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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Introduce your favorite non-Adobe software!

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I use Topaz filters a lot. It used to be tgat NIK filters were also part of my toolkit, but since DXO took them over, I have been out of luck.

What filters/plugins or other software can you recommend for formal editing with view to printing a superb work of art!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So I purchase Nik filters from DXO and so far impressed as a plug-in.


Also bough O1 RAW. I must try out it’s ability to recognize in green outline on a separate layer parts of an image in focus. I worked on the texture of a tree and found it was richer than both Photoshop And Topaz for this particular picture.

I will be sharing pictures.

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
So. Last April when I had to return to Canada because of the pandemic, I made the decision to fork out for the PS/Lightroom subscription for my 2012 MacBook Air. At that time I checked the alternatives to Adobe and soon realized that most were demanding on the resources of the computer and would not run or do that efficiently on my aging laptop. As well, none offered the ability at organizing that I was used to in Lightroom.

I received my Renewal notification a couple of days ago. Time flies quickly. But I also now have an established workstation based on the new Apple MacMini running on Silicone. And so I could now consider the other options.

I considered what I need out of my software, and came to the conclusion that Exposure X6 is the right choice for me out the leading 5 or 6 paid contenders. I am less interested in AI and all the fancy algorithms for replacing backgrounds and all the other cool stuff (I already have Affinity Photo for anything I would do in Photoshop) - than having a program that will effectively replace Lightroom for organizing of my vast array of images on my hard drives, as well as being able to do all basic editing of my pics without the need to open them in Photoshop.

I downloaded the 30 day Trial of Exposure x6 and soon realized that the preview thumbnails open so quickly compared to Lightroom (because it doesnt use a catalogue system). As well, the interface is almost identical to Lightroom, so I new exactly how to use use the adjustments. Even better for me, is that there is only one panel where everything is accomplished making the process of selecting and creating my images speedy.

And the real selling point for me is the unbelievable number of Presets, Film Emulations, and customizability that Lightroom or the other applications do not have. I am a huge supporter and user of Snapseed on my iPad, and this takes those features that I love about Snapseed to a whole new level of creativity. Years ago I used Nik software on my MacBook to get the same effect. I never replaced Nik after it became a paid product.

X6 does not get the highest level reviews marks of the top few Adobe replacements, mostly based on two things. Apparently it’s noise reduction is not up to the high ability of DXO, nor does it contain the high level of prestine image processing that is able to generate unrealistic landscapes like Luminar AI. The thing is that those features hold less value to me than the ability to play with amazing film style presets and introduce scratches and textures and light flares, and add borders to give sizzle to the grungy style that I prefer for most of my street and travel pics. I also appreciate that I can customize the layout to my liking. Bonus - Exposure X6 is made to work with Apple Silicone as well. Others will work well through Rosetta 2 though, and state that they are working on new versions for Silicone.

anyway - just some of my thoughts today. Needless to say, my one year subscription stint with Adobe, is over. LOL


been having fun reworking many of my images photographed in Central America between 2008 and 2020. Mostly looking for ones that I have never published before. Here are a few Processed in Exposure X6:



53C8175C-EDE6-4555-BB60-E27E9EB1714C.jpeg
F8641C2B-E616-4320-A4A5-0F9C6C90903E.jpeg
3F4C1A86-DECA-4A8A-816A-7E75F84E3238.jpeg
7F71D7FE-0C8A-42E5-BA91-507C950D407E.jpeg
 
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Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Interesting topic !
Luisa says I spend too much time at the computer. If I ever changed the software I use (CC+LR) I would have to learn how to work with it and take even more time seated.
I have seen some demonstrations of Exposure x6 and found very interesting the change colors feature.
I have been pursuing this for some time but not having the results I would like. Selection is hard and Exposure looks simple.
Thank you Robert for pointing to this alternative !
Cheers ! :)
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
“I received my Renewal notification a couple of days ago. Time flies quickly. But I also now have an established workstation based on the new Apple MacMini running on Silicone. And so I could now consider the other options.”

Robert,

is it renewal notification for an Adobe subscription or else of your VISA allowing you to go back to South America?

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
“I received my Renewal notification a couple of days ago. Time flies quickly. But I also now have an established workstation based on the new Apple MacMini running on Silicone. And so I could now consider the other options.”

Robert,

is it renewal notification for an Adobe subscription or else of your VISA allowing you to go back to South America?

Asher
LOL. That reminds me—— I better go online and check and make sure the Adobe subscription isn’t set up to Auto Renew!!! then I’d be in big trouble with Anne For sure.
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
I am interested in that software!

was it renamed from something else


Asher
I just found this. I actually remember photographers talking about the amazing Alien Skin film emulation plug-in for Photoshop, way way back. Maybe that’s why their Presets in this new interaction, are so mature.



——-
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
I have to say that while I have had Affinity Photo for several years on both my computer and my iPad, I have struggled making sense of how to use it without a deep dive into instructions - which I’m not one of those guys. The workflow bears little resemblance to my familiarity with PS. Knowing that it has all the capabilities to replace Photoshop, I have held on to it in the hopes that someday I will come across a way to make sense of its interface. I found this video today, that was uploaded a week ago, that gets me on my way to knowing what the Personas are and why and how they would be used. I very much appreciate this timely understanding being that I have now canceled my Adobe subscription. Thought I’d share in case someone has had the same challenge as me:

 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I appreciate this opportunity to catch up myself. PS lacks the moods of even Snapseed, but I have found Non PS software counterintuitive!

