Amidst the influx of announcements from Photokina (be sure to check out Rf senior technology editor Greg Scoblete's coverage on all the latest products coming out of Cologne, Germany), Alien Skin has launched Exposure X2, the latest version of its editing/organizational software with lots of new features and improvements.
Like the application, the new features offer both practical and creative solutions. Organizational tools have been expanded to include a multitude of search and sort options, ranging from selecting images by matching colors, file extension and capture time to filtering and searching by metadata such as camera make, model, serial number, lens focal length and much more. There's also an Adjust Capture Time feature that lets you sync two or more cameras (great when you're working with second shooters) or adjust the capture time if you've been working in another time zone.
In addition, you'll find an interactive histogram with clipping warnings and the ability to adjust an image by dragging your mouse across the histogram. There's also a new spot healing tool and other enhancements; for instance, the program now allows for simple dragging and dropping of images to other applications. As always, the application is compatible with a wide range of file types including RAW, DNG, JPEG, TIFF and PSD. Non-destructive RAW editing is, of course, a standard in the software.
A history panel has been integrated into the software so you have a record of all the steps you've taken to edit the image. This allows you to easily go back to a previous state and/or save the adjustments as a preset. Alien Skin has also enhanced exporting options with more flexibility in naming and the ability to save your output settings as a preset for future use.
On the creative side, you'll find a new set of faded presets. According to Alien Skin, users have been asking for more presets and they've now included a half dozen black-and-white and a dozen color-faded presets. With a trend among wedding photographers of lifting blacks, these new faded presets provide additional creative options. Black-and-white image processing has been enhanced as well.
Alien Skin has some great tutorials on its site, as well as information about additional new features and enhancements, so head on over to take a look. There's a free 30-day trial of Exposure X2 if you haven't tried the software before. The full application costs $149 but upgrade pricing—for owners of any version of Exposure—is available for $99. A bundle, including three Alien Skin programs—Exposure X2, Snap Art and Blow up—can be downloaded for $199.