Exposure 4 Details

Don’t be shy.

As I worked on the press release for Exposure 4, Tom Welsh stopped by. Tom is the designer and lead programmer for Exposure. Knowing that the press release would contain a quote from him, he said, “It’s always a fun surprise to hear what words you put in my mouth!” I showed him a quote that listed geeky features. Tom said, “The rest of the release has enough dry technical details. Let’s have the quote be what I really think.” Here it is.

“This is the most significant update to Exposure since its creation. Across the board everything is faster and much easier to use.”

At first I thought it was too gushing, like typical marketing BS that no one believes. But Tom convinced me that if you really mean it you should say it. Tom means it and so do I. Exposure 4 is much faster and easier to explore and that is the most important upgrade any product can get.

The user interface has been completely redesigned. Here are a few of the significant improvements shown in screen shots. Click the pictures to see full resolution versions.

Group Presets

Below you can see what we call group presets. Those are presets that control a group of related sliders, like the ones for the new texture overlay feature shown below. Group presets let you quickly explore options for just one aspect of your look without fiddling with individual sliders. There is a pop up menu of group presets above each important group of controls, such as tone curves, focus, grain, vignette, etc.

Click to see a higher resolution version.

Thumbnail Previews

The thumbnail in the upper left of the window has been enlarged and now gives you fast previews of presets. As you mouse over a preset name the thumbnail updates to show you what it will look like on your photo. Just slide your cursor down the list of presets to rapidly explore them visually.

Click to see a higher resolution version.


Texture Overlay

The dust and scratches feature in Exposure 3 is simulated, so it sometimes looks a bit artificial. We threw that out and replaced it with a texture overlay system that uses high resolution photos. The result is that Exposure 4 can beautifully render a wide range of messy real world effects, like brushed emulsion, light leaks, scratches, dust, and frames. In the screen shots above you can see a light leak and an off-center vignette. Below are more examples. Click for higher resolution versions.


The Geeky List

I wouldn’t get into this much detail with the press, but most of you are familiar with Exposure and probably want to hear it all. So, here are more of the improvements. I may elaborate on some of these and show more photos in the blog later.

Improved User Interface

A redesigned user interface makes Exposure 4 much easier to use.

  • Black and White and Color filters are combined into one filter so you can find all the effects in one place.
  • Group presets let you explore custom effects easily.
  • Thumbnail Preview. Hover over a setting to preview it in the thumbnail.
  • Settings Search. Find settings based on name or description.
  • Speed. Dramatically faster on Mac and Windows.

New Controls and Effects

New controls let you create new custom looks quickly and intuitively

  • New controls let you create Black and White effects more easily (more color channels, B/W Color Filter, Split Toning Control).
  • New controls let you create custom color effects more easily (more saturation channels, color split toning).
  • New Color Infrared effect
  • New Texture Effect (light leaks, dust and scratches, borders)

New Presets

Hundreds of Presets. Many presets have been improved and new ones added.

  • Alternative Photography. New textures help you recreate historical photographic processes. Cyanotype, Lith printing and Wet Plate Photography.
  • Lo-Fi. More realistic toy camera settings using light leaks and organic textures

When? How much?

Exposure 4 will be available in February 2012 for $249. Owners of any version of Exposure can upgrade for $99. Free upgrades will be automatically sent to everyone who purchased Exposure 3 directly from Alien Skin Software in November 2011 or later.

When Exposure ships we will announce it to our e-mail list (sign up at the bottom of this page), in the blog (RSS here), Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

About Jeff

Jeff Butterworth is the founder of Alien Skin Software. He used to create the products, but now he does marketing and gets coffee for the programmers.
This entry was posted in Announcements, Exposure, Photography and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Exposure 4 Details

  1. Dean says:

    Great work Jeff & Tom! I love the looks of this. I’ve been an Exposure user for years and can’t wait to get my hands on this! If you are looking for a beta tester, hit me up, I’d love to help! I have almost 5000 photographers on my newsletter mailing list and I’ll be helping spread the word via a video tutorial : )


    Hollywood, CA -


  2. Darrick Moran says:

    is jan 2011 close enough to get it for free

    I really like the speed thing and light leaks

  3. Mark Terry says:

    Holy hand grenades, Batman! This does look like quite an impressive update. All the features are welcome and look fantastic, and I can’t wait to try them out! Now we have to wait two whole weeks before getting our sweaty little hands on it. ;p

    Counting down the hours…

  4. Debra Wilkes says:

    I see the things that can be done and am trying to get the software so can do even more than I do with my little things. I love taking picture of all things and making slide shows with mi=usic as well for family, friends, and even just me. This is why I get newsletters from the site so can make sure keep up. Have a Great Week Debra

  5. Mark says:

    The upcoming release looks great. I’ve been using exposure 3 as part of my portrait and wedding workflow for over a year now and love the product. Thanks for providing such great software.

