Sleeklens Photoshop actions – a review
by Jonathan Bourla (www.jonathanbourla.com)
Hi. A little while ago I was approached by the Danish firm Sleeklens to review a set of Photoshop actions that they make for Landscape photographers. They also produce their equivalent for Lightroom users.
Now, I have an established way of “post-processing” my photos on Photoshop, basically mirroring what I used to do in the darkroom – contrast control; dodging & burning; and unsharp masking. My process on Photoshop takes a long time, slowly building up the effect I want. Sleeklens’ workflows aim to simplify and shorten such post-processing for photographers.
But I ignored the first approach from Sleeklens, thinking that I am content with how I do things. When their second approach came, I had a change of heart and thought it would be interesting to try them out.
Those of you who know me know that I produce black and white photographs. Sleeklens’ Landscape Adventure Collection of Photoshop actions is intended for colour photographs. I learned later that there is a Sleeklens collection for black and white, which would have been more appropriate for me, but digging out some colour images I proceeded to experiment with the Sleeklens’ actions (once I’d loaded them onto my Photoshop, Creative Cloud).
The actions are grouped into eight categories. Seven of these relate to image manipulations, being called “Exposure”, “Base”, “Tone”, “All-in-One”, “Enhance”, “Specialty”, and “Temperature”. The last category, called “Web File Preparation”, gives actions to resize images.
In the documentation with the actions, Sleeklens has example shots in which a series of actions have been applied to get to their desired outcome.
Some actions have self-explanatory names, like “Warm Highlights”. Others are more vague, such as “Clarity” and “A Good Place to Start for Landscapes”. It takes a bit of experimentation to find the actions that suit your particular image, and it seems unlikely you will want to use the same combination of actions for all your images. So familiarity and experimentation with the various actions is needed before you can know which ones to apply.
One thing to note is that Sleeklens recommends you to flatten your file before applying an action and importantly to keep saving the file if you’ve applied an action whose result you are happy with. I did try to use History in Photoshop to return to before the current action, but there were so many processes listed in History that it wasn’t easy to find where this current action began. So keep flattening and saving when you are pleased. If you apply an action which doesn’t give a result you like, return to the version of the image you saved from before.
There are over sixty actions in the collection I received, offering a variety of different effects. You can find out more from Sleeklens about their Photoshop actions at the two following links:
And Sleeklens also offers an editing service, details of which can be found at:
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.