera in order to deliver images to newspaper picture desks within minutes of taking them. If I’m shooting an event for an organisation they might need images soon after for their social media, website and printed marketing materials. Speed is vital and this is where Exposure’s fast photo editing really holds its value for me. It doesn’t clog up my workflow with additional files when editing.

Exposure’s quick export for social media is another bonus for me; my client deliverables include a set of high resolution images for print, accompanied by a duplicate set of images optimised for social media and website use. Exposure enables me to do this quickly and easily ensuring that my images will look sharp online instead of relying on the client to do this correctly. They are often not aware that large high resolution files lose quality if they are uploaded straight to social media as they compress the image and quality is reduced.

When working on the image set for the Women’s Institute, I noticed how easily I was able to make selective modifications with the brush tool. Additionally, I could manipulate the lighting of the image using subtle vignettes; the ability to move the vignette’s centre point with the vignette location tool helped me quickly create an atmospheric look and draw the viewers’ attention to the subject. I used the brush tool to erase unwanted darkened areas easily and fast. I liked the creative freedom Exposure’s non-destructive workflow gave me.

I added frames to the Women’s Institute images. The Overlays tools included in Exposure is a great feature. There is a wide choice of frames, light effects and textures available.

In what ways does Exposure help you work creatively?

For the Women’s Institute set of images, I wanted to achieve a vintage look to reflect the long history of the Federation, which started in the UK in 1915. I found the captioned presets; the snippets of information, some captioned with film origin dates, useful in defining the picture style. I then made modifications to create the exact look I wanted, easily saved it as a custom preset, and applied it to my image set.

What are some of your favorite presets? Why do you like them?

I used the B&W Vintage presets with the orthochromatic preset in the colour sensitivity panel; this helped me create the early photographic look for the Women’s Institute pictures. I like the aesthetic of old photographs and Exposure’s presets span the entire history of analog photography.

How does Exposure’s design help you work more efficiently?

I find Exposure’s layout much more visual than Lightroom; the option to view presets in thumbnail view helped me find a good starting point for my images within minutes. The function to indicate my favourite presets with a star and categorise favourites makes them easily identifiable and speeds up my workflow.

Thanks, Tracey for sharing insights into your experiences using Exposure on your project with Cardiff University’s School of Journalism. It’s fascinating to learn about all the different ways photographers use the editing tools in Exposure. We’re glad to know that Exposure was involved in making it happen. It sounds like the world of press media demands fast photo editing turn around, which Exposure’s fast workflow is ideally suited to handle.

Learn more about Tracey on her website and blog, or connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Exposure’s Easy Photo Editing Workflow with Robert Coppa https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposures-easy-photo-editing-workflow-with-robert-coppa/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposures-easy-photo-editing-workflow-with-robert-coppa/#comments Thu, 30 Nov 2017 18:00:08 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25361 Commercial fashion photographer Robert Coppa demonstrates an efficient photo editing workflow using Exposure.

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Photo editing is an art form in and of itself. Some photographers like to use stronger effects; others prefer the subtler side of the spectrum. Regardless of your photo editing preference, doing everything in a single application makes the photo editing process easy.

In this tutorial, we recorded a video call with Australian commercial fashion photographer Robert Coppa. Robert took us through his typical photo editing workflow using Exposure on some of his work. He shares his insights into how he makes creative decisions. His photo editing process is easy, and it produces great-looking results.

For example, Robert uses the audition feature in Exposure for quick photo preset comparisons between several looks before he begins editing. Doing so enables him to create a mental goal for how he wants the final image to look. Having a goal in mind improves photo editing efficiency so he doesn’t spend lots of time tweaking sliders.

Robert’s workflow in this video demonstrates how he typically creates a distinct look for all the images in an entire editorial set. He does this by editing one photo from the shoot and then copying those effects to all the images in a batch all at once. Exposure’s easy to use layers provide Robert with a high level of creative control over the effects he develops and their placement.

Learn more about Robert by visiting his website, or follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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Bokeh Sparkles Photo Contest Extended https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/bokeh-sparkles-photo-contest-extended/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/bokeh-sparkles-photo-contest-extended/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 18:30:57 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25350 We extended the deadline for our Bokeh Sparkles photo contest on Facebook and Instagram. Use #exposurex3bokehcontest and #alienskinphotocontest to enter. Get your submissions in before December 20th!

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We are extending our Bokeh Sparkles photo contest submission window to give everyone more chances to enter. The new deadline is Wednesday, December 20th.

Photos containing sparkles of light and color that are enhanced by being out of focus are perfect for the contest. Keep that in mind for your entries. You can easily make creative focus effects using Exposure, or you can use it subtly to intensify natural lens bokeh. You can learn more techniques for using Exposure’s bokeh controls in our tutorial video.

Contest Rules

  1. Follow @alienskinsoftware on Instagram or Facebook
  2. Post a new photo that demonstrates the theme Bokeh Sparkles. The photo must have been edited with Exposure. If you don’t own Exposure, you can use the free trial version.
  3. Include both #exposurex3bokehcontest and #alienskinphotocontest in the caption.
  4. Submit your entries by December 20th, 2017

Following the theme of the contest will give you the best chance of winning. Creativity and technical merit are also taken into consideration when reviewing the entries.

