Sleeklens' "Through the Woods" Lightroom Preset Review

I have never been one to use presets before when doing my editing, primarily because there is no one preset or preset package that can get the photo to look exactly how I envisioned it when I took the photograph. After using the "Through the Woods" Lightroom preset package from Sleeklens, I still feel the same way. However, there were definitely some positives when going through the LR workflow. 

First off, as with any presets, they are very easy to use. A few clicks can give you a quick head start on your edit. For some people, they may even like the images just the way they are straight from the preset. For me, however, I found that on the dozen or so images I tried using the presets on, no layering of the presets could get me the final result I wanted based on my personal editing style. That is nothing against this workflow in particular, it is just the case with any preset package I have tried. 

Lets get into some of the images I edited using only the "Through the Woods" workflow. Here is what this shot looked like straight out of the camera. You can check out a couple other edited versions of this shot. These two images were edited using only various combinations of the "Through the Woods" presets. 

There's nothing too special about this shot in the first place, but I wanted to try it on just an ordinary image to see what kind of results I could get. While the two edited versions are neat in their own way, neither are edits I would ever publish as my own work. You can spend a fair amount of time going through all the presets to try to find a combination that works. I was able to edit this image to be the way I wanted it to look in much less time than trying to go through all the presets and find a close edit (which I was not able to do).

Alright, lets move on to the next image. Once again, the first image is the unedited RAW shot. The following shots were edited using only some of the presets.

The black and white image looks pretty cool, and is close to something I would use. And all that took was one click using the 'All-in-one Pressed in Time' preset. Not bad at all. I could not find any combination of color presets that I liked for this image because they were either over the top 'punchy' with the colors to the point where it looked fake, or they weren't punchy enough. But again, that all comes down to personal preference, so the presets do exactly what they are designed to do.

Here is one last image I tried my hand at editing with this workflow. I wanted to try a fall color image to see how the presets would handle all the yellows. 

No matter how much I tried, I couldn't get any combination of the presets to make this image look like I wanted. It would be much faster for me to edit the image by hand since I know exactly how I want the final result to look.

So what all did I take away from trying out these presets? Well, while they are not for me and do not fit in with my preferred workflow, they can definitely be a big timesaver if these styles of edits are your personal preference. A fair amount of the presets are over-the-top for my liking (i.e. HDR style shots) - but if that is your thing, these would be good for that. Sleeklens does offer plenty of good tutorial videos to help you get started if you have never used presets before.