Sleeklens Review: Landscape Workflow Presets for Lightroom

December 05, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Recently, I received an email from marketing department of SleekLens.com to review their product Workflow Presets and in return, they'll send me Lightroom preset package of my choice, free of charge. I replied and told them that i’m interested to try landscape presets, and so they send me a copy of landscape module “Through the Woods” (TtW) and that’s what I’m going to show you here. Again, I wasn’t paid to do this product review and there were no conditions or whatsoever, all they wanted me to do is to post an honest review on this workflow app.

To start with, I'm not a professional product reviewer nor Lightroom expert, to be honest, this is my first time to post a product review. I am a Lightroom user since Aperture for Mac discontinued software updates for almost a couple of years now, and that’s how long I know Lightroom as well. I switched to LR because I know I can easily transfer my old libraries (RAW) even without my previous edits (versions), besides, I don’t know of any other post-processing tools and at the same time an image organiser software available as good as LR that has also ability to use third party apps like “Photo Upload” for my "Zenfolio" and now this workflow presets of SleekLens.

Through the Woods for LR Workflow is packed with 50+ landscape presets and 30 landscape brushes. These Presets and Brushes are compatible with Lightroom (4, 5, 6, & CC) and also available in Adobe Photoshop work with both JPEG and RAW images and on top of that it is compatible in Mac and PC. Aside from that, the package also includes a guide on how to install the Presets and Brushes, instructions on how to layer/stack the presets and an exclusive access to their private Lightroom Help and Tutorial Facebook group. You can also visit their website to view and learn different online tutorials and what this workflow can do in optimising your images.

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 11.42.46 AMScreen Shot 2016-12-02 at 11.42.46 AM
Actual image before and after presets was applied using Lightroom.

SAMPLE COMPARISON:

1. Daranak Falls in Tanay, Rizal - shot in slow shutter speed about 1/8sec and ISO100 using my X-T1, the result, is a bit under exposed but it gives me a nice soft water effect that I wanted to achieve.

Sleeklens-orig4Sleeklens-orig4
Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 100, f18 - original file

After applying the following Sleeklens presets and brushes: 
Base - Exdenting DR
Polish - Add Clarity
Brighten Shadows Brush
and I used some exposure and highlights (+/-)

SleekLens-Sample4SleekLens-Sample4
Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 100, f18 - processed using Sleeklens

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2. Sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint - I shot this using my old 4/3 camera, Olympus E-M5 plus kitlens, ISO 200 in 1/60sec, hand-held. This is one of the series of shots taken while waiting for sunrise at Kiltepan Viewpoint in Sagada, Mt. Province. 

Sleeklens-orig3Sleeklens-orig3
Olympus E-M5, ISO 200, f5.4 - original file

After applying the following Sleeklens presets and brushes: 
All-In-One - Shine Into The Sunset
Exposure - Darken Shadows
Color Correct - Reduce Blue
Tone/Tint - Warm It Up
Tone/Tint - Color Pop
Polish - Add Clarity
Polish - Add Sharpen
Haze - Golden Brush
Effects -  Cloudy Sky Definition Brush

SleekLens-Sample3SleekLens-Sample3
Olympus E-M5, ISO 200, f5.4 - processed using Sleeklens

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3. Through the Woods - An early morning shot I took somewhere also in Sagada using my old Olympus E-M5 and kitlens, ISO 200 in 1/80sec. I find a little bit under exposed as I wanted to see more beam of lights sneaking through the woods from the sunrise.

Sleeklens-orig2Sleeklens-orig2
Olympus E-M5, ISO 200, f3.5 - original file

After applying the following Sleeklens presets and brushes, this time I want to experiment the color temperature:
All-in-one - Calm Sunset
Exposure - Less Highlights
Polish - Add Clarity
Tone/Tint - Warm It Up
Haze - Golden Brush
Color - Mustard Brush
Color - Green Brush

SleekLens-Sample2SleekLens-Sample2
Olympus E-M5, ISO 200, f3.5 - processed using Sleeklens

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4. The Cathedral, Callao Cave - One of my favorite cave system i've been in the Philippines, I shot this on one of my assignment and one of many series of shots taken during that day, expecting for the beam of light passes through the roof hitting the altar, unfortunately, I was there in a wrong time of the year. I shot this in ISO 3200 1/10sec. using my X-T1, details are not so clear, colors didn't pop-up.

Sleeklens-orig5Sleeklens-orig5
Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 3200, f3.9 - original file

After applying the following Sleeklens presets and brushes: 
All-in-one - Pastel Caress
Base - Punchy
Color Correct - Reduce Blue
Tone/Tint - Warm It Up
Polish - Add Clarity
Light - Brighten Shadows Brush
Color - Warmer Brush

SleekLens-Sample5SleekLens-Sample5
Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 3200, f3.9 - processed using Sleeklens

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5. Rice Terraces - Another shot in Sagada using again my old Olympus E-M5 mirrorless camera, ISO 200 in 1/125sec. It's actually a very nice scenery located near Sumaguing Cave, but obviously i'm not satisfied with my colors plus it's foggy sitting on the top of the mountain.

Sleeklens-orig1Sleeklens-orig1
Olympus E-M5, ISO 200, f4.5 - original file

After applying the following Sleeklens presets and brushes:
All-in-one - Dawn Rising
Base - Auto Tone (Color)
Tone/Tint - Color Pop
Color Correct - Reduce Yellow
Polish - Add Clarity
Color - Cyan Brush
Color - Green Brush

SleekLens-Sample1SleekLens-Sample1
Olympus E-M5, ISO 200, f4.5 - processed using Sleeklens

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Since I started to use Lightroom and learn how to process my photos, organizing my libraries and even creating presets for my own workflow, I never think of anything better than editing your photos on your own way. When I found out about Sleeklens Workflow, I was very curious to see how a landscape specific preset package, would handle and optimize my digital photos.

I can only talk about the "Through the Woods" workflow, but this alone will give you 50 different presets and every preset of your choice will change nearly all Lightroom tools including Basic Tone and Presence, Color, HSL and even Split Toning. I also tested all brushes included in the package and to be honest, they were easy to use just like the given brushes from LR package except SleekLens gives you more options for selective corrections. 

However, upon testing the workflow, I noticed on some presets are very heavy in color saturation, sharpening and clarity adjustments especially when dealing with JPG files, so you should be aware tweaking using Base, otherwise, your photos will end up "overcooked" or oversaturated. Stacking of presets is actually fairly new method to me and i'm still on the stage of experimenting different combinations, a questions of which preset goes on top and what's next.. and the last for you to achieve your desired end-result. 

The included brushes as I mentioned is pretty easy to use, but again, you should be aware of the areas you wish to correct as it drastically turn your image into something new, whether its good or bad it all depends on your preferences. I like the brush sets, specially the "Effect" and "Haze" but somehow you need to adjust slightly (+/-) on contrast and saturation, and avoid overdoing it so you won't loss too much details or vice versa. I'm not a big fan of heavy color manipulation like turning green grass into yellow (Autumn Color preset) but rather enhance it using Base-Punchy but less Vibrance. 

What I like about the presets of SleekLens in my opinion, aside it is stackable, it also gives you almost endless combination with almost unlimited end-result. I would recommend this workflow apps to anyone who's interested in using presets instead of manual adjustments that requires a fast result. 

If you are interested and want to order the same “Through the Woods” presets, click HERE.  
If you would like to checkout what Sleeklens has to offer, you can find their full line of presets HERE..


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Travel Photographer PhilippinesArj MuñozTravel Photographer Philippines


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