Prizes

We are giving away copies of Exposure X3 to all four winners. The grand prize winner will be featured in our social media headers.

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Five Exposure Tips Every Landscape Photographer Should Know https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/five-exposure-tips-every-landscape-photographer-should-know/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/five-exposure-tips-every-landscape-photographer-should-know/#comments Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:42:38 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25308 Michelle Ecker with The New York Institute of Photography shares five photo editing tips for processing landscape photos in Exposure.

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Introduction

If you’re a landscape photography enthusiast and you’re looking to improve your post-production process, it’s definitely worth experimenting with Alien Skin’s Exposure X3 software. This award-winning, non-destructive RAW editing platform is a wonderful solution to many post-production problems very specific to the landscape photographer’s workflow.

From accommodating unflattering sunlight to emphasizing your capture of natural colors, below we share five Exposure-specific editing tips that every landscape photographer needs to incorporate in a seamless routine:

landscape photo editor

Color Grading

If you’re ever editing a landscape shot rich with orange or blue shades, we highly recommend that you experiment with Exposure’s Technicolor Process Preset. Let’s say for example you’ve taken a really picturesque shot of your local waterfront at golden hour, and you’re hoping to make some adjustments to emphasize those lovely orange sundown hues as well as the impressive, cool blues of the water.

Once you’ve applied the Technicolor Process Preset, from there it should be really easy to make your own custom edits that will especially accentuate those particular shades. Playing with orange and teal color adjustments is an extremely popular compositional edit. Not only does it add impressive depth to your image, it helps add richer color to your shadows as well as highlights to those beautiful, brighter oranges we mentioned above. The granular color grading you’ll apply here is naturally subjective depending on the original photo you’re working with as well as your unique aesthetic as an artist.

When applying these edits, keep in mind a few of the following things: first, as we mentioned before, original images that include natural elements of orange and blue are the most effective shots to use for this effect. Second, RAW photos are ideal templates for your editing here — that higher quality natural color information within your RAW photo will make for a better final effect in the end. And finally, try to keep in mind which channels of your digital camera lend themselves to a higher level of noise.

Unfamiliar with what we mean by channel? Essentially, all digital images with color are made up of tons of pixels, and those pixels are all made up of different primary color combinations. A channel then refers to the grayscale image of the same size as a color image, made up of only one of those primary colors. For example, an image from a standard digital camera will have a red, green and blue channel. When it comes to noise, green and blue channels in digital cameras tend to contain much more noise by nature than red channels, especially when you start applying effects in the post-production phase. So depending on your original image, be aware of that when making your adjustments here and be cautious of that potential for excessive noise.

Local Adjustments

When it comes time for you to make all those little multifaceted tweaks in your post-production process, we highly recommend that you get in the habit of working in multiple layers. This is really a best editing practice in general as it allows you to experiment with a multitude of different adjustments back to back without affecting any prior edits.

For example, let’s say you’ve captured a compelling shot of a flock of seagulls taking off in flight from a rocky oceanfront jetty. You’ve got some frothy waves crashing ashore in one part of the image, and a number of birds in the shot as well. Maybe in one layer, you want to whiten the look of the birds’ feathers. Or maybe in another, you want to apply a specific preset effect to the splashing waves. With Exposure’s powerful editing tools, you’re able to apply any number of Exposure’s presets to whichever precise locations in your image that you’d like.

Essentially, using Exposure’s brush tools, you are able to “brush” smaller local adjustments onto whatever part of the image you’re looking to edit. You can also adjust the size of your brush depending on the scale of the edits you’re making, then use Exposure’s keyboard shortcuts to toggle back and forth between brush sizes as you work. After brushing, you can then blend any of those brushed adjustments to apply them more smoothly.

So to refer back to our original example, we recommend that you start with a new layer to brush on edits to the birds. Once you’ve finished and want to start brushing adjustments onto the waves, make a new layer before you begin adding those changes. That way, if you’re unhappy with how the wave edits turned out, you’ll still have an untouched layer that includes the edits to the birds, without the added edits to the waves that you’ve decided you’re unhappy with the results of.

landscape photo editor

Side-by-Side View

If you’re new to the post-production process altogether and you want to familiarize yourself with some popular presets to get a better idea of your aesthetic preference, we highly recommend you work in Exposure’s convenient side-by-side view. With this dashboard layout, you can apply a number of different presets to your original photo and then view all preset edits side by side to see which style works best for you to achieve whatever specific look you’re going for.

Sometimes when we’re working in post-production and we create several different versions of the same image, it can be tricky to choose our “winning” edit from this series when we’re forced to scroll from one image to the next individually (or to look at tiny, zoomed-out thumbnails side by side).

Let’s say you’re editing a very wide angle panoramic shot of a mountainous landscape. Switch into side-by-side view, then switch into the horizontal comparison mode. Now you can look at your image with a variation of presets applied, one on top of the other without having to squint at tiny thumbnails.

landscape photo editor

Virtual Copies

When it comes to editing the perfect, most compelling landscape shot in any post-production software, most pros will tell you that finding the perfect shot comes down to a lot of tedious trial and error. Just as we mentioned above, often when working in post-production, our creative process involves making a number of edits, all in entirely different styles, using a number of different presets. From there we have the freedom to make comparisons, narrow down our results, and chose a winning image from the series.

However, many students of our landscape photography course who work with more traditional photo-editing software often complain about issues of eating up storage on their hard drives when trying out and saving a number of different edits to the same original image. Thanks to the virtual copies feature offered by Exposure, you’ll no longer face this cumbersome storage issue.

With virtual copies, you can make as many copies of your original photo as you’d like, without your duplicates resulting in additional files being created and subsequently stored on your hard drive. Instead, Exposure stores these copies for you in the metadata of the original master photo.

If you’re editing one of your images and you’d like to save a copy of it with whatever edits you’ve added thus far, and then continue experimenting with additional edits in a second copy, simply right-click the image you’ve created, then click “create virtual copy.” Exposure will prompt you with the name “Copy 1” for your image, but to help keep your workflow organized, we recommend you assign images more specific names to differentiate things like which preset you’re using or which additional edits you’ve applied.

Once you’ve renamed your copy and you’ve began adding additional tweaks, if at any point you’d like to save a copy of that image including your tweaks before continuing to make supplementary changes, you can feel free to do so without worrying about taking up space.

Vignettes

The last piece of advice we highly recommend that landscape photographers heed when making edits in Exposure is to take advantage of vignettes.

Specifically, this edit can be an extremely helpful one to execute in any shot that features compelling leading lines worth emphasizing. Let’s say you’ve taken a really superb photo of a long fishing wharf leading out into the ocean at your local beach. By adding a subtle vignette to this shot, you can give this image a wonderful sense of depth that shots like this are extremely receptive to.

By using a vignette as a tool to adjust the strength of any natural light shining on either side of your leading lines, you’re able to create more balance and symmetry, effectively helping to accentuate the emphasis of the lines, leading your viewer to take in a more powerful vanishing point on the horizon. To guide the eye most effectively, simply be sure to center the midpoint of your vignette right at that vanishing point.

A common mistake we notice amateurs make when applying many edits, especially with vignettes, is overdoing it. For the best, most natural-looking effect, you want to add a very subtle vignette that plays with natural lighting just enough to provide some additional emphasis, but not too much as to distract the viewer altogether.

landscape photo editor

Conclusion

At the end of the day, whether you’re experimenting with presets or applying any of the concepts we outlined above, the best way to master any photo editing software is to simply take the time to exercise trial and error of all the techniques available to you. In doing this, you’ll have the best, most hands-on opportunity to uncover and realize your preferred routine, all the while getting to know more clearly the aesthetic look and feel that will soon become characteristic to the images you produce as a unique artist. Visit Alien Skin’s tutorial page and choose from the video selections to learn specifics for editing and organizing images with Exposure.

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Story Behind The Shot: Exposure X3 Showcase Image by Scott Stulberg https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/story-behind-shot-scott-stulberg/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/story-behind-shot-scott-stulberg/#comments Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:48:36 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25098 Acclaimed educator and travel and stock photographer Scott Stulberg tells us how he got his wonderful portrait shot that is the showcase image for Exposure X3.

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Editing portrait photos with Exposure X3: Scott Stulberg's story behind the shot

© Scott Stulberg

Stock and travel photographer Scott Stulberg took the wonderful portrait photo that is the showcase photo for Exposure X3. Here, he tells us how he got the shot, including how he uses Exposure for editing portrait photos.

Can you tell us how this shot came about?

The story behind this shot is pretty easy. I am one of Photoflex’s Light Leaders and they make fantastic lighting equipment. They sent me a very cool new system called the LiteReach that lets me hold a large diffuser way up on the air at the end of a very strong pole. It worked great for the shoot as I placed Tiffany in an old beat up truck in an auto graveyard. The diffusion way up in the air helped soften her entire face and also what she was wearing and took away the harsh contrast that was everywhere that day. You definitely need an assistant to hold the system but it’s a great way to soften the light. I use diffusers all the time but when the sun is higher having this system way up in the air is definitely a bonus!

I knew with her blue eyes that a nice red hat would really help the overall look. I put her in the front seat of the truck and had her lay on her arms looking straight at me and asked her to look almost through me so that I could really capture who she was. No smile, just a powerful look.

How did you prepare for the shot that day?

I prepared by testing out the LiteReach gear while she was sitting in my car before we got to the junkyard. I wanted to see how this new system worked and also if we had the right clothing. Everything just clicked but we also tried other things and different hats. We finally felt like we were ready to go and try something different in this incredible junkyard not far from where I live. I love shooting in auto graveyards and have done many workshops with models in these places and they are just off-the-wall amazing for photography.

Are there any guiding principles that you follow when shooting portrait images? If so, can we see evidence of them in this shot?

