I have never been a big fan of third party plugins for Lightroom, I always started my edits from scratch. Whenever I tried to give them a try they either gave the image an unreal look or the plugin focused on portrait photography.
I was approached by a company called Sleeklens who specializes in Photoshop and Lightroom workflows and they asked me if I would review their 'Through the woods' Lightroom workflow. The exciting part is that their plugins target the workflows of landscape photographers. The workflow consists of three components; all-in-one presets, stackable presets and brushes. The idea of the stackable presets and the predefined brushes peeked my interest so I start to think which photos I would use to test the workflow. I had a handfull of autumn photos from my trip to Algonquin Park and the cool thing was they were all shot on Kodak Ektar medium format film; perfect test for this workflow.
The photo I chose was taken on the south end of Lake Opeongo on an early 80's medium format camera. Below is the scanned negative.
I used a combination of presets and brushes to create what is called a 'recipe'. The recipe consisted of:
- All-in-one - Shine Into the Sunset
- Polish - Add Contrast
- Effects Brush - Cloudy Sky Definition (applied as a grad)
I tweaked the presets a little bit to soften some of the effects. Once things were looking the way I envisioned for the photo I continued with my regular workflow.
This is the final image.
Overall, I like the efficiency of the presets and how they help reduce the amount of time spent in post processing. I personally liked the brushes as they give you a good starting point for your local adjustments. The brushes will be a welcome addition to my workflow.
Depending on the image, some of the presets can start off a little harsh so you will have to tweak some of the adjustments. As always, these or any other preset or workflow should not be a replacement for good camera technique and you should always strive to get it right in camera.
If you would like to check out the Through the Woods workflow or any of the other Lightroom and Photoshop workflows, head on over to Sleekness. While you are there, check out their Through the Woods Workflow, Pro Editing Service and their other Lightroom Presets.