SleekLens Review – Landscape Adventure Collection

SleekLens Review – Landscape Adventure Collection

The people over at SleekLens were kind enough to gift me the Landscape Adventure Collection in exchange for an honest review on my blog, so here we go.

The actions are available in two formats – Lightroom and Photoshop Actions. This review will be about the Photoshop Actions, although I can imagine that a lot of things may apply to both. Using photoshop actions in this way is not really something I have used in this way before. My usual workflow of editing images works mostly in Adobe Camera Raw with a bit of Adobe Photoshop to bring some magic – so this was something a bit different.

In this review, I dug up some old photos I took at Center Parcs earlier in 2017, and also a photo from a bluebell wood that’s right next to my nan’s house.

Installing SleekLens

SleekLens installs super easily – it’s a set of actions. You can double click on the actions file that you download, and it all automatically imports into Photoshop and BAM it’s all there and it’s ready to go.

In order to put SleekLens through it’s paces, I did not edit the photos in Camera RAW beforehand, so the images I’ve tested this on are straight out of camera – a bit underexposed as that is how I shoot – and a little flat.

What You Get

Here you can see the actions that are included with the SleekLens Adventure Landscape Collection.

Sleeklens review - landscape adventure collection

Using the Actions

The actions are very easy to use – from the menu you just select what you would like to apply to the image. I would suggest that after each action is applied to your liking, you flatten the document before applying any more. On some of the actions you apply a layer mask to control where it is applied which is very VERY useful. As the actions are applied to a separate layer, you can also adjust the opacity each time to get the desired effect. They are easy to use and control.

Before and Afters

The first action which I would like to give a high opinion of in the ‘Clarity’ tool. As you can see with the image below, when you are dealing with highlights and shadows that are quite different, Clarity is a very quick and easy way of recovering some lost details.

Sleeklens review before and after landscape iping

BASE Clarity + TONE Colour Pop

SleekLens review before and after landscape sunset

BASE Clarity + BASE Morning Light + SPECIALITY Sunset Flare + TONE Sunset Colours + TONE Colour Pop + ENHANCE Sunset

With these actions I found myself wanting to turn everything into a beautiful sunset as they did a really brilliant job of enhancing that kind of thing. In the above image, it was shot as the sun was going down but you can’t really tell in the original apart from the direction of light through the trees. After playing around with some of the actions I think it looks so magical! The SPECIALITY Sunset Flare and ENHANCE Sunset (used sparingly) really do make a sunset pop.

sleeklens review before and after landscape

BASE Clarity + BASE Morning Light + TONE Sunset Colours + ALLINONE Subtle Sunset + ENHANCE Sunset

SleekLens review before and after landscape

BASE Clarity + BASE Morning Light + TONE Colour Pop

Overall, I would say that this set of actions are pretty great. If you are taking a lot of scenery shots they make your workflow much quicker and to a high quality. I think they would be good for a blogger or someone who travels a lots and takes a lot of photos that need just a little bit of enhancing.

However, if you are someone who likes to control each part of an image and add different filters and layer masks – this is probably not for you. The effects you get with the actions is very good, but if you are experienced with Adobe Photoshop, there are obviously other ways to do it.

Pros

  • Good quality actions
  • Speeds up editing and workflow for landscapes
  • Great for adding details to landscape photos easily
  • Good for people who don’t know photoshop too well but like editing photos

Cons

  • Lack of control if you like to fine tune the minute details (but then you probably wouldn’t use an action in the first place)

Will I use them?

For Landscape photos like sunsets or something that needs a something extra, I think I have been converted. It’s a useful bit of software to own. I would love to try out their portrait collections too.

I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to try out the Landscape Adventure Collection actions from SleekLens – it’s always good to try something new and it’s given me a few tricks to use on future photos.

I hope you’re having a great day,

Jas xo

The Camera Setting for Gorgeous Photos

The Camera Setting for Gorgeous Photos

You should always change your camera setting based on the effect you are trying to achieve in the environment you are in. Whether that be manual or auto, it’s best to be in control of your camera – don’t let it control you. I thought I would share my own favourite this here photography blog and share the technical camera love.

But what camera setting do I use?

I have been shooting on the same camera setting for probably the last five years or so. Obviously there are situations when it needs to be changed to fit the environment and desired result, but I would say 95% of the time my camera is set to – AV.

The AV setting means it’s set to ‘Aperture Priority’. The aperture of the camera controls the size of the opening that light hits your camera sensor and in turn will change how much of your image is in focus. Those images that have a shallow focus where the background is blurred and the subject is in focus? That’s a large, shallow aperture. There’s a pretty good explanation here if you’re interested in finding out more.

I love this look. It just speaks to me.

jas poole photography blog family camera setting

What AV does is allows you to manually set the aperture or ‘f stop’, and then the camera will work out the shutter speed that will create the correct exposure. You can either set your ISO to auto to make the whole thing work automagically (watch out for surprise grain) or set a manual ISO too.

I mostly shoot wide open (oo-er) so my f stop is usually set to it’s widest – in my case f1.4. It wouldn’t matter too much if the lighting conditions changed in between shots, because the camera works out the rest of the settings. It’s particularly good for photographing on your toes at an event or something similar, when you never know when a good shot will present itself.

On the other hand, if I want to make sure that everything is in focus, and I want to use f11 for example, it’s easy to just change that one setting.

jas poole photography blog family camera setting

alternatively

If you prefer to focus on your shutter speed above all else, there is also the setting TV. This works the same as AV but with the main setting being the shutter speed. This can be good if you are photographing something that’s moving a lot – such as animals, water, people jumping etc. and want to use a really fast shutter.

jas poole photography blog family camera setting

As a photography blog, it’s all about sharing and connecting. So if there are any posts you would like to see here, please do leave me a comment let me know. I have a few more posts recently, why not give them a read?

Jas x