Exposure Bundle: Getting Started Lightroom

Project Description

Learn how the Exposure Bundle operates as a series of Lightroom plug-ins.

Enjoy this quick video guide to getting started using the Exposure Bundle in an editing workflow with Adobe Lightroom. The tutorial will take you step-by-step through how to launch and use all of the award-winning apps in the bundle as Lightroom plug-ins. The Edit In menu gives you access to each one. It’s accessible from Lightroom’s Library or Develop modules.

Once you have a selection of shots to process, you can apply evocative film styles and make detailed edits using Exposure, create tack-sharp enlargements with Blow Up, and turn your photos into handcrafted paintings with Snap Art. You can quickly apply preset looks, or customize each look with the panels on the right-hand dock. By the end of the video, you’ll see how to use each bundle app from within a Lightroom workflow.

Photos: John Barclay


Today, I’ll demonstrate how to launch the Exposure Bundle as a series of plug-ins in Adobe Lightroom.

The bundle works great this way. It provides the same intuitive set of creative tools as when it’s used as a complete RAW photo editor. Using Exposure as your photo manager provides additional benefits. It speeds up your workflow because it has all the essential tools you need for photo editing, from portrait touch-up to special effects, in one easy-to-use app. To learn more about using the Exposure Bundle as a complete RAW photo editor, watch our Getting Started video.

When the bundle is first installed, it will detect and select the installed copy of Lightroom.

Here, I’m starting with the bundle already installed, and with Lightroom open. In Lightroom, I can select photos from either the Library or Developer modules.

I first select the image or images I want to edit by holding down on the Mac or Ctrl on Windows, and clicking each photo to select it.

I then r-click, choose ‘Edit In’ and select the tool I want to use. I’ll start by editing these images in Exposure.

Since I’ve already edited my images in Lightroom, it’s best to choose Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments which will preserve any Lightroom edits that I’ve made. I then click Edit, and Lightroom makes copies of each of the images and opens them the bundle app that I select.


Now my images are in Exposure, and I’m ready to start editing the first image in the batch. You can see it here in the center of the window. I first begin by selecting a preset from the presets list on the left side. Exposure’s library of carefully curated presets makes quick work of editing your photos. Use them to apply a look that’s an accurate reproduction of a classic, modern, or vintage film, or an entirely new creative look, to your photo.

Hover over preset thumbnails to see how it will look when applied to your image. When you find a look that you like, click to apply it. Exposure’s presets are great on their own, but they are also useful as starting points for your own looks. If you want to adjust your image further, you can use the powerful editing tools in each of the panels on the right-hand dock. The Basic panel, for example, provides controls to adjust exposure, contrast, and saturation.

Notice the adjustments I make are applied to the image I have selected. Exposure enables me to apply edits to multiple images, simultaneously. Use or Ctrl and click to select more than one at a time. To accept my changes and return to Lightroom, I’ll click Save.

We cover all of Exposure’s editing panels in our library of tutorial videos. You can also learn about Exposure’s photo management tools in our organizing videos.

Snap Art

To apply natural media looks like oil paint and watercolor, right-click on your image, or images in Lightroom and select Edit in… Alien Skin Snap Art. You can also select multiple images, and batch edit them.

A list of natural media types appears in the Presets panel. If you’re not sure where to start, click the Effects Tour for a quick preview of each of the 11 categories.

When you see an effect you like, click on the preview thumbnail to apply it to your image. To enlarge the preview thumbnails, collapse the Editing panel and expand the presets panel. This makes it easy to scroll through large-size previews of all the different natural media looks.

Any adjustments I make are applied to the image or images that I have selected. I’ll press ⌘/Ctrl+A to select them all.

Once a preset is selected, it can be refined with the editing panels in the right-hand dock. When making adjustments, we suggest starting at the top of the panel and working your way down through the sliders.

When you apply your edits, are applied in same folder as the original image, so they are visible when you return to Lightroom.

Sharp Image Resizing Using Blow Up

To access the Blow Up image enlargement tools, right-click on your image or images in Lightroom and choose Edit in… then Blow Up. You can also batch select multiple images. When enlarging, you’re likely preparing images for print, so it’s best to make a copy that is used for that purpose.

To the left is the thumbnail navigator image and the User Settings panel. In the center are zooming and panning controls. On the right side are the adjustment tools. These include a button for each resizing mode: Crop & Resize, Resize, and Stretch.

Crop & Resize is especially useful because it crops your image to proportionally fill the output. It places the crop area over the most interesting part of your image. You can fine tune this location easily.

Resize mode resizes your image while retaining its original proportions, without cropping or stretching.

Stretch mode forces your image to fit the output size. This is best used when your output size and photo size are nearly identical.

After you’ve picked your mode, choose your document size.

You can make refinements like adding grain and sharpening your image for output, which compensates for ink diffusion on paper.

When working in Blow Up, I’ll click OK to confirm my edits to a single image, or click Finish Batch if I resized multiple images. Back in Lightroom’s grid view, I can see a new copy of each edited image next to the Lightroom originals.

If you’re planning to edit an image using each app in the Exposure Bundle, it’s best to apply the Snap Art natural media effects after you’ve enlarged your image using Blow Up. This will give the sharpest looking output.