Sleeklens Lightroom Workflow Review
Seeing as that I am primarily a landscape photographer I was recently asked by the folks at Sleeklens to provide a review of their “Through the Woods” presets and brushes lightroom plugin.
Sleeklens is a company located in Denmark that offers a wide variety of post processing options for Lightroom and Photoshop.
The “Through the Woods” workflow is designed to enhance, tone and sharpen your landscape photos while retaining a natural look.
There are fifty landscape presets and thirty landscape brushes that become part of the lightroom workflow after an incredibly easy download process.
The presets and brushes are applied in exactly the same way as you would apply them in lightroom. They can be found in the lightroom preset module and in the adjustment brush module.
The fifty presets fall into several categories, All in one, Exposure, Base, Color correction, Tone/tint, Polish and Vignette.
While the All in one preset impacts the entire photo, the others will effect a specific part.
The Adjustment brushes are applied by selecting the desired effect and painting over the area of the photograph that you want to impact.
My Initial thoughts
I am not a big preset guy, I like to work my photos from top to bottom and make my adjustments at each part of the lightroom workflow, so I was a bit leery with allowing global adjustments from a preset……but I am always open to trying something new so I agreed to give them a shot for providing a review in return.
I selected two images that were blah, had some toning / exposure issues and needed some pop. Oh, one more thing about the presets, they can be stacked on top of one another so you can use multiple presets to get to the end result that you are looking for.
Also, when you apply a preset it is basically moving all of the lightroom sliders in the basic panel workflow module so if you don’t like how it looks or want to make some subtle adjustments you still have the ability to do so. You always have complete control.
The workflow is easy. Hold the cursor over each preset to get an idea of how it will impact the photo. This is a good starting point and can be approached by determining what the photo needs to improve it or give it the artistic vision that you are looking for.
Bring in the brushes to fine tune regional areas of the photo, make some additional adjustments using the lightroom options….and you’re done.
You can make your adjustments with RAW or JPEG images. Stick with RAW as they provide more manipulative options.
So, here goes….
My first photo of Half Dome in California’s eastern sierra’s was taken at dusk and has an unattractive blue tone to it. It certainly was not what my eye was seeing.
I started by applying the “Shine into the Sunset” preset, made some minor adjustments to the sliders and then finished up by applying the “Warmer” brush and the “Add Golden Sun “brush to the sky. It took all of 90 seconds and produced a more appealing and realistic version of what I was seeing.
My second photo of Mono Lake was dull and didn’t provide the pop that I had envisioned. I started by stacking three presets. I used “Warmer Shadows”, “Deep Blue Skies” and “Medium Blk Vignette” in collaboration with one another to create my initial vision. I then used the “Cloudy Sky Definition” brush on the sky, made a minor noise reduction adjustment and was finished…..once again in under 2 minutes.
My take away….
Even though I prefer total control over the creative process, I found that the Sleeklens presets and brushes were a true asset to my workflow. Depending on my vision, some of the presets were spot on or at worst required minor adjustments. They provided me with a great starting point and saved me the many hours that it would have taken me to create them on my own.
The additional adjustment brushes also are value added from a time and vision perspective.
There are times when I have a specific end result in mind and prefer to start from scratch, but opening up to the sleeklens presets has opened my eyes to places that I may have never gone with my usual workflow process. They provide a creative advantage that even the best photographer will benefit from.
Another idea is to take their presets, make minor adjustments and create your own set of customized presets. The great thing is that they have done all of the hard work for you.
The “Through the Woods” lightroom plugin is something that I will definitely use going forward. I can see it becoming an important part of my normal workflow. It allows you to explore creative vision while saving time…..something that I never seem to have enough of.
For more information on Sleeklens products go to: