by Kay Michael Kuhnlein
More and more manufacturers deliver their plugins for Photoshop and additionally as standalone versions. In most cases both versions offer you almost identical functions. Nevertheless it is somewhat different with Exposure X: You can, for example, load your photos directly from the memory card, then sort them once again, rename image files and much more. Of course, all presets are available for image processing, too.
I could actually spare you the following sentence as you can read it in all my previous reviews. But somehow you may have missed it, so once again: This is no manual of all available features, but only a general overview, just a review.
Standalone - UI
That´s what the user interface looks like, if you...
The displayed and selected folders must contain images, otherwise you will see an empty space in front of you. Instantly another example will follow on this topic.
Standalone – Copying images from the memory card
Just proceed at the upper left-hand side
Just another little bit of work and you get to the target
You will get to a new dialog window where you can select the destination path and determine whether you just want to copy your photos or whether you want to delete them after copying. It is clear that you should finally press OK, otherwise you will have to wait forever for something to happen.
The images have successfully been copied.
With this procedure the previously selected target location is automatically displayed at the top and you can see all images copied from the card in the center now. If this arose your interest and you would like to know more, then visit www.alienskin.com where you will find a detailed video.
Standalone – What does not work!
I actually wanted to see the image
This is no mistake from my part nor a technical failure. No, the standalone version of Exposure does not process .psd files. Please do not ask me why, I do not have a clue. Of course this is different with the plugin version, otherwise this would not make any sense.
The jpg from the same folder is accepted without any problems
The screenshot above is simply meant to underline my credibility. When I was first confronted with this peculiarity, I didn´t want to believe it myself, but one never stops learning.
[Editor's note: Alienskin confirmed now that they will provide support for the PSD format in a future version.]
Exposure X as Plugin
Again and again it is a pleasure to give you the following information: The installation worked without any problems. I was shown PS CS6 (I do not possess a higher version), but also Lightroom that I do not have. Not expecting anything else, the plugin was displayed on the Filter menu.
Nice, isn´t it? – Photographer:
Harald Heim – www.thepluginsite.com
Not only is my friend Harald Heim able to program excellent plugins, but when he feels like doing so, has good mood and time he produces really stunning photos. (Unfortunately it happens very rarely that these three characteristics occur on a single day - the same can be said about calling me back).
You can see that in Exposure X image editing is more playing than work, it is just more than easy, but with a professional result. On the left I chose the group Color Fading from the preset list and selected Agfa Color New with Vignette as the preset. Then I adjusted something in the settings for Vignette and Focus until I was satisfied.
Please permit me the following: If Harald Heim had done the image processing of his photo himself, then he would of course have used one or more of his own plugins. This is more or less understandable, but in this case I am the reviewer and so it is just me who has the power.
This was too colorful for the client - Artwork: Kay Michael Kuhnlein – www.a-dezign.de
A decent client wanted to buy the above shown "Statue of Liberty" for his foyer. The scene as well as the brush structures did exactly meet his demands, if there only hadn´t been these rather bright colors. In short, the client would like to have the image in another color combination. He made suggestions for the new colors for about 20 minutes, but actually he didn´t really know himself what he finally wanted it to look like.
The original composition has 29 layers in Photoshop. I was just too lazy to apply new colors on each single layer. Nevertheless I wanted to present the client at least one new color combination so that he may see my good will.
Color Misc Effects – "Preset Fade all leaving weaks red" – the solution via mouse click
As Exposure X was already installed at this time, I was looking there for a possible and simple solution for my problem. After several tries I found something: Color Misc Effects – Preset: "Fade all leaving weaks red" appeared to me as suitable. As far as fine-tuning is concerned I adjusted the Colors settings, but remained with the original preset at last.
Do you prefer the new colors? – Artwork: Kay Michael Kuhnlein – www.a-dezign.de
As you can see, sometimes Exposure X is the ideal solution for non-daily image procession. I didn´t have to convince my client with many words, he liked the new colors instantly.
It is simply meant to look different, probably also better
As a review author I do not necessarily want to produce the common „masterpieces“, but simply provide a small overview of the features. Thus I inevitably use one or another photo as a sample image that you may probably have dumped into the trash can long ago. Anyway here is the next example.
Dark clouds – Photographer: Silvia Kuhnlein – www.a-dezign.de
For the above shown sample image I was looking for a suitable preset and found Lo-Fi (Cross Processed).
Lo-Fi (Crossed Processed) – Preset Fuji Velvia 100F-Vignet
For my demands the preset Fuji Velvia 100F-Vignet was the ideal origin. Nevertheless I used numerous settings in Basic and Detail until I was really satisfied. A detailed listing of the values would probably not be helpful for you as each image requires different settings.
Dramatic clouds and a very extraordinary sky
As often mentioned before, the result of an image procession depends on taste, it is impossible that everybody likes it nor does everybody have to like it. But you may take it for granted that this one does exactly meet my imagination and demands.
New image effect #2
I, for myself, do mostly use a plugin for creating a new image impression than the original provides. That´s why another example follows that shows the very easy handling of Exposure X for getting presentable results.
As original image serves a portrait photo from Harald Heim, that he did not yet optimize for his own demands. A color change will certainly invoke other emotions in the spectator, so let´s get down and dirty.
A cool image – But look into what monstrosity Harald turned it after hours of photoshopping. What a sick little bastard ... oh, of course, I mean the girl! - I'll use the fresher left one for this example. Photographer: Harald Heim – www.thepluginsite.com
It is very easy to follow my work style: The image was opened and I looked for a suitable effect by verifying the thumbnails from top to bottom.
I rather liked the image effect of the presets Cross Processing – Lomo – Fuji Film (mild). Furthermore, I experimented with several detail settings hereafter, but at last I remained with the original preset.
New image impression, ain´t it? – Photographer: Harald Heim – www.thepluginsite.com
Of course Exposure X does also offer black/white
The plugin provides a whole array of different
black & white effects. These are as well distributed into different
effect groups. The workflow works exactly the same as with the color
Very long ago wealthy people spent their holidays here - Photographer: Kay Michael Kuhnlein – www.a-dezign.de
For your information: This used to be the Grand-Hotel and casino in Antibes situated at the Cote d’Azur in France.
Easy to notice, a black/white photo is meant to be created
For my conversion to a black & white image I decided on a preset from the group B&W Misc Effects. Here you get a selection of combined effects such as this frame effect. To get the desired result I changed a variety of settings in Basic, Detail and Focus.
B&W Misc Effects – Border
– Tabbed (Kodak T-Max 100) – Photographer: Kay Michael
As with every review I close with a note
to visit the website of the manufacturer www.alienskin.com.
There you do not only get further information, but you can download
Exposure X as a demo version and then experiment with your own photos.
There is simply no better way to get familiar with a plugin.
Kay Michael Kuhnlein
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