Sleekroom Lightroom Presets & the Camino de Santiago
I use Lightroom extensively for my photos and have always edited the photos manually, adjusting the level until they are just right. It has taken quite a few years to where I feel I am confident that my photos don’t look like a they were taken by someone tripping on acid.
To give you an idea of what I mean, the photo on the top was an early attempt (yes, it is hideous isn’t it!). The photo on the bottom was a few years later. The great thing about improving in post processing skills, and Lightroom’s intuitive catalog, I can go back to old photos, revisit them, and bring them to life
These days my editing is much more, um…. subtle, when compared to the photo on the left. (thank god!), but I wanted to experiment some more with presets and custom brushes. After doing some research I found a collection from Sleeklens that covers everything I would likely need (and many I probably never will).
I spent some time last night learning some of the presets and adjusting my post-processing workflow. I wanted to start with some more lower quality raw photos I took on my hike along the Camino de Santiago using my Sony R100. The R100 is a fantastic compact camera but struggled with the depth of some of the photos under low light or less than ideal shooting conditions (like hiking through a torrential storm huddling under a tree with lightning crackling overhead). If the presets can bring some of these photos to life they will certainly be invaluable to tweak the higher quality photos from my Nikon D810.
I had already published a collection of photos from my camino. My rule while editing last night was that I would use photos I had not published before, and generally overlooked because of poor photo quality. I really wanted to push what the Sleeklens collection could do.
After only a short time experimenting I can see that presets will be a very useful addition to my post-processing workflow. I still have a lot of practice to get things exactly the way that I like the finished product. What I have found so far is that you really need to be careful on how you apply the presets as they can be really harsh very quickly. My best discovery so far is with the custom brushes included in the Sleeklens bundle that I purchased. The bundle, which includes about 60 custom brushes, is fantastic to adjust specific areas in your photos. Whilst I may not always use a preset, I have no doubt I will use the custom brushes on every photo. The brushes alone are worth the investment.