Gorgeous Looks

The first strategy is to create a program that is drastically different from Lightroom by using unique tools and workflows. The best example of this strategy is seen in Capture One.

The second strategy is to create a RAW editor similar to Lightroom that addresses the main shortcomings of the program. If you are a Lightroom user and want to try Exposure X5, the learning curve is minimal because Exposure X5 mimics Lightroom in many ways. The layout of the program, name of the editing panels, and even the organization of the editing sliders is very similar to Lightroom. They took the best features of Lightroom, the features photographers liked and utilized the most, and either fixed or removed the annoyances or features photographers hated in Lightroom.

Speed and Overall Performance As a Lightroom user who started using the program when it was in its beta state, my biggest critique of the program is its sluggish performance. It is slow. Out of all the programs, Lightroom was the slowest and Exposure X5 was, by far, the fastest and most responsive. The program never slows down even after hours of work or being open for 24 hours or longer.

It simply flies. Eliminating the Complexity of the Import Process As an educator, the most difficult part of teaching Lightroom is explaining to new users why they cannot navigate to any folder on their computer, select a photo, and begin editing. Instead, they have to go through the import process, which is the most confusing and complex part of the program. The import module scares the hell out of new photographers. Exposure X5 addresses this issue by eliminating the import process.

To start editing, just add a folder with the images to the program as a shortcut and you are ready to go. You can even work while the program processes new photos!

Layers Support As a lifelong Photoshop user, I believe that the concept of layers is what made the program so powerful. In Exposure X5 , you can have multiple layers that do not slow down the program but make the complex editing process so much more organized and streamlined. I can have all my gradients, brush adjustments, and healing adjustments on separate layers that I can turn on and off individually in Exposure X5.

Plus, I can create a unique mask for each layer. I really like the Photoshop-like editing workflow. It is more logical and simpler. Opacity The opacity function is another feature missing in Lightroom. Opacity is the ability to dial down any editing effect, which is the cornerstone of graphic design and photo editing. First, you have the Overall Opacity slider on the top right of the editing panel.

This allows you to dial down the overall editing effect. The ability to adjust the opacity of the individual layer is probably the most useful feature of the program. Streamlined UI Design Another issue that drives me insane in Lightroom is the multi-module structure. There are certain things that I can do only in the Library module or only in the Develop module.

This means that I have to switch from module to module upwards of times a day. Did I mention that this drives me crazy? I always dreamed of a single module interface where I could customize the UI according to my needs.

Guess what? Exposure X5 made my dream come true. The program uses a single module interface. The Metadata panel is positioned at the bottom right of the editing panel and the Folders panel is permanently featured on the left panel. There is no jumping from module to module. Plus, I can customize and reposition the different panels however I want! Customizing User Interface 6. You can buy a perpetual license for a one-time fee. At the same time, I hate not having the ability to opt-out of the subscription.

For people who only use the editing program occasionally, it does not make sense to pay a monthly fee for a program they do not use. Exposure X5 is a great alternative if you want to ditch the Adobe subscription-based model. Learn more here. They had simulations for hundreds of different film brands and models, the ones you could further customize.

They transitioned all these simulations to Exposure X5 in the form of presets. The program comes with nearly presets that are organized into 29 collections. The Exposure X5 cones with 29 preset collections Exposure X5 has different types of preset collections: What is closest to my heart is that Exposure X5 has the most advanced and well thought out Presets Panel.

It has four different views: This means that, regardless of your workflow, you can adopt a Preset Panel that matches your specific needs. I always use the list view. I have my Style and Adjustment preset collections open so that when I move the mouse over any individual preset, the selected photo displays the effect in real-time.

This makes it much easier to navigate to the features you're looking for, and makes the entire program run much more seamlessly. They also added my new favorite feature, the Grain toggle. By clicking this on or off, you can remove grain from your entire work process. With the toggle off, even the presets will remove grain from the equation, giving a whole new look to some of those lo-fi film presets. Visual Workflow This one was long overdue. Now, working like Lightroom and its presets, you have a small thumbnail, showing how each effect will look on your photo.

A wonderful feature for those of us who are going through and editing photos quickly. The new menu system also supports a search feature, allowing you to find all of the pre made, and self made filters quickly. Accompanying the visual workflow is your Recently Used tab, making it so re-using presets you just created incredibly easy. With this tab always open, I'm able to quickly go through and recreate some of the filters I used for an entire set of photos.

Batch Processing Perhaps the greatest thing about the new Exposure 5 is the batch processing. By making the software work in Lightroom, Aperture and Standalone, Alien Skin was able to make batch processing a possibility.

This means you can easily open a bunch of photos, and go through them one by one to edit them how you see fit with a timeline on the bottom. No more opening and closing the program 40 times to get the same effect or different on all your photos. This works great for Lightroom and on the stand alone program, but it appears that it does not work yet for Photoshop, as you can typically only work on one photo at a time. New Flares Another wonderful feature within Exposure 5 is the new sun flares.

Not only do they look great, but they're fairly customizable within the dialog as well. Working much like the Light Leaks did in Exposure 4, you have many different flares to choose from, able to alter their position and opacity. However it seems that they got rid of the randomize feature found in Exposure 4 Or true randomization at least , which is unfortunate.

Fortunately, I can still have Exposure 4 installed, and intend on using that for the random light leak features. So is Exposure 5 Worth the Upgrade?

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