Monday, June 23, 2014

First Impressions: Alien Skin Exposure 6

Mountain Flowers - Tehachapi, California
Post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Kodak Tri-X 400".
I just downloaded Alien Skin Exposure 6 software this morning, and I've got to say that I'm already very impressed. This may be the best photo editing software out there.

It is easy to get bogged down by unedited photographs, and so I've been looking for a way to speed up post-processing for a while now. I really dislike wasting hours and hours away in front of a computer. There are other things I'd like to do with that time (including capture more photographs).

I've tried pretty much all of the free software options. I really hate to pay for something when something free is just as good. I've tried a few that cost money (although, thanks to free trials and beta versions, I didn't actually pay for anything). I actually liked Perfectly Clear by Athentech, but found it to be a bit too inconsistent, slow and expensive.

What I'm looking for is something that will speed up my workflow and at the same time produce results that are just as good if not better than what I'm getting without the software. Speed and quality are both equally important. Alien Skin Exposure 6 delivers on both.

Because I don't own Photoshop (and I don't plan to), I could not use Alien Skin's products, since they have always been Photoshop plug-ins. Exposure 6, which was released earlier this month, can work as a stand-alone software, so now folks like me can take advantage of their product.

What is Alien Skin Exposure 6? It is a film-simulation and correction software.

Exposure 6 can mimic all sorts of black-and-white and color films, and even some different films in different processes (including pushing and cross processing). It's a pretty comprehensive list that includes all the different films that I've ever used plus some that I never had the chance to use (and are now discontinued). And it actually does an excellent job of making digital images look like they were captured with these different films. For those who used film for years before digital, this software is nothing short of amazing.

There are a whole bunch of different adjustments that can be made, and because they're sliders (less or more), it's simple to make whatever adjustments you need. I found that adjustment weren't necessary about half of the time, and when adjustments did need to be made they were pretty minor. The presets are right on the money quite often.

What also impressed me was the speed in which I could turn out a completed image. There is no doubt that Alien Skin Exposure 6 will speed up post-processing for me, freeing up time for other important things.

Is this software worth $150? In my opinion, yes. And this is the first time that I've ever said that about any photo editing software. I'm a cheapskate, and hate to unnecessarily spend money. I don't feel that $150 is too much for Exposure 6. It is that good. I really look forward to using it going forward.

Below are some examples of photographs processed with my normal workflow and processed with Alien Skin Exposure 6. I didn't take notes so it is possible that the "film" I chose is not correctly annotated.
Red Pump House - Stallion Springs, California
Original edit.
Red Pump House - Stallion Springs, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Fuji Velvia 100F" edit.
Nature Power - Stallion Springs, California
Original edit.
Nature Power - Stallion Springs, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Fuji Velvia 100" edit.
Wind & Horses - Tehachapi, California
Original edit.
Wind & Horses - Tehachapi, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Agfa APX 25" edit.
Summer Solstice Sunset - Stallion Springs, California
Original edit. 
Summer Solstice Sunset - Stallion Springs, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Kodak Ektachrome 100GX" edit.
Industry Deserted - Rosamond, California
Original edit.
Industry Deserted - Rosamond, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Kodak Panatomic-X pushed 1-stop" edit.
Rain Tease - Stallion Springs, California
Original edit.
Rain Tease - Stallion Springs, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Kodak Ektachrome 100VS" edit.
Tree In Snow And Fog - Tehachapi, California
Original edit.
Tree In Snow And Fog - Tehachapi, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Kodak Plus-X 125" edit
Central Valley Vista - Stallion Springs, California
Original edit.
Central Valley Vista Monochrome - Stallion Springs, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Ilford Delta 100" edit.
Two Poppy Flowers - Stallion Springs, California
Original edit.
Two Poppy Flowers - Stallion Springs, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Kodak Ektachrome 100VS" edit
76 - Kramer's Junction, California
Original edit.
76 - Kramer's Junction, California
Alien Skin Exposure 6 "Lomo Fujifilm mild cross process" edit.
76 Gasoline - Kramer's Junction, California
Actual cross processed Fuji Velvia 50 film.

No comments:

Post a Comment