I’m not sure if I think about any set rules when it comes to shooting portraits. I know I want to see if one side or the other is more flattering, but in this case straight on looked fantastic with Tiffany. Sometimes I know that a hat will make a big difference as sometimes people, especially women, photograph much better with a hat. There is something that is so engaging in a beautiful hat that gives stopping power so often, meaning that people viewing the shot want to stick around for a little bit longer to digest what’s really making that image so powerful.

Posing is another challenge as many people, even models, find it hard to get comfortable. I knew in this particular image that not having her standing but having her lean on her arms would be about as comfortable as it gets and make her look as relaxed as possible. Getting people to look completely relaxed sometimes makes all the difference in the world. They don’t have to concentrate on their body position or worry about how their body looks, or if this or that is just not working.

Often times I will shoot subjects while they’re laying on their back and I’m straight above them, sometimes shooting just in on the face. They are incredibly relaxed when they’re laying flat on their back, very similar to Tiffany leaning on her arms.

What was your approach to post-processing with this shot? Did you have a particular look in mind as you began editing this portrait photo?

I didn’t really have any preconceived notions of what I wanted but I knew I wanted a little bit edgier. I wanted to pop the hat and her eyes but make her skin tones to look a little bit creamy and soft.

Having used Exposure since pretty much the day it came out long ago, I know that I can achieve certain looks with their software. I wanted a certain film look. I also love playing around with the sliders to create my own look that I can save and use on other images.

What adjustments did you make in Exposure, and why?

I did a lot of tweaking with this image, and it was really Exposure that got me started. I love using the black and white vintage films and one of my favorites is Wet Plate, which is just incredibly gorgeous.

So I played with that and took away the border and tweaked it until it made a really nice soft sepia black and white. I then saved that as a preset.

One of the best things you can do after playing around with Exposure’s presets is to completely tweak it exactly how you want, with every setting that makes it look just what’s in your mind’s eye, and then save that as your own user preset. I always give it the name of the subject or shoot that I was doing. So this one was called “Tiffany at auto graveyard.”

After that, I brought the black and white image into Photoshop, where I used the luminosity blend mode to convert the image to color. For many years, I have used this method of converting images to black and white or sepia first, and then using blend modes to change them to color. The end result can give you a very powerful color image that you can almost achieve no other way.

Sometimes it almost looks like there is a glow that you can achieve that really makes the image pop in certain ways. I knew that much of the image, especially her hat, eyes, and lips would take on a whole entirely different feel.

But what’s also nice with doing something like this as it completely changes the skin tones. Sometimes, you can achieve an almost ethereal but soft change in the skin tones.

I also applied some vignetting to the black-and-white image in Exposure, and that translated nicely to the color when I used the blend mode.

What tools in Exposure do you find most helpful for editing portrait photos?

That is a tough question as there are so many cool tools for working on portraits. I’ve always loved adding realistic grain to make the images look more film like. I’ve told my students for many years that the grain that is added in Exposure is incredibly realistic, as real grain is random, and noise from digital cameras is not. Alien Skin figured out how to create realistic film grain, so that has been one of my favorite things in Exposure. If used the right way, film grain can give your images a whole new look, especially in black and white.

One of my favorite films to shoot with was Kodak Tri-X, and you can definitely achieve the look of this film using Exposure.

But there are so many other things I love including creating vignettes by dragging your mouse around to get the look and feel you want. I love the different borders, textures, and light leaks.

The ability to work with layers added a whole new dimension to Exposure.

I also love working with the Bokeh panel as you can really create beautiful blurring that mimics different kinds of lenses. There are different modes to the panel, which I absolutely love. It’s something that you can get addicted to very easily.

Exposure’s Basic panel is filled with just about everything that you need to get exactly what you want.

Now that Exposure works as an incredibly powerful standalone, many times you don’t really need anything else but this one program. Pretty powerful stuff that can help so many images.

What post-processing advice would you give portrait photographers who are looking to improve the quality of their edited images? How does Exposure help them with editing portrait photos?

You do have to start out with a good image overall, a good shot that will be well exposed and where your subjects look pretty good.

It’s then that you have the ability to envision a little bit of where you want that image to go.

There are plenty of presets you can easily choose in Exposure but what really makes the program work is by working on the right side of the program, where all of the the panels and sliders are. These let you tweak here and adjust there, to really get to where you want to be.

You have to understand some of these panels pretty well and know how powerful they can be, what kind of changes they can make to your image. Alien Skin has some great tutorials and before-and-after images also, and those can show you the potential of what you can do with some of your own photographs.

I think you really have to explore many of the film types in the left panels – go through them and really see what you like on your particular images. Just because one preset looks good with one image doesn’t mean it’s going to look good with the next image.

Starting out on the left side of Exposure and understanding all of the film types, from color to black and white, and what might really be a good starting point for some of your images, well, to me that is key.

Then taking those presets and adjusting them to be exactly what you are looking for, and then saving those as your own user preset, that is really the direction that most will want to go for.

And remember – it’s all fun! It’s great that we have excellent software that just keeps getting better and better, year after year!! Go out and have some fun!!

