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Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 Review

The latest version of Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 has a large range of film effects and a brand new interface, Daniel Bell reviews.

|  Exposure 4 in Other Software
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Alien Skin Software's Exposure 4 is a Photoshop plug-in that gives digital photographs the look and feel of film. There are discontinued films, dark room tricks, lo-fi camera quirks and classic films such as Kodachrome, Polaroid and Panatomic-X. The latest version has a completely redesigned user interface, aiming to be faster and easier to use.

This product requires one of the following host applications:
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 or later
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 or later
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 or later
System Requirements:
  • 1024 x 768 or greater monitor resolution
  • Mac - Intel Core 2 processor & Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • Windows - Intel Core 2 processor or compatible & Windows Vista or later

Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 Features

  • Improved user interface
  • Unified filters
  • Group presets
  • Thumbnail preview
  • Fast text search
  • New controls and effects
  • Texture effects
  • More colour channels
  • More saturation channels
  • Colour infrared film
  • New presets
  • New textures
  • Lo-fi toy camera presets
  • Realistic grain
  • Non-destructive editing
  • Huge range of effects
  • Black & white films
  • Colour print films
  • Colour slide films
  • Many other effects

Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 Performance

Installation is quick and easy, when you load Photoshop, the software is accessed via the Filter option along the top of the screen. A new window opens with the list of available filters in the left column, when you hover over one a preview appears in the corner. In the centre is a larger preview of your image. The right hand side column is packed with options allowing you to tweak your images. Under colour you can choose from a selection of colour filters and saturation options, as well as change them manually. You can also change the tone, focus, grain, IR and age, again with a range of presets available. When you have chosen your preferred settings, click OK and the image then opens as a new layer on your image in Photoshop.

When using the software the changes appear instantly, with a few seconds delay when going back to Photoshop. If you have a preferred custom style you can save this as a user filter to apply to future images. With the vast amount of options available it's difficult to give examples of each of the filters so there are a few of our favourites below. There are loads more examples which can be seen in the Equipment Database.

B W Films Polapan Dust And Scratches
B&W Films - Polapan Dust And Scratches

B W Films Vintage Cyanotype Brushed High Contrast
B&W Films - Vintage Cyanotype Brushed High Contrast

Cinema Bleach Bypass
Cinema Bleach Bypass

Color Fading Color Photo Warm Skin
Color Fading Color Photo Warm Skin

Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 Verdict

Without a large knowledge of films, it's hard to say how accurate the software is, but due to the vast amount available and the further editing options available, it is fair to say the software is great for adding different styles to your pictures. It's really easy to use and will prove particularly useful if you aren't a Photoshop expert. Where the Exposure 4 software may struggle is its price of $249 (approx £156.99 as of March 20 2012). This represents quite an investment, but you can download a free trial to help you further decide.

The Alien Skin Exposure 4 is superb if you can cope with the high price tag.

Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 Pros

Huge range of films with further editing options
Very easy to use and experiment with

Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 Cons

Quite expensive
Crashed very occasionally


Alien Skin Software Exposure 4 is available for $249 (approx £156.99 as of March 20 2012) with a discounted upgrade for previous Exposure owners.
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dwilkin 15 24.3k United Kingdom
21 Mar 2012 10:07AM
I have played with the trial download, and while I really like the effects it can deliver, the price is still a bit steep...

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