  6. Stefan says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I made an upgrade from Exposure 2 to Exposure 3 in November 2011 at your store, because I changed my Mac OS (now Lion). Will I get also a free update to Exposure 4?


    • Jeff says:

      Yes, if you purchased Exposure 3 in November then we will automatically send you Exposure 4 when it is ready. An upgrade to Exposure 3 counts.

  7. Dave Butler says:

    So, if we bought the whole suite for $299 after 11/11because we already own one of the apps in the suite, will we be provided the Exp 4 without charge?

    • Jeff says:

      Yes, if you purchased Exposure 3 as a full version, an upgrade, or as part of the Photo Bundle in November or later then we will automatically send you Exposure 4 when it is ready.

  8. teresa vigil says:

    OH yeah you just made my day!

  9. Awesome updates!!! I can hardly wait. Is it February yet???? =)) I LOVE all of your software and have every single one of them!

  10. Kaili says:

    So excited!!! I got my exposure 3 in the beginning of November! Looking forward to 4!

  11. Jan says:

    Just awesome guys! I’ve been using Exposure since it first came out, and from what I see, it keeps on getting better and better! I’ll definitively upgrade this time around too! A feature I would like to see though, is a slider to adjust the user interface from light to dark. Today, most editing software UI’s are dark and switching between them when you’re in the middle of editing hundreds of images, takes your focus from the images and can almost make you snow blind for a second or two. I would be truly grateful for being given the choice to adjust the color of the UI myself. Anyway, looking forward to getting my hands on Exposure 4 in Feb!

    • Jeff says:

      I will pass your idea on to the team. Version 4 will not have that feature, but it is a good idea for the future.
      By the way, I like your web site.

      • Jan says:

        Thanks Jeff! Looking forward to the feature in version 5, then. Meanwhile, I am sure I will just love Exposure 4! There are some features there (textures etc) that I am really excited about!

    • Claus says:

      That’s a good idea… but CS6 has a new interface and NikSoftware also uses a dark background. I don’t understand why this isn’t an option in Exposure 4.

  12. Hey there! Any chance of seeing some examples of the Wet Plate photography settings? (Pref. with a before & after :D

    I use Exposure on pretty much every project i work on (and as a matter of fact, most of the images on my webpage have been Exposurized in some way, and quite a lot bokeh’d aswell ;) so this will be a no brainer update for me. “Unfortunately” i got the entire pack in June so will have to dish out the upgrade molas :D

    Bring it out asap please =) Can’t wait.

    • Jeff says:

      Sure, I’ll ask Tom to do a blog article showing off some of the new wet plate settings. I think he is particularly proud of those. He worked a long time with paint brushes to photograph the texture overlays just right.

      • Yes, Wet Plate has such a unique look and how it renders the tones differently from other media so it’s extremely difficult to replicate properly. Really looking forward to seeing Tom’s take on them =)

  13. Leo Chen says:

    Great improvements! I love that BW and Color will be combined. Will it allow output of multiple versions?

    • Jeff says:

      I suspect that combining the two filters will be the favorite feature of everyone who has been using Exposure for a while. Long overdue!
      You will have to apply Exposure separately to create each version of a photo. We’ll consider that for a future version.

  14. This is indeed very exciting news! I use photoshop sparingly as I prefer to share what it was I saw through my lenses. However, to have ‘Exposure 3′ on hand is a valuable tool for my work (please visit my site and have a look at ‘Supreme Court’ which became a very sucessful exhibition of mine; all images were finally processed with ‘exposure 3.’). I find that ‘exposure’ enhances and adds clarity to my medium format film work and I am grateful to Alien Skin for that! (is there, perchance, a contra deal for my sucky words??).

