Alien Skin Exposure 5

Panatomic-X and Microdol? Plus-X and D-76? What developer for Fuji Neopan? Which slide film: Ektachrome 64 or Kodachrome 25? Not so long ago, photographers had to make some serious decisions before they loaded film into their cameras. Since the commitment to a particular film flavor couldn’t be changed for 20 (or 36) exposures, careful choices had to be made.

Digital wiped all of that away. Although some cameras provide “film simulations,” for the most part photographers rely on post processing techniques to recreate the look and feel of various films.

This can be difficult, or it can be easy and fun. Alien Skin Exposure 5 makes it effortless and, more importantly, is incredibly realistic. Hands down, it’s be best film simulation tool that money can buy.

Try Before You Buy
Don’t take my word for it. Download the trial version (free of course) and see for yourself. Even if you’re too young to remember some of the film types it recreates, you will enjoy trying various combinations. And because it provides a large preview thumbnail of each effect, you do not have to rely on guesswork.

Add borders, dust and scratches (if you like), imitation damage and even the appearance of light leaks. It also features one of the most intuitive GUIs for adjusting Tone Curves. In fact, for my money, the Tone Curve feature is worth the price of admission.

—Jon Sienkiewicz