One of the things I love about Lightroom is the ability to create custom presets and brushes. Presets are custom adjustments that you can save and apply to your images in Adobe Lightroom. The advantage of applying the presets in Lightroom is the ability to apply local adjustments and tweaks giving you full control over the final image. You can also apply the same settings to several images using Lightroom's sync feature. It is much faster than doing the edits in Photoshop.
So when I was approached by Sleeklens to check out their Lightroom workflows, I was intrigued. Honestly though for some of my work as a commercial photographer, I seldom use filters as the image treatment is usually dependent on the client. There are jobs however that give me full creative control. In these cases I find presets extremely useful. I can also create a unique look just by tweaking a preset.
If you're a long time user of Lightroom, then you'll most likely know the ins and outs of installing presets and brushes. But if you don't have any clue on how to go about this, this Sleeklens page offers a detailed tutorial. I won't go into detail of installing a preset.
Once the presets are installed you'll see a list of the Strike a Pose presets on the left side of your Develop panel in Lightroom. The brush presets will be on the right hand side and will show up when you click on the brush tool. Sleeklens claims about 69 presets and 62 portrait brushes included in their package.
Among all the presets, I'm loving the Edgy Resilience preset. It really works for athletic images. It adds grit and pop, the vignetting also help focus the eyes on the subject.
So here's the first image with Crista, colors out of camera :
Here's the image with Edgy Resilience preset applied. No other brushes or adjustments done.
Here's a portrait of Cheska, straight out of camera:
Here's the image with Edgy Resilience, note the cinematic look:
For this last example, let's go with a beauty portrait. For these portraits, the skin tone, the hair and the make up color needs to be accurate. Here's the original image, straight out of camera:
For this one I used the Strike a Pose Studio Headshot preset. It gives a slight pop to the image, notice the shadows are a bit darker. Then I applied a couple of Strike a Pose brush presets.
I applied the following brushes: "Subtle Smooth Skin" on the shoulders and arms, "Add Punch" to the hair, "Reduce Shadow Under Eyes" and finally "Shine and Color to the Lips". You can't get anymore specific on how to use these brushes!
The Sleeklens Strike a Pose preset and brush package adds another degree of creativity to one’s photography. There are many applications where I think this will work really well - portraits, wedding and street photography among others. For hobbyists, this can take your photography to another level and for freelance professionals who do not have the benefit of a whole production team, this can help shorten your workflow and allow you to get back to shooting sooner.
Check out Sleeklens at the following links:
Thanks for reading. J