EDITING PRESETS. Yes, no, maybe?

Ask any photographer what kind of editing they do on their images and you’ll get a variety of answers. Some like to do tons of editing while others prefer a more natural look.  I recently received the Strike-a-Pose Portrait editing workflow, from Sleek Lens in exchange for a review of their product. I chose one image from a photoshoot I did a while back, to show some before and afters using a few of the presets and I’ll post more images from that shoot on a different blog post but for today we’ll just work with this one.

The Sleek Lens strike-a-pose presets are available for Photoshop or Lightroom, I use Lightroom for all my editing so obviously I chose the Lightroom workflow.  The workflow package consists of 69 Portrait Presets for global adjustments and 62 Portrait brushes which enable you to work on a specific part of the image such as the eyes, skin or lips without affecting other parts of the photograph. The workflow is available for Mac or PC users and can be applied to RAW or JPG photos, the package also includes a strike-a-pose recipe list which is a PDF showing a few before and after images and the preset recipe used to edit them.

There are 25 all-in-one presets, this means that with one click you apply a bunch of edits to one image, personally I’m not a huge fan of this type of preset as I usually find that it works great on some images but not on others.  Some images need more editing than others and because of this I prefer to build my own edit, one step at a time, that way if an image only needs a little adjustment to exposure, contrast and a bit of sharpening then I can do that instead of applying a whole lot of other adjustments I don’t need.

Besides the all-in-ones, the strike-a-pose workflow has a load of other single presets that effect colour, tint, vignette, exposure and split toning and I would be more likely to use these to build my edit rather than apply the all-in-one presets.  It all depends on your style and what works for you. Many of the presets are pretty strong and a user will most likely find it necessary to tweak them to taste.

I did manage to find 3 of the all-in-one presets that I quite liked and I’ve posted the edits below.  Something to keep in mind when using presets is that one needs a properly exposed and well focussed image SOOC (straight out of camera) to begin with, using presets to try to “fix” a bad photo, will only end in disaster. My advice to any beginner is to get to know your editing software properly first before you begin using presets, this will ensure that when you do begin to use presets, you’ll know what to tweak and where, to achieve the look you are after.

This image below is my SOOC (Straight out of camera)

From left to right the images below have the following all-in-one presets applied with a few minor changes to vignette and contrast – CRISP DAWN, DUO & EDGY RADIANCE.

My final verdict? My style of editing is a little too vanilla for most of the all-in-one presets in the workflow, as they are in my opinion, pretty bold and dramatic and I prefer a more natural type of look to my images.  As for the adjustment brushes and single click presets, they’ll be a handy addition to my editing toolbox.

There are many other preset collections on the Sleek Lens website, you can check out all the details here.

A happy day to you all

Moira

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