Photoshop alternative – Exposure 5

Do you think paying the subscription for Adobe Creative Suite is too much for you and looking for a cheaper option of image editing software? Check out this post to find out what the Exposure 5 can offer.


File structure and organization.

The file structure is similar to Lightroom. You can add a folder on your disk or other locations connected to your computer. On the top left side is placed histogram and navigator. On the bottom, you’ll find the filtering tools and sorting criteria. Similarly, as in the Lightroom, you can use the color labels. 

There are standard file operations available so you can copy, move, rename or delete the files. I often utilize powerful keyword functions. You can apply keywords during image copy and apply keywords to add the tags to your images.

Let you also import keywords from Lightroom, quickly remove all keywords from a photo or copy the keywords to clipboard.

Exposure allows you to edit more variants of a photo without taking up additional space on your hard drive.


Exposure 5 contains an extensive list of presets inspired mainly by various films so you can apply any famous film look to your images. You can even customize each built-in look, save it, and reuse it later.

Layers and Masking.

Detailed selections and masking options are required by many professionals. The brand new 3D masking is now available in Exposure 5. It enables the precise control where the mask or effect will be applied. You select the combination of hue, saturation, and luminance of the area you want to be selected or masked. There is a handy option to use pre-defined presets and mask or select the sky, skin colors, and many more. 

Exposure 5 as the photoshop alternative uses nondestructive layers. There is no limit on how many layers you can use. 

Photo editing tools.

As in many other competitor’s products, you’ll find here the core editing tools that is a must-to-have. You can set the exposure, saturation, vibrance, contrast, highlights, shadows, and more. Overall intensity slider allows you to blend the power of selected effect with the original image. 

You have the complete editing history available. Just roll over the history status and see how the image looked at that stage. Quickly revert any previous editing step.

Here is the list of some essential features:

  • Detail: Sharpening, Noise 
  • Color: Color filter, HSL setting, 
  • Tone Curve + Split toning for shadows and Highlights
  • LUT: Browse existing and Import
  • Vignette
  • Overlays: Border, Light effect (lens flares,…), Texture
  • Focus: Sharpen (choose various presets, then change radius, amount, and threshold)
  • Grain
  • IR
  • Bokeh – first set region (circular, linear, the choose from lot presets of a lens that simulates various bokeh effects
  • Lens corrections: Lens Profile: Maker, model
  • Defringe – complex, possibility to set multiple colors of fringing
  • Transform – like Lightroom
  • Metadata


As you can see, Exposure 5 is featuring a lot of new functionality that can be compared to Photoshop in sense of editing photos for standard daily work of a photographer. I would mention it is a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop. It brings a lot of Lightroom-like organization in image locations, presets, basic but also advanced editing capabilities. When we take it as the Photoshop alternative, you can find here a quite comprehensive layer functionality as well as the masking capabilities. Overall is Exposure 5, a strong Photoshop alternative for many image editors and photographers. Exposure software company also offers other exciting products :

  • Blow up for perfect image enlargement, 
  • SnapArt changes your photos to a beautiful piece of art
  • Eye Candy allows you to create extraordinary visual effects

You could be interested also in other Photoshop alternatives like Movavi or Photoshop Express

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