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Bokeh Sparkles Photo Contest https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/bokeh-sparkles-photo-contest/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/bokeh-sparkles-photo-contest/#comments Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:09:38 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25245 Join our Bokeh Sparkles photo contest on Facebook and Instagram this month. Use #exposurex3bokehcontest and #alienskinphotocontest to enter your images for a chance to win. Entries will be accepted through November 21st.

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Join our photo contest this month on Instagram and Facebook. Previous contests were held in our closed Exposure Users group on Facebook, but no one could see the photo submissions except group members. We made some changes, so you can post directly to Facebook or Instagram for the whole world to see.

This month’s contest theme is Bokeh Sparkles. It focuses on one of Exposure’s awesome creative features: bokeh. Simply put, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of how a lens renders the out-of-focus parts of an image. You can use Exposure’s bokeh controls to apply realistic-looking lens blur simulations to your photos. Gorgeous sparkles of light and color are especially enhanced by bokeh, so keep those in mind for your entries. You can learn more about using Exposure’s bokeh controls in our tutorial video.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow @alienskinsoftware on Instagram or Facebook
  2. Post a photo to Instagram or Facebook featuring this month’s theme. The shared photo must have been edited with Exposure X3. If you don’t own Exposure X3, you can use the free trial version.
  3. Include the hashtags #exposurex3bokehcontest and #alienskinphotocontest in the caption.
  4. Entries will be accepted through November 21st, 2017.

Images that follow the theme will have the best chances of winning. Creativity and technical merit will also be considered.

We’ll pick a grand prize winner and three runner up winners from the entries. Every winner will get a copy of Exposure X3, and the grand prize winner will be featured in our social media headers.

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What Do You Want To See in Future Versions of Exposure? Now’s Your Chance To Tell Us! https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-survey/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-survey/#comments Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:00:03 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25227 Want to help guide the development of future versions of Exposure? Now you can do so by responding to a quick survey and telling us what you’d like to see in future releases.

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Are there any new features that you’d like to see in future releases of Exposure? Now is your chance to tell us!

We’ve created a brief survey that helps us better understand your editing needs and photography background. It also gives you a chance to tell us what you’d like to see in future versions of Exposure.

For Exposure X3, we added features like collections, virtual copies, gradient tools, and watermarks in response to user requests, so it’s definitely worth participating.

Thanks for helping us continue to make Exposure the fastest way to bring your creative vision to life!

Start The Survey

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Export Photos from Exposure with Watermarks https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-photo-export-with-watermarks/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-photo-export-with-watermarks/#comments Tue, 07 Nov 2017 19:21:13 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25221 This video shows you how to create and how to apply watermarks to your images using Exposure’s export and quick export capabilities.

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Exposure’s watermarking tools give you flexible options for quickly branding exported images. This video tutorial shows you how to create watermarks and how to apply them to your images using Exposure’s export and quick export capabilities.

In Exposure, you can create a watermark, specify where it will be placed on your photos, and save it as a preset to use again and again. You can make watermarks using simple text, a watermark image, or you can combine both text and image components together. Alternatively, you can have Exposure automatically create watermarks using image metadata such as image copyright.

Exposure’s photo export and quick export recipes can integrate watermarks, which makes exporting for specific social media channels a breeze.

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Virtual Copies Make Photo Editing in Exposure Easy https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/virtual-copies-make-photo-editing-in-exposure-easy/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/virtual-copies-make-photo-editing-in-exposure-easy/#comments Tue, 31 Oct 2017 15:47:40 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25110 Exposure’s virtual copies functionality enables you edit multiple variations of a single photo without filling up disk space with duplicate image files. Learn how virtual copies will enhance your creativity in this tutorial video.

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Virtual copies are a helpful new tool in Exposure X3. They enable you to edit multiple variations of a single photo without filling up disk space with duplicate image files. You can create as many virtual copies as you want, so you can creatively experiment with a variety of looks.

Watch our new video to learn how easy it is to work with virtual copies. We think you’ll want to incorporate them into your Exposure workflow right away.

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October’s Glorious Gradients Photo Contest Winner https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/octobers-glorious-gradients-photo-contest-winner/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/octobers-glorious-gradients-photo-contest-winner/#comments Tue, 31 Oct 2017 15:42:31 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25115 Kit Yeung was the grand prize winner of our Glorious Gradients photo contest in October. See his image as well as the other inspiring runners-up photos.

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Brighton Palace Pier

A post shared by Kit Yeung (@kityeung.art) on

Here is the winning shot for our photo contest. Congratulations to Kit Yeung for winning!

We expanded our monthly photo contest to allow participation on Instagram in addition to Facebook. Last month’s contest celebrated the release of Exposure X3, so the theme was Glorious Gradients, in honor of the new gradient tools in Exposure X3.

Winner

Kit Yeung is a photography enthusiast based in Hong Kong. He appreciates all kinds of fine art, but is especially drawn to photography. He often uses photo compositing to enhance the impact of his artwork. We connected with Kit to ask him how he uses Exposure.

How were Exposure’s gradients used on your winning shot?

