SleekLens Lightroom Presets
Product was easily and efficiently downloaded and installed, with the helpful addition of easily accessible guide videos and written instructions.
Presets are never going to rescue a bad picture. If you capture badly, no amount of Adobe magic is gonna save your reputation. - I approached the SleekLens presets with some amount of skepticism.
I like to have a repetitive process that becomes second nature when editing images. It’s is a process that becomes automatic. Efficient when editing hundreds of images from a lively shoot.
The SleekLens Lightroom presets eased happily into my workflow. The preset titles are fairly self explanatory and predictable in their effects. Some names are a little US-centric (Americans buy a lot of Adobe stuff, what do you expect) but most Europeans should happily decipher what each of the presets do.
Presets work differently depending on the amount of highlights, shadows and the contrast between them. This is different for most photos, unless shot under the same conditions in a studio. I shoot on location, so conditions change frequently during a shoot. So I never apply a preset as a batch to all images from a shoot.
I had a few shoots to edit, but my main one was a shoot for an editorial piece featuring burlesque dancers in London.
I wanted to see how the colour presets produced to boost colour would handle the graffiti that was used at this location. I wanted to boost the colour of the graffiti without loosing good skin tones captured in camera.
For an automated process, I was very impressed with the one click result. I may adjust the temperature a little, but as it stands, I’m happy with the result.
With the addition of some sharpening, I think the image above could be used for the job as final output. I may adjust the blacks a little, just to bring the detail back into the dress a little.
This initial image is a little flat and the shadows are very deep. I looked at the exposure presets, Brighten shadows and the basic brighten feature, but surprisingly, I found the “Punchy” preset worked excellently for this image. Boosting colour saturation and adding a fairly sinister contrast level - I liked it!
As an edit for me to export to Photoshop to clone out the rubbish on the floor and tidy up, i would be very happy.
This final image really surprised me. I was thinking initially to try some of the monochrome presets lower down the list, but as is often the way in photography, once you try something else, the image decides how it wants to be seen.
This is an amazing effect. The use of the clarity slider to give an ethereal feel to the highlights, and a beautiful softness to the skin. This looks like quite a filmic look. Similar to some high iso Ilford films. A look many photographers will desire. I’d like to see this finished file, sized and printed big. I would like to inspect it a much larger size to see how those boosted highlights handle it, particularly when compared to the original file where there is still loads of detail in the highlights.
I have had a little play with the brush presets, too. As the video says, Sleeklens brushes have really opened up a little used feature of Lightroom, building brushes that can be used easily to retouch bad skin. I particularly liked the iris enhance brush.
After a fair amount of time with these presets, I feel confident that after a little longer, with a memorised list of what presets i had, i am certain they would find their way into my everyday workflow.
Of course, the images, once treated still need a little fine tuning, but not as much as i have needed to when I have used presets in the past.
I have been shooting a fairly similar way for a good few years, (which means I shoot for how I process) but I am sure that after a while using these presets, I would shoot purposefully with a mind to use the presets in post production.
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