So far, it has some unique appealing features like work on HDR 32 BIT files of wider Dynamic Range than viewable on a good monitor!

So I will happily study this gift of yours!

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
Robert,

Did you add those wonderful crepuscular light rays. If so, how?

Asher
Yes. Lot of light leaks to work with and more importantly, to manipulate —- in Exposure X6. I added those adjustments to the layer. Lots of fun. Thank you.


This gives a rough idea.

1’st pic is Original from the camera - had the potential, but never made my cut

2’nd pic is after I sent the original from X6 to Affinity Photo as a TIFF so that could use the Inpainting tool to remove the light fixture growing out of the girls head, I cropped to a 4x5 format and Saved it.

3’rd pic shows the TIFF from AP showing up in the file manager, beside the original. I then continuing the processing in Exposure to add the B&W and Overlays.


30FE9AF5-FD76-4AD0-8B48-178CF901C31A.jpeg
1EE57508-EBF2-4D9A-9944-1C254D963596.jpeg
ACECFD15-B68B-4DF2-B476-AC9EBA0DE2C2.png
 
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Robert Watcher

Well-known member
JUST A HEADS UP

I couldn’t believe this, when I went to the Affinity Photo website just now. 50% OFF


That means for Desktop it is a rediculous $25.00
And for iPad - what? $10

At those prices, and a one time fee - WOW


————

Actually I am going to make use of the deal to put Affinity Designer on my Mac workstation (I already have it on my iPad)
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Yes, it’s simply amazingly inexpensive for a program that offers much of tge capabilities of PS.


.....with that well presented introduction you found for us, this choice is a no-browner!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Got it !
The only issue is how to manage the photos.
With Bridge, yes. And they stop Bridge being free ?
I still use Media Pro, (formerly iView Media Pro), from Phase One.

It’s not updated any more. Capture One has “Catalogs”, but they totally confuse me!

ASDSee is far too aggressive for me, it wants to take over when I open any image file, so I removed it from my computer!

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
Got it !
The only issue is how to mangethe photos.
With Bridge, yes. And they stop Bridge being free ?
That has always been my dilemma and why I have stuck with Lightroom. I used Bridge way back before Lightroom, when it was the only solution. It was fast but limited.

A lot of the new paid image editing software, have tried to improve their image management abilities. Most appear to be similar to Bridge in that you just point them at a folder on your drive and they read in the thumbnails and can search and organize based on the Meta data embedded in the files. That does make them fast to load in the images for searching.

I found out that Exposure X6 works with Sidecar files. So there is no huge Catalogue like Lightroom uses, which does have some benefits of having everything including edits stored in one place. Exposure cannot just be pointed at a folder and open it up. You create a Bookmark and then a sidecar folder and related files are created and stored in each image folder of the bookmark. So there are a bunch of different folders storing all the non-destructive image editing information, but on the other hand when duplicates or backups are made, that structure all gets copied over too, so is always available without having to connect up to a catalogue. I find it loads previews quite quickly and on subsequent loads such as opening the program again - the page refreshes quickly. My reference to this is while working with a Bookmarked folder on an standard external hard drive containing and displaying 130,000 image files. I am more than happy with that. Some day I will get a SSD drive and see if it isn’t faster.

However Exposure X6 isn’t cheap. So one of the free options may do the job, without the outlay.
 

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Thank you Asher and Robert for your comments.

Exposure may not be cheap but considering the price of the subscription of LR and CC ...
However, Adobe has behance which can be used as a platform to show images.
I am not sure but I think we can't share the images from behance.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I don’t understand “Bookmarks” for referencing images.

How is it structured. Where are they found or observed?

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
I don’t understand “Bookmarks” for referencing images.

How is it structured. Where are they found or observed?

Asher
it’s strickly a term used by Exposure software. A folder on a hard drive has to be defined (as a bookmark), in order to access its contents. You can’t just open a folder and have it display thumbnails to organize or to edit. So it is more like catalogues in Lightroom, except that the info on the file is stored in sidecar files along with the image files in each of the bookmarked folders.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Boost for updates!

I am so interested in getting grunge and other Snapseed-like texture effects into my workflow! Exposure seems a path. Does it work also as a PS or Affinity Photo plugin?

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
Boost for updates!

I am so interested in getting grunge and other Snapseed-like texture effects into my workflow! Exposure seems a path. Does it work also as a PS or Affinity Photo plugin?

Asher
Apparently Exposure 6 does work as a PS plugin Asher:


From what I have found out, it does not work as a plugin with Affinity Photo. To benefit from the Exposure filters they would have to be applied in Exposire and then Edited In Affinity Photo and then when Saved get sent back into Exposure. That is how I use those programs.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks Robert!

But as a PS user, it would be fabulous to have the filters of Exposure on hand, so that’s a useful tip!

I am thoroughly spoiled by the finger control of “Ambience” in Snapseed. Is that a form of “Clarity” or what?

....and then creative deconstruction of the “Retrolux” filters!

Can one use them touch pad on the Mac in that way with its Filters?

Asher
 
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