WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE?
Welcome to a review of the Sleeklens Landscape Adventure Collection. Yep. It is kind of weird to be reviewing a set of Photoshop actions and not camera gear. But since the folks at Sleeklens are kind enough to send it over for an honest review, then they must be very confident with the quality of their goodies.
Now, there a ton of free Photoshop brushes, plugins, and actions out there. Just what makes this collection so special then? Is it really worth to pay the price for this collection? Well, read on to find out!
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A set of landscape specialized 8 groups, 56 Photoshop actions.
Some of the actions are not very helpful, but still adds value to the editing process.
It’s only $0.70 for each action!
Cool addition for newbies and professionals. Lacks actions for night photography though.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
OVERVIEW & INSTALLATION
All right, let us now go into the details of the Sleeklens Landscape Adventure Collection – What is inside this package.
WHAT IS A PHOTOSHOP ACTION?
For you guys who are new to Photoshop, and wondering what “Photoshop actions” are all about – They are pre-recorded actions, or some may prefer to call it “macro”. What it does, is simply recording a set of processes, and replaying it with a single click.
For example, I will usually post-process my photos with dust-off, sharpen, add contrast, then put my watermark in. All of these steps can be recorded into a “Photoshop action”, and applied to any other photos with a single click. So please do not confuse actions with “filters and effects”. These are not filters, but rather, pre-recorded parts of an editing process.
PACKAGE & INSTALLATION
The Sleeklens Landscape Adventure Collection is a set of 56 Photoshop actions – all done by landscape photographers, for landscape photographers. Installation is as simple as double-clicking on the ATN file, or just drag-drop the file into Photoshop. For you guys who are new to Photoshop actions, you can bring them up with Window > Actions. Simply select an action, and hit that play button.
Now for the million-dollar question. What is in the Sleeklens package exactly? There are 8 groups of actions:
- Web File Preparation
That pretty much covers everything a landscape photographer needs. However, something is sorely missing from the set of actions. There are actions for sunset and stuff, but none of them directly deals with night photography. Nothing for cityscape at night, nothing for fireworks nor light trails.
Missing night actions aside, how well does the Sleeklens Landscape Adventure work? How well will it fit into my process flow on the first try? The only way to find out is to go out and shoot, then put the set of actions to the test.
Thus I had the opportunity to go out for a shoot on a stormy day, and had the good luck to catch some “fire in the storm” – Orange clashing with grey storm clouds.
As my usual workflow goes, Camera Raw fires up when I open a RAW file, and I do my usual basic exposure adjustments plus color corrections.
After some dust cleaning and content-aware magic, this is what I’ve got. I will usually end my editing about here, after a few more rounds of minor adjustments. But now, it’s time to put Landscape Adventures to the test.
After messing around with the actions, I have decided to add in the soft golden hour, dreamy landscape, and deep cinematic actions… But yep, this is way too over, and I wanted to keep the slightly darker punchy look.
So after toning down the effects, this is the final image. Yep, that is some pretty nice subtle improvements over where I usually end, and I am loving what I see.
Personally, I am kind of a “control freak”. I like to spend time on polishing each photo, and the idea of using preset “filters” irks me – One preset setting does not apply to every photo, and it simply will not give you award-winning photos.
The Landscape Adventure Collection is a refreshing change. It adds to your processing flow, and if you do not like certain parts of it, you can adjust it or use a layer mask to control the application.
But will I exclusively use Landscape adventures for editing in the future – no. I think it is insufficient to deal with all kinds of landscape, and Camera Raw still does a better job at basic exposure corrections.
So will I recommend this collection? Yes, it is good for the newbies who are still struggling to figure out the histogram. For the professionals, some of these actions may not be very helpful, but you can still use it to speed up and add to your editing process.
Sure thing, I would love to have more actions for $39, value for money. But overall, this is still a pretty decent collection to check out if you have that extra bit to spare.
- The price of $39 may seem a little steep to some. But think about it this way, it is a collection of 56 actions, and that is only $0.70 for each action.
- Newbies should be able to pick these up quickly and benefit from the actions.
- It does save quite a bit of time and adds on to the editing process.
- Some of the actions are not very helpful – I use Camera RAW, and the exposure / white balance actions are pretty much useless to me.
- Lack actions for night / fireworks / light trails.