As photographers we are always looking for ways to make our post production process easier and more efficient, while still allowing us the power to create our signature looks. For many people this is some combination of multiple software packages, each with a specific purpose in the post-production workflow to build the look of a given image. This is often Adobe Lightroom, along with Photoshop, and this was the case for me until I recently gave Alien Skin Exposure X2 a try and I loved it so much I have integrated it into my post-production workflow.
Today I wanted to talk about how I use Alien Skin Exposure X2 in my own post-production workflow. This is not a full review of the suite, nor is it meant to be. This is just me, explaining my process and talking about how Alien Skin Exposure X2 fits into things now. So just as I have done since the beginning, when I get home the first thing that I do is import my images into Lightroom and onto my SSD array (x4 mirrored 500GB SSDs for 1TB of ‘safe & fast’ SSD storage). Once in Lightroom I go through my culling process and pick out the images that I want to start processing.
I apply my preset in LR, tweak as needed for the given image, and then LR is done. Now, I used to pull the image into Photoshop at this point for some more advanced edits, or in some cases just delivered the LR edit, depends on the shoot and the client needs. However, now that I am using and loving Alien Skin Exposure X2 I have added it into my workflow here.
Upon completing my LR edit each image is pulled into Alien Skin Exposure X2 and I add a customized film preset over the top (I have two that I have developed, one for color and one for B&W). This is also where I do blemish removal (I used to do that in LR, but it is WAY faster in ASE X2), sharpening, and adding grain.
Here are a few quick Before/Afters:
Then I save my ASE X2 edit as a tif and pull it back into LR for catalog management purposes. Simple as that, I don’t even open up Photoshop now unless I need to get really into an image in a way that I can’t do with ASE or LR (which is rare these days). I have found that Alien Skin Exposire X2 has given me the ability to give my images a nice finished look in no time at all, and adding to that the better sharpening and grain (in my opinion) it has been a real winner for me in achieving the look I want for my images.
If you are interested you can learn mroe about Alien Skin Exposure over on their website. I also did a full review of Alien Skin Exposure X2 over on The Phoblograher which you can find here if you are interested in that. Finally, I will leave you with a few examples of some shots I have recently processed with my new ASE X2 integrated workflow.