I've been meaning to get out and shoot some landscapes for the last couple of weeks, after the folks at Sleeklens sent me a copy of their "Through The Woods" Lightroom Workflow for Landscapes. I finally managed to get out the door early this morning and head out to Oxley Creek Common, an area of grazing land not far from home.
Turns out it's not a great spot for my usual wide-open landscapes, with power lines and warehouses running through the background, so I focused first on this fence running away into the early morning fog.
Here's the straight-out-of-camera photograph. A little dull, huh?
And below is the final product after running through the Sleeklens workflow. Remember that word "workflow". More on that later.
And of course, although it's called a Landscape Workflow, the presets can be used on non-landscape photos too. I came across this kookaburra sitting on a low branch, no doubt waiting for some prey to stir. Again, the straight-out-of-camera versions of each shot is first, followed by the finished product.
I've tried a lot of Lightroom Presets, most of which are a blunt instrument - one click results in broad scale changes which, if you're lazy, give you a final product. Or, of course, you can use them as a starting point for further refinement.
The Sleeklens presets work differently. Sure there are some "All In One" traditional-style presets, but the real power comes from the stackable workflow, which allows you to select a base tone, then make some exposure adjustments, colour corrections, tone and tint adjustments and final polishes.
But it doesn't end there. Sleeklens also includes thirty local adjustment brush presets, which let you go in and make adjustments and corrections to specific parts of the image. The end result is a much more customisable use of presets and adjustment brushes than the one-click "instagram filter" approach of many other presets.
If you'd like to try the Through The Woods workflow yourself, it can be purchased for $39 USD from Sleeklens.