Alien Skin has been my favourite software to edit my photos. In my winning shot of the Brighton Bridge pier, Agfa APX 100 gave it an artsy look. I also used Exposure’s gradients and darken layer (Burn) to the bottom right of the photo and to the sea under the bridge.

Runners-up

 

#exposurex3octobercontest #alienskinphotocontest

A post shared by Grzegorz Gebik (@grzegorzgebik) on

 

 

We chose a grand prize winner and three runners-up winners from all the entries. Each of them will get a copy of Exposure X3, and the grand prize winner will be featured in our social media headers.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest info about our next contest. We’ll include helpful video tutorials, inspiring customer stories, and announcements about product releases and special promotions.

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The Future of Lightroom May Be Uncertain, But The Future of Exposure Is Clear https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposures-clear-future/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposures-clear-future/#comments Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:33:05 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25045 The future of Lightroom may be uncertain, but the future of Exposure is clear. Exposure will continue to provide photographers with unmatched creative editing, powerful organizing tools, reliability, and speed. There are no subscriptions, proprietary storage, or tiered storage plans.

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Exposure X3 Raw editor

Photo © Scott Stulberg

With the uncertainty surrounding Lightroom, now is a good time to reiterate the core elements of Exposure that make it a smarter solution for editing and organizing your photos.

No Subscription Needed

Exposure has never been subscription-based, and we have no plans to make it so. Once you purchase Exposure, you own it forever.

This avoids the risks of losing access to the program, and of spending more money than you expected due to monthly subscription costs increasing. Nor will you need to rely on tiered storage plans that can further increase costs.

The Flexibility to Work The Way You Want

Flexibility is one of Exposure’s core design principles. It works with any type of cloud storage, so you aren’t forced into using any one provider.

It also works well with ‘private cloud’ solutions like Drobo and Synology. Access your photos everywhere without paying a subscription fee.

Exposure supports external editors like Photoshop. You can easily send your edited images to and from other applications for additional edits.

Flexible options like side-by-side view and preset audition enable you to work with presets much faster than in Lightroom and other photo editors.

Exposure’s customizable UI enables you to specify which tools are visible, allowing you to focus on your editing without distractions. You can make Exposure’s interface as minimal as you like. Even if you’re viewing all of the tools, you’ll still benefit from having everything you need onscreen in a single interface.

A Clear Path Forward

There are no confusing multiple variants of Exposure to try to figure out. You can purchase it on its own or as the central app in the Exposure Bundle, alongside Snap Art and Blow Up. Either way, it’s the same RAW photo editor.

We are constantly updating Exposure, and we use your feedback to help guide its evolution. Many of the most substantial new features in Exposure X3 are those that our customers asked us to include.

Software That’s Easy to Use

Unlike Lightroom and other RAW photo editors, there are no user modules that force you to switch modes in order to perform different tasks. Every command is available all the time.

Exposure’s catalog-free approach lets you avoid the hassles of slow imports and complicated catalogs. You can start working immediately after beginning to copy your images.

There’s no single point of failure with your edits, and no unnecessary hard drive space is used to store large catalogs.

Exposure makes it easy for you to back up, transfer, and sync your images and edits. You can edit from multiple computers and even collaborate on edits with others using cloud storage.

Exposure’s learning curve is considerably easier than those of catalog-based RAW photo editors — the folder structure in Exposure is exactly like the folder structure on your computer.

Unmatched Creativity, Speed, and Stability

Exposure provides the kind of speed that traditional RAW photo editors cannot match. Large images load quickly, and all of the tools behave responsively.

Exposure’s hundreds of creative presets include tasteful, accurate film emulations that provide gorgeous looks in a single click.

We’ve been developing Exposure for 12 years now, and have grown it into a complete RAW photo editor and organizer, built on industry-leading creative tools and a powerful processing engine. Additionally, we’ve been creating award-winning creative imaging software for 25 years, and are a veteran team that knows how to ship stable software that lives up to our marketing claims. So you avoid the pain points that photographers have encountered with other software releases that have been released with missing or unstable features.

Organize Your Collection and Finish Your Images in a Single App

Exposure X3 handles your entire photography workflow, so there’s no need to cobble together multiple apps to finish your photos.

You have all the retouching tools, creative edits, and special effects that you need. These include tools like layering, spot healing, brushing, gradients, and gorgeous special effects (grain, vignette, and bokeh).

Exposure’s 500+ presets include accurate, tasteful film simulations. You’ve got the history of film at your fingertips. You can layer, blend, and customize each preset to your heart’s content, and then save the finished look as your own new custom preset.

Exposure gives you the organizing tools you need to master your workflow. These include the following:

  • Collections and quick collections to quickly group your images, no matter where they appear on your computer
  • Keywords and keyword sets to apply helpful descriptive tags that make it easy for you and for your clients to locate your photos
  • Stars, flags, and color labels that give you all the filtering tools you need to cull your images
  • Side-by-side views for flexible viewing options to speed up your image culling and preset selections
  • Watermarks that enable you to mix text and images, and use copyright metadata
  • Flexible exporting and copying options that include keywords, metadata, and quick exports of multiple image recipes
  • Extensive shortcut keys and workflow presets to further speed up your work

Exposure has the features that you’d expect from a non-destructive RAW photo editor, including:

  • An entirely non-destructive workflow — your original file is never touched
  • RAW, JPEG, TIFF, DNG, and PSD support
  • Adjustable histogram
  • Extensive color adjustments
  • Support for a wide variety of DSLR and mirrorless cameras
  • Automatic lens correction for many popular lenses

For a complete list of Exposure’s features, visit the Exposure page.

Industry-Leading Customer Support

We provide our customers with personalized, prompt support from a real human being. This level of service is appreciated by our customers. A number of them describe our support as being the best they’ve ever received from a software company.

We’re always adding helpful tutorial videos and blog articles to our site. Each week we send our subscribers a newsletter with helpful articles.

Our Facebook and Instagram pages provide you with a helpful, constructive community where you can share your work, ask questions, and join our monthly photo contest to win prizes.

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Exposure X2 Update — New Camera and Tablet Support https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-x2-new-update/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-x2-new-update/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:43:30 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=24990 The 2.8 update to Exposure X2 is now available. It adds support for many new cameras, as well as for Wacom tablets. If you own Exposure X2, you can download it for free.

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The 2.8 update to Exposure X2 is now available. If you own Exposure X2, you can download it for free on our Older Installers page.

This update adds expanded camera support and enhanced Wacom tablet support. Here are the additional cameras that are supported:

  • Canon
    • 5DS R
    • EOS 77D
    • EOS M5 t
    • EOS M6
    • G5X
    • G7X Mk II
    • T6i
    • T7i
  • Nikon
    • D7500
    • D850
  • Panasonic
    • DMC-FZ80
    • DMC-ZS100
  • Panasonic
    • GX85
    • Lumix DC-GH5
    • Lumix DC-ZS70 (DC-TZ90)
    • Lumix DMC-G80
    • Lumix DMC-G81
    • Lumix DMC-G85
  • Pentax
    • KP
  • Sony
    • a6500
    • A7S II
    • A9
    • SLT a99 II
    • DSC-RX100 V

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Exposure X3 Photo Contest https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-x3-photo-contest/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/exposure-x3-photo-contest/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:11:06 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=25021 Celebrate the release of Exposure X3 by participating in our monthly photo contest. We are expanding the contest to include submissions on Instagram. Use #exposurex3octobercontest and #alienskinphotocontest to enter your photos to win. Entries will be accepted through October 24th, 2017.

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This image by Andrea Livieri had three effect layers applied using Exposure’s gradients. A darkening layer was applied to the sky, a second darkening layer was applied to the sides of the image, and an orange color wash layer was added to the left side.

We’re expanding our monthly photo contest to Instagram, so more of you can participate. Previously, our monthly contest was held in the closed Exposure Users group on Facebook, and nobody could see the photo submissions except group members.

This month’s contest celebrates the release of Exposure X3! The theme is Glorious Gradients. Use the new gradient tools in Exposure to easily achieve a natural, seamless fade between two or more effects. You can learn more about how they work in our Local Adjustments video.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow @alienskinsoftware on Instagram or Facebook
  2. Post a photo to Instagram or Facebook featuring this month’s theme. The photo must be edited with Exposure X3. If you don’t own Exposure X3, you can use the trial version.
  3. Include the hashtags #exposurex3octobercontest and #alienskinphotocontest in the caption
  4. Entries will be accepted through October 24th, 2017

Images that adhere to the theme will have the best chances of winning. Creativity and technical merit will also be considered.

We’ll pick a grand prize winner and three runner up winners from the entries. Every winner will get a copy of Exposure X3, and the grand prize winner will be featured in our social media headers.

We look forward to seeing your excellent images!

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Comparing Photos, Presets, Filters and Effects in Exposure https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/comparing-photos-presets-filters-and-effects-in-exposure/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/comparing-photos-presets-filters-and-effects-in-exposure/#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:34:17 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=24971 The new side-by-side view is a powerful feature for comparing photos and presets. Learn how to use it in our tutorial video.

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Exposure’s new side-by-side view is a powerful tool that enables you to compare both photos and presets. Learn how to take advantage of Exposure’s side-by-side feature in the video tutorial above.

The ability to compare up to four images side-by-side is useful in several scenarios. When you’re culling a set of photos, it helps you choose the best shot from several similar images. You can zoom or pan in each image to compare details such as facial expressions. When editing photos, the side-by-side preset audition enables you to compare multiple preset options before applying them to your photo.

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Introducing Exposure X3, The Latest Version of Our Advanced RAW Photo Editor https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/introducing-exposure-x3/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/introducing-exposure-x3/#comments Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:53:49 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=24418 Exposure X3 is now available! It's the latest version of Exposure, our award-winning creative photo editor, and includes new features that greatly enhance your ability to create beautiful images and master your workflow.

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I’m excited to announce that Exposure X3 is now available! It’s the latest version of Exposure, our award-winning creative photo editor, and includes new features that greatly enhance your ability to create beautiful images and master your workflow.

Here are some of them:

Powerful New Organizing Tools

Keyword support enables you to add descriptive tags to your photos, so you can easily organize your images around themes, and quickly find them on your computer.

