New Dream – Sleeklens workflow review

photo: seascape
New dream

Through the woods, but not really

With the dreamy soundscapes of Robert Rich playing in the background, I am trying to figure out why, so far, nobody has been able to make me buy presets for the image editors I use. Could a Sleeklens© workflow be something I finally really want to add to my toolbox?

Do presets serve a purpose? Of course they do, post processing large sets of photos requires some form of automation. If only for one’s sanity. That was already the case in the analog age and going digital has not changed that. After installing both Sleeklens’ general presets and brushes I start browsing for a suitable photo to mess around with.

Up North - before

After trying most presets I stick with one that gives the photo a general look that is not too bad. Overall I find the presets very harsh in their approach. More often than not the effects turn out too in-your-face obvious. Too colourful, too contrasty. It seems as if these presets are geared towards people who take things a lot further in prost-processing than I usually do. I notice that applying a preset gives me a starting point I don’t like. Instead of slowly enhancing the photo that I made, working towards a result that comes closest to what I saw and wanted to draw attention to, I am working my way back to a reasonable version of a photo that I would never take in terms of light versus dark and our tone.

Up North - preset

Do the presets work? In technical terms, of course they do. Do they work for me? No, not for this set of photos anyway. I have used other people’s preset every once in a while, but those were presets that made me wonder how the artist had created a rather small set with good outcome and it made me experiment with layers and colour tones. I was learning something new. With all due respect to the work that has gone into Through The Woods, I think that they could have done a better job. But hey, that is only my opinion, feel free to check out the workflows over at Sleeklens.

Up North - after

Below the gallery you’ll find the video I recorded while trying the software.