Sleeklens (www.sleeklens.com) is a newish Danish company that started in 2015 with the remit of producing quality products. They make brushes and presets for Lightroom (https://sleeklens.com/product-category/lightroom-presets) as well as Photoshop; they produce lots of different kinds of templates as well as providing an editing service.
Now, I’m a bit of a preset junkie – I love the idea of them and they appeal to the slightly lazy side of my nature! I have loads in my Lightroom and that’s part of the problem; they don’t get used very often because I get bored wading through hundreds of choices. The other problem is that all the ones that I have aren’t stackable which means that each one overrides the previous one. Not very flexible.
However the good people over at Sleeklens offered me to try out a landscape workflow called ‘Through the Woods Workflow’. This is made up of 51 presets and 30 brushes and the best thing about the presets is that they are stackable. I can add multiple presets and they will act cumulatively which is awesome. Needless to say that I said yes to the offer.
This is not one of the best photos that I have ever taken but it will serve to illustrate the process of using the new presets. This is the unprocessed version (apart from lens correction in Lightroom).
Generally a bit washed out and certainly doesn’t ‘pop’!
So the first preset I applied was ‘Warm Shadows’ (an All in one preset).
This definitely perked things up a bit – colours are a bit richer but the sky is still very washed out.
Next I chose an Exposure preset called ‘Darken’ to help, unsurprisingly, darken the image down.
The default for this preset is a -1.00 exposure. I thought this was a bit much so I reduced it manually in Lightroom to -0.80. This is one of the great things with stackable presets; you can adjust each one to suit, as well as have them add to each other overall.
Still not happy with that sky! This time I went for a Colour preset called ‘Deep blue sky’. I had to readjust the exposure back to -0.3 because I didn’t like the look I had.
So there’s the final image – well as final as it is going to be at the moment. There are still a lot of presets left to play with 🙂
And that’s the thing about presets, there are lots to play with and if you like using them then it’s a lot of fun trying them out on different images. One preset may look rubbish on one type of image but great on another so they can never be discounted.
So what do I think about these Sleeklens Through the Woods presets? I actually like them a lot. I love the fact that they can be stacked and this makes a big difference to how they can be used to build up an image. I think it’s rare for a non-stackable preset to give you the exact look you are after in an image but because these can work together and each one is fully adjustable it is much easier to achieve your goal quite quickly. They give you an opportunity to try out different things with your images in a fairly controlled way.