Editing images is one of my favourite parts of being a photographer, so when I was recently asked to review some new all singing all dancing Lightroom presets, I was like "er... yeah! Absolutely!"
The fabulous people at SleekLens whizzed over a set of their Strike a Pose Workflow Lightroom Presets and Brushes and i'm not kidding when I say you get a lot in this package. There are brushes galore which are perfect for portrait photography, and the presets vary from being all in one edits to a more selective workflow, where you can create your own recipe and create something more unique for your finished edit. As well as the 62 brushes and 69 presets (I told you, you get a lot!) you also receive full instructions on how to install them which is super easy, and a recipe list to help you get the look you want.
One of the first things I noticed was how easy they were to use. You can just quickly choose the preset you want and wham, edited in seconds! One of the best things about using these in Lightroom is being able to use the Navigator window to preview the presets before selecting. There are so many presets that, at first, it's hard to know which ones you prefer or which ones suit your editing style, so hovering over the presets before selecting gives you an instant preview and from here you can make your choice.
So, anyway. Enough chatting. Let's see some of the good stuff!!
My first edit was using one of my daughter from our recent fairy shoot. As you can see this hasn't been edited at all and is straight out of camera so quite flat.
For the edit I used All in One - Velvet Paisley which has made those colours pop! It's added some much needed contrast and lifted those shadows on my daughter, creating a beautiful glow in the skin tones and hair. I then added a Vignette - Black Heavy to highlight her even more and create a more magical, fairy feel.
My second edit was another from the same photo shoot but i wanted to show how more than one preset can apply to similar lighting and colours.
Here i used Kaleidoscope which added a gorgeous warm glow to the overall image but particularly my daughter's golden locks, and again really helped to lift those shadows. I then added HawaiColor2 to cool down some of the greens and this just helped to create some tonal contrasts in the background lime greens and the darker bluey greens in the top left, as well as her fairy wings.
Edit number 3 as another woodland image (I do love a woodland!) but this time in very early spring so not much greenery around.
And here is the finished result... and I just love this edit! I used the AutoTone Color & HighKey presets which adjusted the exposure and other lighting issues going on in the first image. I then added the FixRedSkin preset which worked perfectly to reduce those rosy cheeks she had... but not too much. And then I used the Sharpen and Vignette - Black Heavy to polish off the image. I just adore the softness of her skin here and the balance it gives between her and the background, highlighting her beautifully.
Here she is again, she's just the perfect model! Edit number 4 was a grey and windy day but, hey, we live in the north of England so this is pretty standard!
Not anymore! A bright and airy edit using All in One - GlowBabyGlow. Just a beautiful preset adding some gorgeous highlights and making those colours lighter. I added the MoreSaturation preset to make those colours pop a little more and then the Sharpen preset to polish it off.
Here's my next image straight out of camera...
And this time I wanted to use a preset that gave a more filmy look so I chose All in One - LoveBug. This yummy preset has added some golden tones throughout and highlighted the greens but what I love most is the matte finish. I then used the Catchlights2 brush and the BrightenEyes brush to enhance her eyes. I love these brushes, especially the Catchlights2.
Edit number 6 straight out of camera...
I wanted to try some of the black and white presets because I do love black and white, especially tight portraits like this. Here I used the Greyscale High preset and added the Polish - High Contrast to add some depth. I then used Polish - Sharpen to sharpen her face and also used the Catchlights2 Brush again to pull out the highlights in her eyes. Love!
And finally a doggy portrait! I've been doing more and more doggy shoots lately and i've found the hair brushes in this workflow amazing!
So on this one i've saved my edit in two parts. The first being the image below using the All in One - Duo preset. This preset is a great black and white edit where you've already got some good contrast. It really lightens those highlights and adds some richness to the blacks.
The second edited image in this workflow is the same as above but i've used the DefineDarkHair brush to add some more clarity and definition to the hair. Perfect!
Overall i'm really impressed with the SleekLens Strike a Pose Workflow and would love to continue using it on my edits in the future. There's something for everyone in the package, no matter what your editing style and if like me, you do a lot of portraiture, animals included, then this is certainly a package i'd recommend.
If you'd like more information on the SleekLens Strike a Pose Workflow for Lightroom then you can find it here...