JSilkstonePhotoBlog_BannerJSilkstonePhotoBlog_Banner

Sleeklens Lightroom Presets Review

March 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

bigstock-Review-Time-words-in-d-letter-103183358bigstock-Review-Time-words-in-d-letter-103183358

Who doesn't like presets?  They can help speed up your workflow.  They can provide endless inspiration.  Or, they can just make processing images fun.  I was recently invited to review Sleeklens' (you can check out their website hereThrough the Woods Lightroom presets which are touted on their site as "The Ultimate Workflow for Landscape photography.  Designed to enhance, tone and sharpen your landscape photos in a natural style".   First, let's look at Sleeklens' approach to using presets.  Then I will give my impression on how I used them and any positive or negatives that I found over the last couple of weeks.  And finally, I will give my opinion as to whom the presets are for and whom they are not for.  So let's begin......

THE APPROACH........

When I first visited Sleeklens' website I have to admit I was impressed.  They have a large number of preset bundles for both Lightroom and Photoshop along with templates, a blog and even editing services.  Under the "For Lightroom" tab you find numerous preset bundles for landscape, portrait, newborns, winter, black and white and even night photography.   What really impressed me was the number of tutorials they provide to make sure you learn how to use their system.  When clicking on the Though the Woods bundle you are immediately greeted with what's included, how to install the presets and 6 video tutorials on how to use the presets.  The preset bundles include a number of "all-in-one" presets to get you started but really focus on presets that "stack" on top of the other.  This means that the presets can be added without changing the previously used preset letting you build upon the changes that you have already made to the photo.  I received a zip file with the presets and brushes along with a file on how to install the file and a Through the Woods recipe file showing before and after images with the specific presets and brushes that were used to create the final image.  I quickly installed the presets without a problem on a PC using Windows 10.  

A quick look at the presets showed all-in-one presets starting with the number 0, and the stackable presets labeled 1-6.  Each number of the stackable presets represents the order in which to apply them to help you with your workflow: 1 means to apply first and so on until applying a preset with a 6.  Of course any of the numbers can be skipped or adjusted by using the sliders on the right hand side panel.  The brushes are found in the "Effect" dropbox inside of the brushes panel and are labeled using a descriptive work to describe what they are meant to do.  I found that most of these were true to the description with any of them being able to be adjusted to personal taste using the sliders.

Below is an image that I processed using their stackable presets along with some of their brushes.  I made some slight changes to get the image to my personal taste but overall was quite pleased with the ease of use and effects created using them.

Silkstone-140327_0009-2Silkstone-140327_0009-2

Before

Silkstone-140327_0009Silkstone-140327_0009

After using presets and brushes

POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES........

Let's start with the positives:

  • Easy to use - no issue here.  The descriptions are pretty straight forward aside from the all-in-one descriptions which seem to be based on feeling rather than actual outcomes

  • Great resources:  How to videos and recipe files provide numerous sources on how to use the presets and brushes to get the look that you are hoping for

  • Easy to fine tune once applied.  Change the sliders to taste after applying the effect.

  • Can speed up your workflow once you know what each preset does (See negatives)

  • Loads of inspiration

And now the negatives:

  • It may take a while to know what each preset does and to determine which ones match your taste.  I am not sure this is even a negative but some people may think so.

  • They cost money.  There are a lot of free presets out there and of course you can always make your own.  However, shelling out a few coins to get such a large library of presets is easily understandable.

Yep, that's it

WHO ARE THEY FOR?

Are they for you?  Maybe.  If you don't like spending time in front of the computer and like the thought of hitting one button then the all-in-one presets will work wonders for you.  Do you prefer to have brushes with descriptive names like Cloudy Sky Definition or Brighten Shadows instead of playing around with the sliders to get the desired effect?  Then the brushes are for you.  Do you like getting inspiration from the endless different possibilities of processing combinations?  Then presets are a great opportunity.  

FINAL THOUGHT

As of this writing the Through the Woods LR presets and brushes are sold for $39.00.  Not bad considering the amount of time it would take someone to come up with that many on their own.  You can find these presets and many others at their website Sleeklens.com.  


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...