Welcome back to my blog! Today I have a Product Review for you:
Sleekslens Overlays for Photoshop
Sleeklens is a company based in Copenhagen, Denmark that produces presets for Lightroom and Photoshop such as Actions, Overlays, Textures etc.
You can find and purchase all those products on their website: Sleeklens
A few weeks ago I was contacted by the PR Manager of Sleeklens and she offered me 1-2 of their products for test purposes if I would be willing to write a review about them.
First, I have to say that I am a traditional photographer. My standard workflow consists of RAW development in Lightroom and every now and then some adjustments in the Nik Collection series. I do not use presets because I like to have control over every single aspect of my photo and I also do not copy anything into my photos that was not there at the time I shot it.
Now that you know how I work you will understand that I was a bit hesitant about what Sleeklens would have to offer. So I went to their website anyway because even though overlays are not part of my workflow I was curious to play around with those and test them.
Long story short I agreed to test their overlays and to write my honest opinion about them in my blog:
1. The Overlays
I picked the “Skies Overlay Collection” and the “Light Rays” since my main focus is Nature, Wildlife and Landscape and those two would be a good match for those topics.
2. The Content
The “Skies Overlay Collection” consists of 3 parts: A “Flares” folder with 4 different types of flares, a “Sky Overlays” folder with 177 different types of skies, and a Photoshop Action that is used to match and enhance a photo once you put in your new sky.
The “Light Rays” folder contains 15 different light rays in monochrome (so you can match the color later in Photoshop) and 10 different light rays in color (blue, yellow and orange tones).
Every collection also contains a recipe guide in pdf format that shows you before and after pictures of photos where both products had been used, so you get an idea how a specific Photoshop Action will affect your photo.
3. Installation, Guide and Help
The Sleeklens website explains 3 different ways to install the Photoshop Action, so even if you have never used one, you have help on hand to guide you through the process.
4. In Photoshop
Once you completed the quick installation and you open Photoshop you will find the “Matching” and “Enhance” actions under your Photoshop Actions in a self-explanatory list:
You can now get to work. I will not explain every step in detail but in general it is fairly easy.
Here is the explained workflow for the Light Rays: Youtube Video 1
And here you can find the workflow for the Sky Collection: Youtube Video 2
After I tested it for a while and after I had an idea what every Photoshop action does I was able to get some decent results:
Here is example number two, this time just a few improvements:
Example number three:
As you can tell the changes in the photos are sometimes really dramatic, but sometimes they are just subtle.
At the time of this review both collections are available for a reduced price. The “Skies Overlays Collection” is now $69 (was $99) and the “Light Rays Overlay Collection” is now $39 (was $49).
My personal opinion is that I would have been satisfied with the content of the $69 “Skies Overlays Collection”. On the other hand I think that the “Light Rays Overlay Collection” is a bit overprized when you compare the content of both products.
Both products are easy to use and while they are intended for advanced Photoshop users there is still plenty of help available should you need it. The results that you are able to achieve can be pretty impressive and even though I am still not a big fan of overlays I have to admit that they can be useful for some situations.
For example, you have just a few hours at a location before you have to leave again and you will not be able to come back anytime soon. If you are lucky, you get that great shot with awesome light and clouds and all that good stuff. If you are not lucky you might end up with a photo that is somewhat decent but has a really boring sky or not quite the colors you have hoped for.
In this situation these overlays can come in really handy to achieve the look you had in mind when you took the photo. If you are willing to take that step is completely up to you. You are the artist!
Did you use these or other Sleeklens products before? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Have a photo-tastic day!