Earlier this week, I was contacted by Sleeklens, a company based in Copenhagen, Denmark specialising in custom Lightroom and Photoshop presets. Sleeklens kindly provided me with the ‘Out of the Shadows’ HDR preset and brush package for free in order for me to try, so I could use it and give my honest thoughts about the package. I am not affiliated with or sponsored by Sleeklens.
For anyone who is not yet familiar with what Lightroom presets are and do, basically a preset does most of the Lightroom processing work for you, at the click of a mouse your image can be given a look that you would not expect or might not of thought of yourself, saving time and providing inspiration and ideas for which direction you would like your finished image to go. In short when you buy a preset package from Sleeklens you are buying the settings and work-flow of a skilled image processor.
The Sleeklens package I am reviewing is called ‘Out of the Shadows’ which is a HDR preset and brush bundle which will give any RAW file a HDR look and feel. Most people think of a HDR look as being very bold and contrasty, which of course it can be but these days many people use HDR for a very natural look with more dynamic range.
Inside the Out of the Shadows HDR Workflow you will find:
- 64 Lightroom HDR presets and 30 HDR Brushes
- Presets and Brushes that are compatible with Lightroom 4-6 and CC
- Presets and Brushes that fit both JPEG and RAW images
- Presets and Brushes that work both on Mac and PCs
- A “How-to-install..” guide on Preset and Brushes
- A guide on how to layer/Stack the Presets.
- Full Recipe guide included in each purchase
- Presets that will fit your workflow
- Exclusive access to the Skeleeklens private Lightroom Help and Tutorial Facebook Group
Recipe lists are based on RAW images – it is recommended always to use RAW images. If you follow the instructions installation is quick and easy.
Once you have successfully installed the preset package you will notice you have extra presets in your menu list and extra brushes to work with and try.
In my case preset wise I have:
- 1 x Reset preset (which does as the name implies in case you want to start your processing again.)
- 8 x All in One presets for an instant look at the click of the mouse or as a good starting point.
- 8 x Base presets that can be used as a good starting point to your image.
- 5 x Exposure presets to increase or decrease exposure or highlights at the click of a mouse.
- 6 x Colour Correct presets that, yes you guessed it, correct colour ..
- 7 x Tone/Tint presets to warm things up, cool things down and play with saturation.
- 5 x Polish presets to give your image that finishes look and pop.
- 2 x Vignette presets to add either a white or more usually black vignette around your image.
- 23 x HDR presets to take your image to an unexpected place and starting point, both in Colour and Black & White/Monotone.
- 29 x Lightroom Brushes to experiment with and fine tune regional areas of the image.
When I first started using Lightroom, presets were brilliant and learned me loads about what the sliders and settings did by looked what happened when a preset was applied. I would not have been without presets in the early days and would not be without them now.
Being honest, these days I usually do my own processing from the ground up and make my own presets from the images I like the most as I go. That is not to say that I do not use preset packages such as this one by Sleeklens because quite often I do. For me a preset is about saving time, doing half of the work for me and starting my image from a good point ready for me to give my own precessing touch and look.
Remember you can tone down presets to your liking, as bold or as subtle as you like. Just because you use a preset it does not mean you image has to look over the top shall we say, as in the example above that I have deliberately processed like a mad scientist, just because I can!
Other than the HDR preset package I have used for this review, I have honestly bough 2 other preset packages from Sleeklens in the past and would defiantly buy from them again. Sleeklens do things different and let you mix and match presets using the recipe list to create the look you desire. Sleeklens presets are powerful but easy to use. Installation is simple and the package comes with very clear ‘Read Me’, instructions and even a link to an installation tutorial video.
For me the brushes package that comes with the presets is purely added value and a very welcome addition for someone like myself who uses the brush tool a lot.
The ‘Out of the Shadows’ preset and brush package that I have used and really liked can be found here. Other Lightroom preset packages for Landscape, Portraits, Weddings and Cityscapes etc can be found here. Finally also check out the Sleeklens professional photo editing service here.
Thank you for reading all …