Alien Skin just released a sneak peek blog article and preview video of the upcoming update to Exposure, their venerable post-processing software used by award-winning photographers world-wide to reproduce the colours and feel of analogue film.
Although VSCO may be more well known due to its popularity in mobile photography, Alien Skin Exposure has been around much longer, and is used by several successful photographers including Sue Bryce, Susan Stripling and Cliff Mautner. Ever since version 6, it can run as a standalone application and does not need a host application such as Lightroom or Photoshop. This is a great advantage for users who do not necessarily want to work with Adobe’s suite of applications, or restrict themselves to a limited list of supported host software. Add in non-destructive editing and ASE quickly becomes a very attractive piece of post-processing software.
So now we have Exposure X. The version number is taking a large leap from ‘Exposure 7’ to ‘Exposure X’, hinting at elaborate strategic moves by the marketing and sales departments. The competitive market for post-processing software has certainly come under more pressure in recent years with Adobe touting Photoshop plus Lightroom for 10USD per month in a Creative Cloud subscription. In response, many image software vendors have started to diversify and increase the features offered by their respective products. Hence you see traditional photo-organization applications offering more in-depth image-editing capabilities, while traditional image-editing software have started to offer more photo-organization features.
In Exposure’s case, it started to offer RAW support in Exposure 7. Now it is offering better integrated photo organization support in Exposure X. Having used and tested a good number of different post-processing software, Exposure 6 and 7 definitely stands out from most of them for ease-of-use and speed of operation. While I do not expect the upcoming Exposure X to offer the kind of comprehensive organizational functions that Lightroom does, I am definitely curious to see how well they have implemented the new features to justify the significant version re-branding.
Ironically, I am actually more interested in other aspects of Exposure X. Are there new film presets? Better editing controls? Have they finally included a histogram to give us shadows and highlights clipping warnings? We will find out this winter when the new version of Exposure is released.