Updated: Jul 11
Recording my travels have always been my passion, and when you are passionate about something you don’t know when to stop. Going by this theory, whenever I come back from my travels there are tons of images to curate & process through. All these years, I have saved my own presets to speed up my editing process in the Lightroom. In spite of that, I keep coming across the hidden gems that I did not consider as they were too time-consuming to process at that point in time. When Sleeklens (www.sleeklens.com) approached me to review their Lightroom workflow, which consists of presets and brushes, I was a bit uncertain about the results it would produce. However, at the same time, I was curious to try a preset that appeared to shorten the processing time. Their videos tutorials and extensively detailed screenshots were certainly impressive, and I agreed to give it a go.
The obvious first step was to install the presets and brushes into my Lightroom See the links below:
Presets are very cleverly categorised into 7 groups, which consists of 50 presets (categories are numbered from 0-6). Sleeklens recommends starting from the “0-All in one”. This category is applied to the overall picture, and from there, one can progress into the base, exposure, colour, tone, polish, vignette. Each category is further divided into multiple effects. To be honest, I found some of the presets bit over the top. However, it just might a case that those presets were not suitable for the kind of picture I was working on. See the detailed list of presets in the attached screenshots.
For assessing the Sleeklens presets and brushes, I decided to choose 2 images that I had not worked on earlier, as they looked bit time-consuming. The first image is of a landscape that was created in 2010 at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. The second image is of a Seascape, which was created in 2014 at Koh Samui, Thailand. To show the progress of each editing stage, I have kept the before & after feature turned on in Lightroom.
To start with this image was a bit underexposed and looked just okay. I had earlier tried manually editing it, however, the results were not satisfactory. I had kind of written this image off, as in general, I was not happy with the composition, light quality and subject matter. For the purpose of experimenting with Sleeklens preset’s potential, I chose to work with this image. I am attaching screenshots of before and after photos after adding each preset.
TTW | 1-BASE – AUTO TONE (COLOUR)
TTW | 3–COLOUR – DEEP BLUE SKIES
TTW | 2-EXPOSURE – DARKEN SHADOWS
TTW | 5-POLISH – ADD CLARITY
Don’t count me crazy, but I actually time myself to check how much time does it take. It took 13.31 seconds to apply all these 4 presets on the landscape image to get the desired image. I must say the present produced satisfactory results in lesser time than I anticipated.
When I was capturing the seascape, I could see a big tender storm progressing towards me. I had very little time to capture what I wanted to. In a rush initial few images were not satisfactory at all (for my travel shots, I prefer to get most of it right in the camera and keep the post-production editing to the minimal). The image I chose to work with for assessing the Sleeklens preset is part of the initial set and for multiple reasons, I had decided to discard this image. Well, I have to admit, after seeing how wonderfully the preset had worked on the landscape image, I was quite excited to see the outcome of editing the seascape.
TTW | 0-ALL IN ONE – PASTEL CARES
TTW | 2-EXPOSER – BRIGHTEN
TTW | 2-EXPOSER – MORE HIGHLIGHTS
TTW | 5-POLISH – ADD CLARITY
(Sorry forgot to take a screenshot)
BRUSHES: THROUGH THE WOODS | LIGHT – (BRIGHTSHADELIGHT)
Applying the presets took 29.02 seconds and applying the brush took 42.83 seconds that means in 1-minute 11 seconds, I could edit the image. This super-fast editing gave a good idea, if the image has potential, and if I need to work on it further.
PRICING & FEATURES:
IMPORTANT: At the moment Sleeklens is offering a discount on both their packages
I was offered a free copy of the THROUGH THE WOODS WORKFLOW that normally costs USD 39.00
Sleeklens also has LANDSCAPE ESSENTIALS WORKFLOW BUNDLE, which is priced at USD 79.00
10% discount on orders less than $60 Use Coupon Code: davies10
20% discount on orders above $60 Use Coupon Code: daviesvip20
Conclusion: I really feel, the presets were very handy and a big time saver, which potentially increases the chances of finding more workable images. Another definite winner was “Stackable presets”, which means each preset only changes 1-2 sliders in the panel. Allowing me to stack up to 6 or more presets for one given shot. For many people the price could be a factor, however, after using the presets first hand, I feel the price is absolutely justifiable. I would be also tempted to try out their other preset.