SleekLens presets review
Using workflow presets to speed up your post-processing performance
What is a workflow?
Today we’ll be reviewing a nice little set of workflow presets particularly useful for landscape photography, courtesy of sleeklens but before we do, what’s a workflow anyway?
Glad you asked!
With today’s increased memory capacity SD cards and longer batteries, there’s very little stopping photographers from going to shooting locations and taking hundreds or thousands of shots.
Processing all of the pictures takes ages, so workflows began to surface. Basically they are scripts and programmes that allow you to quickly edit a batch of similar looking pictures.
If you have a series of photographs that looked washed out and over exposed, you could use a workflow script to fix them all in one go. Now some of them might not look exactly like you want them, but it’s easier to go back and fix a few than to manually adjust every one of them.
These set of workflow presets are for Lightroom, though they also offer them for Photoshop but I haven’t tried them for that so I won’t comment on those, only on the light room ones.
According to the set description it includes 42 brushes and 80 presets.
I will start with the brushes. on the above image you can see my lightroom setup with the adjustment layer open and the brushes displayed. Basically what they do is, through the adjustment brush tool, you select an area you want to modify and then choose a brush preset, this will apply a series of pre-established modification to the area depending on the brush selected.
My favourites on this set are the water definition (which I used on the top boat image), sky definition, which makes a cloudy sky more attractive by increasing clarity and the light brush presets in general.
If you are a landscape photographer this will help you immensely. SleekLens did a great job at pinpointing the values which will make an image pop, provided you select the correct lens for the job.
If you have a picture with water on it, the water clarity will really make it shine for instance. Now the downside is that there are a bunch of colour brush presets which introduce different colour shades to the picture. They look kinda instagrammy to me so I wouldn’t be using them too much, but this might just be a personal preference and if it suits your shooting style then by all means try them.
Overall the brushes do help reduce the workload if you are handling relatively easy areas to select, like the boat picture above where it was fairly simple to just select all of the water and apply a brush, all in all less than 2 minuts went into that picture.
Calm Sunset preset
Pressed in time preset
Pastel Caress preset
While SleekLens did a good job with the brushes, the presets are where they really shine.
The brushes are useful to adjust a part of the picture, but the presets apply an effect to a whole area, these are the real reason why you would get this bundle.
The 3 pictures you see above were made using just the presets, basically I got the original image and clicked on a preset and boom a completely new interpretation of the same picture with one click.
These presets deliver good results in most cases so unless I’m going to spend a significant time on a special picture, tweaking and correcting every little detail, I can use one of these presets for the rest of the pictures, saving me so much time it’s unreal.
First the good.
I really love the presets, they are a fantastic way of reducing post processing time and SleekLens has done a marvelous job of creating presets that will work with most any landscape so good job there.
The brushes are easy to use and provide noticeable changes to the image which justifies their use, again good job there.
The brushes are very limited and half of them were of very little use for me (but as I mentioned that could be just my style where I don’t use those particular types of brushes)
The presets are limited too, many of them have very similar effects and the vignetting ones (about 4-5 of them) are not useful without some tweaking.
The price is a bit steep compared to some other presets I’ve used but nothing exorbitant. Sleeklens has some discounts going on usually so the prices become more in tune with the others I’ve seen
If you are a landscape photographer that takes hundreds of pictures and then you can’t be bothered to edit them all, this set is godsend. Also if you are not very adept at photo editing, the presets will do a great job at enhancing your pictures without you having to do much at all.
If you are very meticulous and you want every single picture to look perfect then forget about it, you will not save much time with this set, however you should really reconsider your work time because not all pictures are worth spending a lot of time on