The power and versatility of the software is truly impressive. As an example, when I was shooting black-and-white film years ago, one of my favorite parts of the process was in toning the finished prints. I experimented with gold toning and selenium: I’d spend hours making print and after print, each time evaluating the look before I’d remix the chemistry or change the amount of time the print spent in the mixture.
Exposure 2 gives me the same ability to experiment with a dozen tones, but instead of standing in a poorly ventilated, cold room and dipping my fingers in toxic chemicals for hours at a time, I can do it with a couple of mouse clicks from the comfort of an ergonomically designed desk chair. And I do all of it without having to put together complex Photoshop actions.
Alien Skin Exposure 2’s infrared simulator
Many photographers have found that digital capture has its own aesthetic. Each camera manufacturer applies a number of algorithms to the data as it’s moving through the processing engine. When the image is opened in the computer, whether it’s a JPEG or RAW file, the image has a particular look. If you lined up a Canon, a Nikon, an Olympus and a Sony all with similar focal lengths and all with similar image-sensor resolutions, and you took the same picture at the same time, the images would each have a different look. Color bias, contrast, noise—all of these factors come into play, and the looks of the images just aren’t the same. Digital capture has its own personality, but even with an appreciation for those visual nuances, there are plenty of occasions when one would choose to have more of a film look. Exposure 2 is easy to use, powerful and versatile. It’s a tool that’s up to the high demands of a professional but doesn’t require a PhD in Photoshop.