Review of Sleeklens ‘Through the Woods’ Lightroom Presets.

So I had an opportunity to review Sleeklens Landscape version of presets and brushes for lightroom. It’s the first time I have ever use presets and brushes with my work, I’m not that knowledgeable with editing, I stick to what I know because it’s easy. And I think that’s why I loved using Sleeklens’s presets and brushes for Landscape because it was just so easy! I knew that presets and brushes existed but I never thought I would be someone to use them, they look so complicated and I can’t be doing with the trouble to figure how to use them. 
However, they are unbelievably easy to use, Sleeklens give a step by step guide on how to download your pack, and how to install them into lightroom (They also offer sets for Photoshop, but I choose Lightroom). Once I had installed the sets I watched a step by step guide on how to use the presets, it was so easy! Here’s how I got on.


Before edit, Italian Landscape

After edit, Italian Landscape

I decided to choose the most landscapey pictures I had so I could make full use of what the presets was offering. As you know when shooting in RAW you can take what seems to be a dreadful photo but then later on in editing can bring out the most amazing detail you never knew existed! As you can see from this first image the sky looks to have little to no detail but thanks to the power of editing it appears how it was in real life. What I loved about editing this picture with Sleeklens is that I managed to bring all this detail out accurately without 1- it looking unreal and 2- Using just the presets, I didn’t have to use any brushes to bring out extra detail, although I could have, but what is great is that I didn’t necessarily need to. The settings I used to achieve this edit were-
1 Base - Cinematic
1 Base - Punchy
(I skipped 2 which is ‘exposure’ as I felt it didnt need it at the time’
3 Colour - Deep Blue Skies
3 Colour - Colour Correct reduce yellows
4 Tone/tint - Colour pop

As you can see the presets are made to be used in an order but it’s not mandatory as it all depends on the type of image you have and what look you want to achieve.  I missed out step 2 which was exposure as I felt the settings that were available didnt match what I wanted from my image, which is fine. There are also presets 5 and 6 which are ‘Polish’ and ‘Vingnette’ again I didnt feel like these enhance my image anymore so I left them out.


Heres another from Itay that I used the ‘Through the woods’ presets to edit with. Although the unedited image is fairly exposed throughout its lacking detail. I like to keep my images as natural as possible without looking too HDR or edited, although sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop! The settings I used to edit this image were:
1 Base - High Dynamic Range 
2 Exposure - Darken 
4 Tone/Tint - Warm it up
5 Polish - Add Clarity 

The presets do exactly what they say they’re going to do, such as add clarity, darken or lighten. With this image, I missed out 3, which was colour, by the time I got to the exposure section I felt it didn’t need it, but did however need it warming up which is where I added it in section 4. What I feel you need to be careful of when editing landscape images is how much clarity can be added to a photograph, while zoomed out the image looks good, however when zooming in onto people’s faces and land, it appears very grainy and colour spotty, this could be to do with my camera settings, or the fact there is just too much detail brought out needed for an image like this. But depending what you do with your images this might not be a problem. For the last touch in this image I used the ‘water definition’ brush, I liked the sound of it and decided to put it to use, as you can perhaps see the water in the foreground appears to have that deep dark feel to it, although when I first used the brush it was far too strong so I simply brought that detail down about by adjusting the sliders. 
Whats great about lightroom is that everything you can do can easily be done, and that applies when using these presets, if you apply a preset or brush and you like the look of but you feel needs adjusting, you can, it’s totally flexible. 
Depending on what sort of photographer you are, I would definitely recommend this workflow, now that I’ve used it, I really don’t know how I’ve ever lived without it! You can find all their workflows for Lightroom and Photoshop here: (https://sleeklens.com/product/landscape-lightroom-presets/ https://sleeklens.com/product/professional-photo-editing-service/  https://sleeklens.com/product-category/lightroom-presets) 

Thank you Sleeklens!


Grand Union Canal no.2

I’m dedicating this blog to the Grand Union Canal again because for one it is so damn beautiful and secondly I find it the most photographic place in the tiny village that I live in. As you know it’s been really frosty in Britain and this makes everything looks crisp,  the cold atmosphere against the warm morning sunlight are perfect things to capture for a classic winter photograph. Since I’ve been back from Uni, I’ve spent a lot of time photographing the canal, so much I think I need to make a separate folder on my website. The images below were taken this morning around 7:30am-800am, Enjoy!


Beacon Hill, Leicester.

Over the weekend I visited Beacon Hill. I’ve had a list of places I want to photograph for when I can finally drive and Beacon Hill has been jotted down, but seeing as it’s in the same city it’s easy enough to get to (with someone else driving haha). Anyway, last weekend was definitely the right time to go, there’s still enough leaves on the tree’s before they start looking bare and plenty on the floor, which is perfect for your classic Autumn picture. These pictures were only taken in passing, and I wish I spent more time creating them, however, I’m pleased with how they’ve turned out. As you can probably tell I’ve enhanced the colours no end, but not in an unnatural way, although editing is my favourite part of photography I believe in trying to keep the image as natural as possible. But sometimes an image will never look how you quite imaged it, and this was the case for the first image in this set, the top right on this image was very gappy in the tree’s and so a lot of white sky was visible, and for me this was distracting, so I slightly covered it up with the clone stamp from the other side ( you can probably tell ). I’m practising on my photoshop skills, not that I want my images to look fake but so I can enhance them in the most natural way. 

Thank you for reading!  


Grand Union Canal

Since returning from Italy, I’ve tried to seek beautiful scenery nearby like the ones I was surrounded by in Anversa, however, that is almost impossible as they’re two completely different places. Twice a day I walk along the canal and every day I learn to appreciate how beautiful my little village is, I’ve watched the evening sun create perfect reflections, seen mist evaporating into the cool air and now I’m experiencing the slow change of colours on the tree’s. These observations are becoming crucial to me, since leaving University in July I am learning how to stand on my own two feet as a photographer and trying to find my place in it all. The pictures above are my two favourite that I have made recently along the canal. Returning from Italy I had it in my mind I couldn’t possibly create beautiful images from the tiny village I’ve lived in all my life, but changing your perception and learning to appreciate the little things such as the changing of weather can make a huge impact to the way you view a scenery, home or not. 



Anversa degli abruzzi, summery.

After the bear monitoring weekend, I only had a short week left in Anversa, and sadly for most of this time it was raining, no observations were made but only checking camera traps. I’ve enjoyed my time in Italy so much I’ve even thought about moving there! It’s good to dream, but who said dreams can’t come true?
Below are a few images I’ve snapped in between these blog posts, I hope that whoever has been reading these posts have enjoyed reading about my time and the pictures I’ve made! 

Shortly after I’ll be posting images from Rome, as I decided to stay a little longer! 

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