I recently had an opportunity to take a look at the Photoshop workflows for landscape photos by Sleeklens, a company from Denmark that creates premium actions to help facilitate the process of creating final production-ready images.
Installation was very simple. The zip file that I was sent contained a single Photoshop ATN file that I could install on my Windows laptop by just double clicking on it. Photoshop will automatically import the actions and make them available for you. There is also a set of workflows for Lightroom. I did not try these because I do not use Lightroom. If you decide to work with these workflows in Photoshop only, bear in mind that at this point you will have already exported your RAW file out of whatever RAW converter you are using. It is getting harder for me to justify Photoshop as a last step for my landscape work because I find that I can do nearly everything I want in my RAW converter, but there are still times when I rely on Photoshop to get the job done.
I think that what I like most about the Sleeklens workflows is that most of the resulting modifications made to images are stored in grouped adjustment layers This means that the workflows can serve as starting points for more work. They can act as a creativity booster. One notable exception to this is the “BASE Good place to start” workflow. When it’s finished, you’re left with just your background layer and modifications have been made. It would be nice to be able to adjust the individual steps in this case too. I think that the “BASE Standard” workflow could be renamed, as I am not certain what Standard means in this case. These are tiny quibbles and did not affect me that much. I also did receive some Photoshop messages about certain commands (like Set) not being available at times. This didn’t seem to prevent the workflow from running to completion, but I wanted to mention it anyway.
I think my favorite workflows in the entire set were found in the TONE section. Colour grading, or “toning” images is really one of the biggest hot ticket things right now, and certain applications of images really benefit from having a certain look, or tone, to them. In this set, and for landscape images, I think the one I liked best was the Cinematic Tone workflow. It created a pretty punchy image with lots of contrast and nice colour balance. From that point, it’s easy to make finishing tweaks and get to something that is really pleasing to look at. There are even workflows for sharpening and exporting your images out to various formats, and they include dialogs that will prompt you for the size you need. This is very cool.
Overall, I found that the set of workflow actions provided in this set could act as an interesting foundation for further image enhancement. My biggest wish is that some of the actions included either ways to create luminosity masks, or ways to have them automatically generated to work only on highlights, or shadows. Creating luminosity masks for things like exposure blending or image compositing is a staple of many landscape photographer’s work. Being able to create masks quickly would be an asset here.
If you’re a photographer who wants to be able to run a Photoshop workflow to get you most of the way to your final image, and you want a set of workflows that are specifically designed for landscape images, then the Sleeklens set might be just the thing for you. I don’t think that I’d ever give up full control over my images to any workflow, but that isn’t the point here. All in all, a pretty nice set. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit their website at https://sleeklens.com/product/landscape-adventure-photoshop-actions/. Sleeklens also offers some Lightroom Tutorials, and even a Professional Photo Editing Service if that’s more your thing. Finally, they also offer Photoshop Actions for other types of images as well.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you below.