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Recently I was asked to review the Sleeklens Through the Woods Lightroom Workflow. While I don’t use many Lightroom presets these days, I’m always interested in finding new and better ways to work with my photos.
After loading up the Develop Presets and Brush Presets, I set to work on one of my photos. This one was captured earlier this year at a dock on the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal.
The Through the Woods presets are categorized in a way that represents many photographers’ workflows. In addition to presets that are meant to be a one-stop-shop, there are progressive categories that are meant to be layered as you work an image. They include:
- Base – these presets are a starting point for certain “looks”
- Exposure – lights, darks, shadows, highlights
- Color, Color Correct, and Tone/Tint – fine tune the colors
- Polish – Clarity, Contrast & Sharpening
- Vignette – a one-click option to lighten or darken the edges of a photo
Here is how I worked the image above:
- Extending DR – Crispy & Sharp
- Color Correct – Reduce Blue
- Tone/Tint – Warm it Up
- Polish – Add Clarity:
- Polish – Sharpen
- Vignette – Subtle Black
The presets did a great job at quickly processing this photo. However, as is the nature of Develop Presets – the adjustments are global, meaning the entire image is affected. Luckily, the Through the Woods Workflow also has the ability to make local, targeted adjustments with Brush Presets.
I used the Basics – Contrast & Clarity Brush and Light Reduce Highlights Brush on the dock, and the Color – Cooler Brush to take a bit of the yellow out of the pylons on the right. The local adjustments really give the image a finished look.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with Sleeklens’ Lightroom Workflow. They’ve done a great job at organizing their presets into a natural progression, which saves valuable post-processing time. I can see these presets becoming a part of my regular workflow, particularly when I don’t have the time (or desire) to branch out into one of my processing plug-ins.