I was recently asked by Sleeklens to review their landscape workflow. They contacted me through my website and presented me their product. Through the Woods is an editing workflow specifically designed for landscape photography available on both Lightroom and Photoshop.
Turns out that I was just in the middle of a trip through Nepal. I was also left with a good number of unedited raw photos from previous trips. In short, the timing was perfect!
So I accepted to get the Lightroom version of this landscape workflow and tried it on a few captures.
Who is Sleeklens
Sleeklens is an editing service that offers solutions to all photographers, from beginners to professionals. They offer workflows (i.e presets that you can add to your editing platform) that will help you take your images to the next level in a few simple clicks. Lightroom users will search through various Presets and Brushes. Photoshop lovers will have a choice of Actions, Overlays and Textures to choose from.
If you’re still undecided, note that Sleeklens offers some free samples, for both Lightroom and Photoshop users.
The landscape workflow
So my landscape genre was selected for this review. I thus received the Through the Woods landscape workflow and downloaded it pretty easily (they provide a ‘How to install’ document along with the product).
I’m not new to adding presets or workflows to Lightroom but if you are, just follow the installation guide. You’ll be good to go in just a few steps!
The workflow is made of 51 presets, divided into 7 categories: ‘all in one’, base, exposure, color, tone, polish and vignette. Depending on the effects you want to apply to your photo, you can use one or several of these presets.
The complete product also comes with 30 Lightroom brushes that you can use for local adjustments. They mostly cover color, light, haze and other special effects.
Although this workflow is specifically designed for landscape photography, it’s up to you whether you want to try and use it on other types of photos.
Editing photos with Sleekness Through the Woods workflow
Pretty easy. First, upload the image you wish to edit onto Lightroom, go into the navigator tab on the left and highlight the Sleeklens Through the Woods workflow. All options will be available.
Adding a preset
Now it’s up to you to select which preset you want to implement to your photo. The photo I chose to edit was a photo I had just taken a few days ago at Kopan Monastery, Nepal. It’s a very peaceful place and I think that the atmosphere is visible in the shot. The omnipresent foggy sky that you will see in the valley of Kathmandu is also interesting to work on.
So I basically figured out I would try and add the TtW 5-Polish Less Clarity/Overall Haze preset to my photo in order to give it an ever more mystical look. I simply click on the preset and it automatically adds onto the photo. You can see the effect here:
Comparing the results
Now I have to admit I was a little disappointed. You sure can see a slight difference between both photos but I was hoping on more than just less clarity. Does that require a preset? Not really. You can easily do that for yourself, either as a first editing step or after applying a full preset.
But, I do like the overall aspect of the image so let’s keep working. I thought I would try the TtW O – All in One- Wide Open Spaces 2. Downside: it doesn’t keep the previous -57 clarity preset which I have to reset manually.
A few more changes to the image: exposure, color saturation and desaturation, some more dehaze in the sky and you’re all set. Here’s the final Overall Haze image:
The changes may not seem very outstanding so I decided to try with a complete different image and style: an Icelandic landscape.
For this specific capture, I decided to use the Ttw 1 – Base – Punch 2 preset as I usually love to have very colorful photos for my landscapes.
Now this is much more my kind of start!
You can tell that you’ll need some more editing but the preset does correspond to its ‘punchy’ name, the colors seem to stand out more. If you decide to, you can work on the ‘region’ part of the photo which is left blank on this preset. Depending on your picture and on the result you want, you may also not need to change anything to the ‘region’ tab. I usually love to add more highlights and shadows for a dramatic look on my photography.
A few more changes in saturation, whites, contrast and here’s the result:
Pretty nice, right?
After a few edits, I don’t really know what to think about Sleeklens’ Through the Woods landscape workflow.
I think the workflow is very user-friendly and convenient. You sure gain some time on your editing work.
However, this workflow doesn’t completely meet my current needs when it comes to editing landscape photography. My current mood is a bright one, not necessarily because that’s what I like the most, but mostly because this is what my current photography work requires. The Punchy preset is a great fit and I have to say that I really enjoy the result of my photo with it. I have tried the Calm Sunset 2 preset on other shots and they look very nice. Darken 2 is also one of my favorites. Most of the other presets have a different feel to them, rather low in saturation and details.
Still, I am convinced that this is a quality workflow that works great with darker shots and more intimate captures. I feel that I’ll need to try it on different captures. I believe that although it’s a little restricted in use, it may perfectly fit the editing desires for autumn captures or foggy landscapes. The name of the workflow says it all: it’s perfect for woods sceneries.
I’ll therefore be looking forward to a certain type of captures I have in mind and which I think will work fine with Sleeklens Through the Woods workflow. I might also try it on specific street photography captures. Stay tuned for another review with a different photo genre.
Conclusion: is Through the Woods workflow worth it?
The answer is yes. Definitely. Please note that this is my personal opinion and that I haven’t been influenced by anyone.
For $39, you get 51 presets and 30 brushes that you can customize as you wish and use on basically all landscape photography. You’re also free to use the workflow on any of your pictures. You get ready-to-use presets that let you enhance the color, tone, exposure, clarity of your photos.
Want to find out more? Click here for information and for a link to download the product. Also remember that the workflow can be fully customized and used as a starting point to your imagination!
So are you willing to try this workflow?
Feel free to share your insights about workflows in the comments.