As a landscape photographer, I spend time in the field capturing images, but I also spend a LOT of time in front of my computer labeling, captioning, keywording, processing and posting images. I certainly enjoy reliving my time in the outdoors while looking at my images and adjusting them, but when I shoot more than 1,000 shots during an outing, I’ll do anything I can to speed up my workflow and spend less time in front of my computer.
In May, I was in Oregon capturing some scenes in the Columbia River Gorge area. (If you have never been to the Columbia River Gorge, you should put it on your bucket list.) The Gorge is beautiful and there are lots of waterfalls. I have been processing some of those images recently, and I’ve been testing out some presets from Sleeklens. I haven’t typically written reviews of products before, but they asked me to test out some of their presets and see what I thought. I’ve included some before and after pictures, and overall I like what I see.
I do a lot of work in Lightroom. I also quite often open my images from LR into OnOne Photosuite. I like (no, let’s say love!) a lot of the ways OnOne lets me finish my images. They have some great presets to enhance my landscape photography. However, if a person wants to work in LR without leaving it, you want to do as much as you can, as quickly as you can right in LR. Sleeklens presets for landscape and scenic photography do an amazing job. The set of presets I tried are called “Through the Woods.” They have presets to aid in the development settings as well as brush presets. You can see before and afters below with the Sleeklens presets on the right.
This shot of the boulder field shows my shot straight out of the camera on the left. With one click of the preset “Shine into the Sunset,” I had my adjusted image, which I loved without any adjustments.
This next shot is of Mt. Hood taken the same evening, it is from the north. The forestry service had been doing some controlled burns in the area and the valley was filled with smoke. This created quite a haze, making most of the photos from here a bust. However, by using the preset “Exdenting DR – Crisp and Sharp” from Sleeklens, I was able to make a usable image.
Again, Mt. Hood with smoke and haze in the way. The shot on the right looks much better than my Lightroom adjustments on the left. On the right, I used the “4 tone/tint color pop” preset along with minor adjustments afterwards. The tone became a little more blue, which I like, but I could have made some adjustments to warm it up more.
On this picture of the Columbia River Gorge I made adjustments in Lightroom on the left. Then as I moved my mouse over the presets and watched the changes in the Navigator window, I loved what I saw when this went to black and white. This is the “Monochrome Fantasy” presets with a few adjustments after the fact.
On this image, I used the “Calm Sunset” preset and then used the brush “Cloudy Sky Definition” on the sky and water. I didn’t do a great job with it along the hillside on the right background. It would take me a bit more time to make it so you don’t see the lighter area up against the hillside, but I didn’t have time to get it looking better. I do like how the preset and the brush really brought out the color and detail in the sky.
Here’s some of what the area of the Columbia Gorge is know for: waterfalls. Wakeena Falls is nearest Multnomah Falls and is a beautiful waterfall. On this image, the preset didn’t show as much improvement. I used “Dance in the Rain” preset and then “Color Pop,” which I then reduced the saturation on. The greens got too garish for me, but it did a nice job on the image.
This picture is taken at the Eastern end of the Gorge. The rolling hills are quite beautiful around The Dalles. The picture on the left is straight out of the camera. The one on the right is using the preset “Punch it Up” and then I used the “Cloudy Sky Definition” brush to show the clouds. You can see the cloudy sky brush does a great job of bringing out the sky.
Overall, I like the presets offered by Sleeklens. Like most presets, I think landscape and fine art photographers would find a few of the many presets offered in the “Through the Woods” package to be their favorites. There are many to try out, but I think photographers would find a few that really become their “go-to” presets for specific situations. I know I will be using certain ones regularly.