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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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,