Skin specializes in creating cool and useful Photoshop
plug-ins for imageers and designers. Exposure is a tool
which has been created to answer a particular need of both
digital and film photographers. Many a photographer and
designer has a favorite 35mm or medium format film or look
they like. Some like the rich saturated colors of Velvia,
some like the gritty look of T-Max and others like the
fidelity of Kodakchrome.
Exposure does is allow the user to emulate the look and
feel of specific film types as well as adjust and control
color, tone, focus and grain. It works in two modes:
a) the emulation of B&W film types or toned images,
and b) color film, processes and treatments. The list
of available emulations is quite comprehensive with more
promised in future.
is great for emulating specific black and white films,
B&W infrared, toned and specially processed images
like Calotypes, Daguerreotypes and Orthochromatic images.
It even features several types of cross-processing treatments
such as C41 to E6, E6 to C41, Lomo and old film effects.
I was quite impressed by how well these were implemented.
is really easy to use and allows a great deal of modification
from the base effect. Each interface features five control
panes which allow you to select the effect you want to
use and then modify its color, tonality, focus, the grain
attributes and settings.
individual filters are easy to figure out from their
descriptive labels and would be obvious to anyone one
who has had a broad experience with shooting film. Most
of the filters do look a great deal like their real world
equivalents but some could do with a little refinement,
something which happily Exposure readily enables. Another
big plus is the capability to save your own library of
presets, something which I consider to be a must for
any tool of this kind.
grain is one of the hardest attributes to effectively
emulate and it is often something which many imageers
are asked to remove from scans and images. In Exposure
this attibute is actually a requirement because the user
is trying to emulate a real world quality which has its
own aesthetic value. Grain in Exposure is nicely implemented
with controls for affecting the inclusion of grain in
shadows, midtones and highlights as well as grain size
and the grain color variation when it's applied in color
film mode. One of the attributes which would greatly
improve the handling here is the inclusion of features
like clumping and grain shape to allow for special effects
and more realistic grain effects. It might be possible
to create application curves and profiles for different
types of grain and effects.
the best results were created when using a fairly neutral
image with no overt color casts. I also found that using
higher resolution images was a neccessity, as with lower
resolution images the grain effects proved unrealistic.
A 4 megapixel image is a recommended baseline.
and creative support for Exposure is excellent with online
help, web based support including user forums, and a
manual which covers not only the software but also the
real world issues around which the capabilities of Exposure
are based. Visiting the forums at Alien Skin will also
yield additional settings and tips for improving your
use of this excellent tool.
is impressive and it is my feeling that the only real
way to improve the conversion process is to use a spectral
mapping system for determining the characteristics of
each film type and then using a characteristics table
which allows you to determine image source and image
like to see more film types. The interface needs a little
improvement on its focus. The grain effects could also
be more realistic in their character. Some of the filters
need fine tuning. It would be nice to be able to access
all of the presets in one place. The effects will only
work in RGB mode so those of you who prefer to work in
CMYK need not apply.
and easy to use. Highly configurable. Exposure is aimed
at and priced for professional users who can appreciate
the work that's been put into this excellent plug-in.
Excellent support forums. Whilst much of what Exposure
does can be achieved using a whole array of features
found within Photoshop, the plug-in unifies these capabilities
in an interface which makes it easy to achieve the desired
result. The available presets further simplify the process.
Exposure is easy to use and doesn't get in the way of
the process of exploring what you can do with your images.
All told, Exposure is a must have for any photographer
and imageer who works in the digital realm. What's more,
you'll have fun working with it. Highly Recommended.