Product Review - Sleeklens Through the Woods Lightroom Preset

July 16, 2017

One of the challenges with landscape photography is getting the right exposure between the sky and the objects in the scene you’re trying to capture. If the objects are exposed correctly, the sky is usually blown out or doesn’t represent the dramatic clouds. If the sky is exposed correctly, then the objects in the scene are often too dark. You can use a polarizer, graduated neutral density filters, shoot two different exposures and blend them together and/or use tools during editing to create the properly balanced exposure. I will often use a combination of these, with the goal of getting the best quality image with the fastest possible workflow.

I was in New York last week so decided to head over to Brooklyn to take some pictures of the Manhattan skyline. Rain was suppose to be moving in so was hoping for some interesting clouds during the sunset. I also decided to stop by Times Square later that evening to take a few pictures. You have a similar challenge as it can be difficult to get the proper exposure with all the bright lights from the signs and the cars and people moving around.

I prefer to do a majority of my editing in Lightroom and had just installed Lightroom Presets from Sleeklens so decided to use them on my New York shots and provide some feedback on what I thought.

Sleeklens has a number of preset packs depending on your application or subject. I installed the Through the Woods landscape pack, which includes 89 presets and 42 brushes. In my regular workflow I don’t often use presets because you can’t select more than one as they apply an overall effect. Sleeklens has a done a great job organizing the presets so you can layer or stack multiple presets to create the effect you want. You have a lot of presets to choose from and you can fine tune them as you are stacking them. With the ability to stack and quickly edit them, these are a set of presets I’ll continue to use in my workflows.

I think the real value of this package are the brushes. My workflows typically include the adjustment brush as well as the radial filter. Over time I have created some of my own brushes, but having a large selection of brushes that include some basic, effects, lighting and color and are a nice addition.

The challenge I have seen with presets and brushes in the past is they were designed with specific scenes. What I like about the Sleeklens package is you have a good selection to choose from and they can be stacked and applied where necessary. I figured I would test them with a cityscape instead of a mountain or ocean scene and was happy with the results. This is the kind of flexibility I’m looking for in a Lightroom Preset.

Here are a few links for more information about the presets:

Sleeklens Lightroom Presets

Sleeklens Tutorials

Sleeklens Presets Info on Pinterest

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Before & after view in Lightroom with the Sleeklens presets and brushes applied.

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