[Contest] Win a $500 Alien Skin Post Production Suite

With our current contest on our Fstoppers Facebook Group coming to a close, we aren't wasting any time launching the next contest for everyone! With our pals over at AlienSkin, we want to pimp out your post production software with a free copy of Alien Skin's full Photo Bundle (worth $500)!

AlienSkin makes a great product called Exposure 3 that gives your photos a unique "look" and style. Exposure happens to be a favorite of Lee Morris and Patrick Hall. Remember the iPhone Fashion Shoot? Well the results from that shoot were good, but Alien Skin made them great.


We are giving away the full Alien Skin line of plugins (you can view them all here) and all you have to do is impress us with your post production skills using Alien Skin's Exposure 3 software. Here's how it works:


1) Use Alien Skin's Exposure plugin to enhance any portrait in your portfolio. If you already own Exposure, you're set. Don't have it yet? That's ok! You can download the free trial here. You MUST use Exposure in your entry. No other plugin software will be accepted.

2) Upload your entry to the Fstoppers Facebook Group. Make sure you give it the caption "This is my entry to the Fstoppers Alien Skin contest." so we don't miss it. We would also love to see the before and after images but this is not required.

3) Contest is open until February 21, so you all have two weeks to put together your entry. The winner will be voted on by Patrick, Lee, and myself and crowned on February 22.

Patrick Hall sent me a few of his wedding and editorial images to show how he uses the software. Patrick explains,

"As a full time photographer, I have very little time to play around in Photoshop, but I can't let my images look like they are straight out of the camera either. Alien Skin rocks because it not only emulates hundreds of film styles with the click of a button but it also allows me to adjust individual parameters like Grain, Tone Curve, and Overall Intensity. It can even output the effect on a separate layer for more sublte blending options. If you need something more flexible than standard actions, you gotta give Exposure a try."

Just like Lee's iPhone photos above, the first image is straight out of the camera and the second image has been processed with Exposure 3.






We're excited to see what you all can do with the Exposure software. Head on over to the Fstoppers Facebook Group and show us what you got!

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Lee Morris's picture

I've been using Alien Skin for years now and I cannot say enough good things about this plugin. If you don't have time to Photoshop every single image for hours you can use this program to give an image a professional "look" in about 5 seconds. 

I'll download the trial and test it out because I can get to that result in photoshop, by adjusting contrasts, gradient map adjustment layer etc. but if with only one plugin, one preset I can get there and save a few minutes all the time? Hey why not :)

you should give some "backstage" from that 5min editing, thx :)

Patrick Hall's picture

backstage from what?

Stefan Choquette's picture

Assuming his eastern european heritage, I think he meant Behind the Scenes. 

Yeah, not a born english speaker :D I meant some video tutorial on how you use alienskin in the real world :)

That is a sweet plugin even though.... the Film looks are not that great. VSCO does a way better job.

Isn't this what we use presets for in Lightroom or Aperture?  Those filters above are easily replicated and simply saved.  I'll give it a go but i'm not convinced.

One question: can these filters be applied to a RAW file (like a preset) or does it have to generate a TIFF/PSD/JPG to work it's magic?

Patrick Hall's picture

I've never tried these in Lightroom...and honestly most of the time I shoot jpeg :(  I just like that there are a ton of filters to go through so when I'm indecisive about what I'm wanting I can scroll through.  The idea of having to tweak highpass filter, film grain, cross processing colors, tone curves, sharpening, etc etc manually in lightroom to create my own preset sounds like it would take too much time for me.  If I need a look that specific I will just send it out to the retoucher.

That's fair enough, i can certainly see the appeal for wedding, sports and event photographers and the presentation for choice is good.  I shoot predominantly close up beauty so a trip through photoshop is is still unavoidable for me as i retouch my own work.

I use Alien Skin with LR3.  I also shoot raw.  What the plugin does is create a second tiff file when you go into the editing window and then saves it as a tiff in LR.  It doesn't manipulate the original raw file.  Just the duplicate tiff file it creates.  Pretty slick.  

Yeah i know, the same as NIK plugins..  Creating humungous TIF files at 80MB or more alongside the original RAW rather than a LR preset at about 8kb.  Again if i'm not liquifying or healing i don't see the point over customised presets apart from the initial time it takes to create them.

didnt know that this tool is sooo good... curves contrast cross process. is reeeally good!

Jens Marklund's picture

Do I need to upload it to Facebook, or could I just post a link to the photo (let's say Flickr)?

Facebook quality is terrible, and their copyrights seems to be constantly changing. 

Oh, and by the way - I LOVE exposure 3. Best BW conversions I've done. Also great at colors, once you've learned all the little tips and tricks - to give it your personal look.

Patrick Hall's picture

must be posted to Facebook...that's where the contest is being held.  

I've always been kinda sceptical to plug ins in general but Patrick vouched for it in one of the earlier posts so I had a go with it and it's awesome! It doesnt really let me do anything i couldn't do before, BUT it lets me get there so much faster, and everything is fully customizable so for me and my workflow it's a winner!

so does this mean no other adjustments are allowed to be made using photoshop?? like liquify and such?? 

 It's a plugin for PS (and LR), when you edit the image in Alien Skin it outputs the edit in a new layer. You're allowed to do whatever you'd like at that point on.