Collections help you quickly and easily group your images, no matter where they appear on your computer. Create collections of favorite photos, organize projects spanning multiple photo shoots, or group images for export. Use the quick collection feature to quickly organize images for short-term projects, such as photo contests or for blog articles.

Virtual copies encourage your creativity by enabling you to edit multiple variations of a single photo, without taking up additional disk space.

Creative New Editing Tools

The side-by-side view enables you to compare multiple images, or to compare the same image using multiple presets. It’s a great way to narrow down your selections, find the best preset, and edit multiple virtual copies to experiment with different looks.

Exposure’s basic editing tools are now even more powerful:

  • Blacks and Whites sliders give you greater control over the tonal range of your photos
  • Orange and Purple saturation sliders give you greater control over the color adjustments

The enhanced Overlays panel gives you more creative control when applying light effects, borders, and texture overlays to your photo.

  • Import multiple custom overlays simultaneously
  • New overlay blend modes enable a greater variety of looks

Exposure’s new linear and radial tools make it easy to achieve a seamless, natural fade between multiple effects. These work great for adjusting skies in landscape images or faces in portraits. Exposure X3 includes six new presets that make use of this new capability

And More

  • Flexible watermarking when exporting, so you can put your own stamp on your images
  • Numerous speed enhancements that help you cruise through your work
  • Enhanced preset copy and paste for greater creative control
  • Enhanced vignette positioning shows you where the center of your vignette is
  • Additional camera and lens support

Exposure Bundle Updates

We’ve also updated the Exposure Bundle to include Exposure X3 as its central app. The bundle integrates all of our award-winning photo apps: Exposure, Snap Art, and Blow Up.

The Fastest Way to Bring Your Vision to Life

You’ll experience the benefits of using an award-winning, advanced non-destructive creative photo editor that is the fastest way to bring your vision to life. Plug-in support is included, so you can use Exposure’s advanced creative editing tools in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Pricing

Exposure X3 is available now for $149. Upgrade pricing is available to owners of previous versions of Exposure for $99. The Exposure X3 Bundle is available for $199. Owners of one or more of the current apps in the Exposure X3 Bundle can purchase for $119.

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Easy Photo Management with Collections in Exposure X3 https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/easy-photo-management-collections-exposure-x3/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/easy-photo-management-collections-exposure-x3/#comments Fri, 29 Sep 2017 14:19:35 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=24436 There are several workflow enhancements coming in Exposure X3 that will make photo management simple. The new collections feature helps you manage your photo projects with lots of flexibility. Learn how in our video.

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The release of Exposure X3 is right around the corner. We added tons of great new tools, some for photo organizing, and others for editing. One exciting new feature is the addition of photo collections. Watch the video in this article to learn how you can benefit from using Exposure’s new collections feature when managing photo projects.

Collections enable you to group photos together, no matter where they appear on your hard drive. Photos can belong to as many collections as you’d like. Exposure is very flexible, so there is no one best way to use Collections–just the way that works best for you. Collections are useful for projects with widely diverse size and scope. You can use them for ongoing long-term photo management tasks such as curating portfolio files or keeping family candids current. Quick Collections, on the other hand, are designed to handle short-term projects such as curating images for a blog article or photo contest.

There are so many great features to look forward to in Exposure X3. We hope you enjoy this one!

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Thoughts on Software Reliability https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/software-reliability-thoughts/ https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/software-reliability-thoughts/#comments Thu, 28 Sep 2017 14:00:45 +0000 https://www.alienskin.com/?p=24440 With the release of Exposure X3 coming soon, it’s a good time to share a few thoughts about what precautions we take when creating stable, high-quality software our users can rely on.

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With Exposure X3 coming out soon, now seems like a good opportunity to share our thoughts about the importance of creating stable, high-quality software that our customers can rely on.

We’ve been producing award-winning image processing software for photographers and graphic designers since 1993, and quality and stability is a point of pride for us.

Writing reliable software benefits you, our customer. You receive a product you can depend on. It doesn’t crash, so you don’t have to waste time troubleshooting or contacting support.

Our features work as expected. We implement them thoroughly and carefully so they work correctly when we ship. Our marketing materials are honest in their description of what a feature will do.

An important aspect of reliability is speed. Speed is a hidden feature that affects every aspect of editing work. We put a huge amount of effort into performance optimization, so that you can spend your time being creative instead of waiting.

There’s a lot that goes into creating reliable software. It starts with good design. Careful planning helps produce a reliable product.

We also invest a lot of time and effort in testing our software. Testing involves a number of activities – careful manual testing by Alien Skin team members, beta testing by trusted customers, and automated testing, where every build is subjected to a battery of automated tests. Automated testing can quickly find problems during development, leaving time for our test team to do other things.

Another aspect of our reliability is realistic schedules. Giving engineers impossible schedules is a recipe for failure. We make ambitious but realistic feature plans for every release and work steadily toward our goal.

We are proud of our reputation as a software maker that creates products you can trust and will continue our commitment to reliability in our upcoming Exposure X3 release and beyond!

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