    The upgrade looks awesome.

  15. David Hodson says:

    This is great news. The fourth generation of Exposure looks great with even more varied effects you can achieve.

    As someone who still shoots real film, because of the demise of many classic emulsions I find myself wanting for a particular look. Exposure has it on tap. Even film photographers do post-processing!

    For me, photography has never been so exciting.

  16. Ken Lawrence says:

    First of all: congratulations on finishing Exposure 4. It looks great and I am sure to be upgrading from version 3!

    The thumbnail previews look fantastic and I’m very curious to see how those historical photographic processes have been included as presets.

    One question though: will it play nice with my Photoshop actions which I currently have? I often search for a “look and feel”, combining both filters from Exposure 3 as well as others. Once I am pleased with the result I save the actions to be able to apply them in a batch to a whole series I shot. I guess I will have to recreate the majority of these actions with the new version?

    Kind regards,


    • Robert says:

      Hi Ken,

      Actions do not transfer over from one product to the next. You can think of them as macros that remember what program they were created to work with. In this case you will have to recreate your actions if you want them to use Exposure 4.

      Best regards,
      Robert Lounsberry

  17. Colm Rogan says:

    Delighted as a December purchaser and lover of Exposure 3. Just one question, will the new version retain all the film presets (print, slide, polaroid etc) of version 3 or will I lose some of these with the upgrade? I’ve become somewhat attached!!


    • Jeff says:

      All the old presets should be there. There might be some slight tweaks to some of the more exotic ones, like an added texture overlay, but all the basic film stocks should be exactly the same. A few of the more funky presets have been organized into different folders, but you can find them easily with the new text search.

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  20. rob palmer says:

    very excited about exposure 4. looks great! i know you probably have it listed somewhere but i couldn’t see it. what are the minimum system requirements for exposure 4? what’s the olderst versions of Photoshop and Lightroom it will work in?

  21. Pingback: Alien Skin Software Announces Exposure 4 Plug-In for Photoshop and Lightroom | Daniele Cuccia


  23. Cori says:

    Awww, come on! You have to give us a date!!!!

  24. Woaaahhh!!!
    The list of changes is fantastic!
    It would be unbelievable to see such a product and to use it!
    Will look forward to seeing it!
    Thank you guys!

  25. Al says:

    Can i run this plugin on Win XP because i read somewhere it’s VIsta or higher.

    • Jeff says:

      It is officially Vista or later, but it may work on Windows XP. Our system requirements are the systems we carefully test with. We don’t have time to test carefully with other configurations, but they often work. If you want to take a chance then just run it in trial mode once we release it.

  26. Adan Martell says:

    I edit hundred of photos, speed is the best with exposure 3, I can’t wait to upgrade to exposure 4.

    Adan Martell

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  31. LTOE says:

    Sounds like it will be amazing !!! Can’t wait till February to discover this new version, I use your product since version 1 and it was always a success :-) Congrats

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  33. Hi, really great news!!
    Just one BIG questio: i have so many presets i created in exposure 3. Will they be available in version 4of the plugin or will they be lost forever?

  34. Mark Coats says:

    The only reason I pulled the trigger on Exposure 3 a couple of weeks ago, is to get the new Exposure 4!

    Please let me know when it’s ready!!

    • Jeff says:

      Patience, young Grasshopper.
      The middle of February is looking very good. In the mean time, I’ll post a few more photos soon made with Exposure 4.

  35. Pingback: Another Exposure 4 Sneak Peek | Alien Skin Software

  36. hansam says:

    How I can change color for light leak present? I don’t like Red color.

    • Robert says:

      It is not possible to change the color of the light leaks in Exposure 4. Perhaps in a future version, we may be able to add more control. I will make sure to pass this request on to our development team.

  37. hansam says:

    Thks you so much, Robert

  38. Alessandro says:

    Hi.. I bought alien skin 4 a year ago more or less.. I would like to know if there are some Update (new filter or new features)
    Thanx a lot

    • Jimmy says:

      Hi Alessandro,

      Yes, Exposure 5 was released back in June. Here is a link to the announcement.

      There are a bunch of awesome new features introduced in version 5. The Exposure page on our website is the best place to start learning about them.

      Also, you can download the free trial to try Exposure 5 for yourself. All of our products are fully functional during the demo period.

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