Alien Skin Exposure X Sneak Peek 2

Alien Skin has released another blog update for the upcoming release of Exposure X. The latest article highlights the speed of Exposure X’s image browsing feature. Here is the new video that summarises it.

Recently Lightroom has been getting a lot of flak for the perceived slowness of its image import function. This is not new, as experienced photographers have long known that Lightroom is slow and ineffective for previewing images. This is not just about rendering tiny JPEGs, but multi-megapixel RAW and JPEG images produced by modern cameras. If you just came in from a photoshoot with a few hundred images, trying to import all of it into Lightroom and then sort and cull them from within Lightroom is tantamount to career suicide. The process is simply too slow and inefficient. Fortunately, other software makers recognized the inefficiency in this workflow and saw a business opportunity. These are definitely real needs of a photographer and these software makers offer fast image browsing and preview solutions. Photo Mechanic is a popular solution that many professionals have mentioned using, and is probably the reference standard. ACDsee is another example. On1 has also been trying to enter this space with their Perfect Browse functionality in their Perfect Photo Suite of image editing tools. Now it appears Alien Skin is joining the action with Exposure X.

From the amount of information released about Exposure X so far, the new improved browsing functionality is the main feature of this new release. Although Exposure 7 could run in standalone mode and render image previews in a directory, it grinds slowly when you have a lot of RAWs, JPEGs and TIFFs in a directory. From the looks of the video preview, Exposure X addresses this shortcoming and does it quite well. Alien Skin is positioning Exposure as an image management and organizational tool in addition to its current functionality as an excellent film preset and image editing tool. It will be interesting to see how well it supports metadata editing and search functionalities.

Existing Exposure users would have noticed that there is little mention of improvements to the preset and image editing features in Exposure X. It is logical that the most significant changes to a new product release are announced and talked about first. With the relative silence on image presets and editing, it is probably safe to assume that any updates to these features will be minor. Some long-time Exposure users could be disappointed and skip this release if they already have a fast image-viewing solution. I might get the update as I do not currently have such a solution since View NX-i does not work on Windows 10. Alien Skin would have made my purchase decision much easier if they added live histogram with highlight/shadow warnings in this release! 😉

If you are still wondering why I keep talking about Exposure, it is because I use it, if it is not obvious yet. 😀 99% of all my images go through Exposure for some tuning. Modern digital cameras are fantastic for capturing real-life colours and moments. However the observant artist should know that real-life colours are actually boring! This is where Exposure helps me add a touch of character to my images, including architectural images such as these:

Victoria Concert Hall Interior 2Nikon D610, 28mm, f/8, 1/60, ISO 1130

Architecture: Modern Brutalism 1Nikon D610, 26mm, f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 100

Exposure X is scheduled for release “before end of 2015”.

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