In this post I will present a short review of the Sleeklens workflow bundle called ‘Through The Woods.’ Before proceeding I want you to know I got this bundle for free from the guys and girls at Sleeklens, in exchange for a review. They did not, in any way, influence what I wrote, but I thought you should know.
Sleeklens is a company that sells presets and brushes for Lightroom, actions and overlays for Photoshop and all sorts of templates. You can check their offer out here: https://sleeklens.com/product-category/lightroom-presets/.
The Through The Woods Workflow that I am reviewing here is a set of Lightroom presets and brushes created especially for the landscape photographer. You download them from their website and installation is pretty simple. They provide a link to a YouTube video that makes it easy, probably even for someone without much experience of using Lightroom. After installing the presets and brushes they will appear as part of Lightroom.
The presets, not surprisingly, appear in the presets section of the Develop module. One thing that might be improved is the way they are installed. They are in a folder called Sleeklens and all have the prefix “Through The Woods” and then a number and the name of the group of presets. All this increases length of the name to such an extent that you have increase the size of the pane to read it all, and this decreases the amount of space you have left over for the image. I know that you can get the pane to disappear automatically, but that is not everyone’s preferred way of working.
The presets come in 7 groups: All In One, Base, Exposure, Color, Tone/Tint, Polish and Vignette and the individual descriptions are pretty accurate, they do what it says on the tin! Of course you can all achieve similar results by working it out for yourself, but just think how much time you are spending! Using these presets, you can get good results at a fraction of the time it took you to achieve something similar. And if you have a an innate dislike of complete standardisation, you can always tinker with the image afterwards.
After installation the brushes appear in the list of brushes that you can choose when you click on the Brush tool. In my Lightroom installation I now have a long list of custom brushes and this new set appears at the bottom, so every time I change brush I have to scroll down. This is more to do with Lightroom itself that the package that is under review. Maybe Sleeklens can draw this to Adobe’s attention.
Again the main advantage of using these custom brushes is saving time. Often you just don’t have time, or don’t want to invest it, to make the perfect subtle alterations to an image which you know would improve it. Using these custom brushes you can do it in much, much less time.
Here is an example of what I did with the presets and brushes. I think the only way to learn is to experiment and use the undo option a lot. A few weeks ago I was on Islay and came across this scene in Port Charlotte. This is the image as it came out of the camera.
And this is the image after applying the Warm Shadows preset and various brushes the improve the water and cloud definitions, lighten the foreground shadow and a few other bits and bobs.
An added advantage of treating all your images in the same way is that it enables you to create an individual style, setting you apart from your competitors. The Through The Woods Workflow package can provide a good starting point for doing just that. Experiment with the presets and brushes, see which ones you like and adjust from there, if you want. All in all this is a worthwhile package for landscape photographers who want to speed up their workflow.