I was happy to be asked by Sleeklens recently to review their “Through The Woods” set of landscape brushes, presets, and workflow for Lightroom.
On a practical level, installation was very simple. Downloading the presets and brushes with instructions in a single zip file (see links below). Importing the presets into the Lightroom develop module. All very straightforward.
Once installed I was presented with about 50 different lightroom presets divided into logical groups. A set of all-in-one presets which give you a series of finished ‘looks’ and a set of base presets that give you a selection of starting points for further post-processing – followed by sets of exposure presets, color correction presets, tone, polish and vignette. By moving through each group of presets in order and selecting individual presets as I went, I was able to make some rapid edits and to get some quick ideas about different processing that might work with the raw shot that I was currently looking at. I was also able to layer each of these presets on top of each other to gradually develop my shot into an overall look that I liked.
Moving over to the right side of Lightroom, I then saw I had a range of about 35 new brushes which are accessed through the Lightroom brush tool and allowed me to make a wide range of alterations locally across my shot and again I could stack these on top of each other to get to my final look. The brush names are clear and easy to understand and generally do what they suggest e.g. darken, darken shadows, etc. Some work well, others probably work better depending on the type of shot you’re applying it to, while others still will want some tweaking according to taste and desired effect – like for example, the Cloudy Sky Definition effect which I found a touch extreme when applied to an already moody Irish sky – but, with a little reduction in the regular contrast and clarity Lightroom controls, I was able to bring it back into my own preferred levels.
Overall the brushes and presets are interesting and quick ways to explore many of Lightrooms capabilities and achieve some quick and interesting results. For an advanced user of Lightroom, they possibly won’t offer anything new or make workflow any easier or quicker but for those who are still exploring the many possibilities of Lightroom they’re definitely a good way to do so and provide some quick and easy looks and tools for processing some great images.
Here is an image I chose to work on to test these presets. I chose a relatively unexciting raw shot to see what the Sleeklens presets could add to it and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Have a look for yourself at the before and after.
You can find more information on these presets, brushes and the workflow here: the workflow https://sleeklens.com/product/landscape-lightroom-presets/, https://sleeklens.com/product/professional-photo-editing-service/ and https://sleeklens.com/product-category/lightroom-presets