How much time have you given to developing a particular style, a look that is all yours when it comes to your images.
Do you have a unique way of framing and capturing an image? Do you have a digital processing formula that will be solely yours so that when someone looks at your unsigned photograph they will know it was done by you?
If you have evolved as a photographer and developed all of this uniqueness then kudos to you. If you have not, why not? What is holding you back?
developing a shooting style comes with time and while it may seem that your style looks like someone else’s, it is not. It is your style. It is the way you see, frame, meter, expose what appears on your LCD or in your viewfinder.
Developing a processing style will require experimentation over time just like it did for film photographers who had to learn the best way to process their film, what chemistry to use for the film, what chemistry to use for the print and what paper to put in the chemistry and let’s not forget how an image was burned and dodged to get to the final latent image. But while the materials have changed for the majority of us, and the darkroom has been replaced by the software on computers and tablets and the processing trays have been done in by inkjet printers the final results will be the same.
The big difference however is in the software. Computers, tablets and software have opened up an enormous range of creative possibilities through presents, color grading, brushes and gradients and so much more that will allow anyone the opportunity to create an individual look and or style.
So if you are looking for something that will make YOU unique and recognizable as an individual as opposed to being a clone of another photographer then it is going to be important that you choose a SOFTWARE that will give you that opportunity. There are options out there but the two I have locked on are Alien Skin X3 and Luminar, with Alien Skin X3 being the one that tops the list.
I know I have written about other software some of which do an excellent job. But none of them offered the diversification that Alien Skin X3 does. Alien Skin started as a plug-in for Adobe many years ago and was very popular among creative professionals. What it primarily offered was over 500 film simulations and styles that in the digital age offered photographers highly accurate renditions of the different film types and grain structures that photographers had come to love over the years. But that was then and here we are, now.
Alien Skin X3 represents the culmination over the last couple of years on the part of the company to provide a highly accurate and creative raw processor for Windows and Mac that includes its own digital assets management that utilizes the operating systems own file system, produces xmp files that ride along in the same folders as the original images. It still has over 500 film presets, overlays, layers, outstanding color control, and on and on and on.
With all of the presets, which are really starting points, you can modify them, combine them, so they achieve a final look you are happy and comfortable with and guess what, that look becomes your look because you can save everything you did as a new preset which belongs only to you.
It is not a secret that I use Adobe Lightroom CC, Classic, and mobile. It is not because I like the way Adobe handles raw files and it is not because of the Adobe Library module that I really hate but it is because of Adobe’s creative cloud which allows me to sync images from my desktop to my IPad Pro. Adobe simply put has the best Eco system out there. But as far as being a main tool to process my images just is not the case. And it is not a secret that I have used a multitude of raw processors in my search for what works best for me and my Fuji X trans images. Alien Skin simply put provides me with the complete set of tools and creative artful extras that bring me to a style and look and especially a place that I am happy with.
I am not telling you to buy it, but you would be smart to go for their free trial to see if it can fit into a more creative workflow for you.