For the majority of both amateur and professional photographers Adobe Lightroom is now their go to post-processing software, including me. 98% of my images are edited in Lightroom, with Photoshop being used very rarely for anything that Lightroom either can't do, or is more easily achieved in Photoshop. Something I have never made use of however is Lightroom presets. There are many companies out there offering presets for Lightroom to help simplify and speed up your workflow. They work by making multiple changes to your images with just one click.
There are many reasons why I haven't made use of presets up to this point, but most simply they don't suit my style of shooting and editing. I prefer working individually on each image rather than relying on something someone else has already pre-programmed. However, after being approached by sleeklens, I thought I'd have a look at their presets and see how they fare.
I downloaded the 'Through the Woods' workflow, their landscape specific preset workflow. It was incredibly easy to download, and with the provided instructions (plus how-to videos on their website) install the presets into Lightroom. The workflow comes with 51 presets, along with 30 adjustment brush presets. With the sleeklens presets there are some "All in One" presets, designed as a one-click solution to an image. I wasn't overly impressed with these, most had the intention of reducing contrast in the image and adding what looks like a poor Instagram filter. Moving swiftly on however, the rest of the presets are designed to be used as layers, starting off with the base look and colour, then exposure, colour corrections (reducing or increasing saturation), colour tone/tint, the 'polish' i.e. sharpening, clarity etc, and finally the option to add a vignette or not. This step by step process of using presets, layering effects on your image actually works quite well, allowing an easy way to achieve a pretty good final image. Whether it saves you time or not is debatable since there are many various combinations you can spend a lot of time trying out various "looks" for your photograph.
Whilst I do not see myself making use of these presets on all my images, if I have a bit of spare time to play around with I may use them to and create something a little more artistic looking.
The sleeklens Through the Woods workflow is available to purchase for $39 over on their website: