I was recently asked to review some presets for editing images in Lightroom. The presets I received are geared to be used mostly for landscape images and are aptly named “Through the Woods”. I’m mainly a commercial photographer focusing on architectural and food photography but have always loved shooting landscapes and secretly dream to have a life where I can run off and become a full time travel/adventure photographer, but alas I’m a wife and mom with a family that would not take too kindly of me running off days or weeks on end. So I stick with my love of architecture and delicious food and shoot those subjects instead, close to home taking mini adventures in and around where I live shooting landscapes when able.
It just so happens I was also renting a new lens put out by Canon, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for the purpose of testing it to see if it could become an addition to my kit for traveling, hiking and long hours of handheld photography. It’s a consumer lens and priced accordingly, but didn’t want to buy the lens outright before testing it out first.
So it was convenient that these two reviews/tests came about that the same time and I set out on a short hike and walk near and around New Haven, CT.. This review is not about the lens so from here on in I will only describe my thoughts on the Lightroom Workflow provided by Sleeklens.
Sleekness provided me with both Presets and Brush Effects to work in conjunction with each other. I’m not much of a preset person and was a little hesitant with accepting this review at first. I like having the control to make my own adjustments, but these presets allow you to alter and tweak them to your liking for each image so I decided what the heck, let’s give it go! Sleeklens provided very easy to follow instructions on how to import the presets into Lightroom and in minutes you are able to start utilizing all the hard work they did so the user can get to work quickly with ease on their images.
If you shoot in raw you know that the images that come straight out of your camera are not always exactly what you saw when shooting. The color, contrast and sharpness need at the very least a little bit of tweaking before sharing and using your images. Sleeklens provides 50 presets (In the Through the Woods workflow) to choose from. I very quickly was able to make some minimal tweaks to my newly imported raw images. There are also more dramatic presets that can quickly give your images some flare and/or intensity. Once you choose a preset (or not, you’re not forced to use the presets with the brushes) you can then make very specific and localized adjustments to your images with the brushes or the gradient tools (30 are provided in this workflow). After playing with multiple images I do feel the brushes are an asset to my workflow. They offer some tweaks that would take me much longer to create on my own. I do like many of the presets as well, but for my personal way of working I see myself using the brushes/gradient effects much more often.
Sleeklens offers more presets then what I tested out, so if your not a landscape photographer there are presets and brushes specifically designed for photographers who specialize in portraits, weddings, food, architectural, night photography and more. They also offer actions and presets for Photoshop as well. I was on the fence if I wanted to try out the Lightroom or Photoshop sets but decided to go with Lightroom and after playing with these I’d like to to try the Free Photoshop Actions Bundle that is available for everyone.
Below you can see my before and afters of the short hike and walk in New Haven on Long Island Sound. I was able to achieve the final images with ease starting from the basic raw image to the final. I’m sure after a little more playing around, my workflow will get much faster and easier using these presets. They will definitely stay a part of my Lightroom workflow and I’m very tempted to add additional Sleeklens workflows not only to Lightroom but Photoshop as well.
Here are some Sleeklens inks you can check out to see what's being offered as well as some how-to videos.
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