Sleeklens Workflow in Lightroom Review
In the days of film photography, once the shutter was released your photo was made. There was little you could do in post-processing to enhance your photos. This isn’t the case today. Shooting digital photography, especially in RAW formats, photographers can spend hours enhancing their photos so scenes appear as they were in the field and how they were envisioned.
Most photographers depend heavily upon Adobe Lightroom for post-processing, as do I. Lightroom has the most comprehensive and effective photo editing tools of any other software available. But because of that, I too have spent hours trying to find just the right balance of edits to help my images shine.
In response, a company called Sleeklens has developed several Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop workflows to shave time off of post-processing without compromising on the unique and subtle adjustments most professional digital photographers desire. Each Lightroom workflow comes with pre-made presets and brushes to make editing photos quick and effortless. Plus, each workflow has been informed by photographers who shared their input on what presets would be beneficial to have in Lightroom.
I was approached by Sleeklens last month and asked to test out and review their Lightroom landscape workflow, “Through The Woods”. I wanted to compare the time it took to edit photographs and the quality of the workflows with my previous post-processing experience and results. So, how did they do?
I chose six of my favorite landscape photographs and ran them through the Sleeklens workflow. Then I compared the workflow edits with the original photographs and the edits I had made to the same photos in the past. Below, you can compare the original photographs (left) to my manual edits (middle) to the Sleeklens edits (right). Click on each image to enlarge it.
ORIGINALS PHOTOGRAPHER'S EDITS SLEEKLENS EDITS
Time: Time-wise, the Sleeklens presets and brushes win. I was able to achieve an appropriate look and feel for each photograph within a few minutes. My manual edits took about 30 minutes per photo testing this and that before I reached my desired result.
Quality: Quality and control-wise, I prefer my own manual edits 60% of the time. When editing my landscape photos, I always go for an enhanced, but natural look. Some of the presets were too severe for my liking and therefore, I couldn’t achieve the subtle changes I wanted. Some of that was remediated using the custom brushes. The overlays and filters presets I’m not likely to use since they changed the photograph too much from reality. But two of my favorite presets were "Punchy Contrast" and "Deep Blue Skies".
All that said, I think there will be many instances when using the Sleeklens presets and brushes will be beneficial: as in when I’m editing my photographs for a more fine art look; when I’m editing photographs that don’t need many adjustments; and when I want to post-process quickly first and then manually edit to fine-tune the photograph.
Final Thoughts: The Sleeklens “Through The Woods” landscape workflow for Lightroom is an innovative and helpful product that complements the post-processing experience for both professional landscape photographers and enthusiast photographers. While I would recommend the product to speed things up for those of us who can’t devote hours to manual editing, I can’t say it will completely replace my own manual adjustments. The presets and brushes I feel are best used in combination with the photographer’s manual edits specific to each photograph and vision.
NOTE: This post will be updated with changes in the future.