REVIEW:
Sleeklens –Through the Woods (SL-TTW) Workflow presets and brushes for Lightroom makes image editing on landscape photos a breeze. I recently started using the SL-TTW Lightroom Presets and Brushes and already am realizing how much time they save.

When Sleeklens first approached me to do a review of their Though the Woods Workflow, I was a little skeptical. I have post-production image developing in Lightroom down to a science, so I wasn’t sure how their presets would improve my workflow. My normal workflow has been to import everything into Lightroom directly from my camera, with import preset to automatically convert all RAW files to DNG and apply metadata.. Also, I always apply custom file name and keywords to each batch from a given shoot. However, I avoid any additional LR Develop presets on import because images often vary too much.

That’s where the post-production work really begins. Prior to using the SL-TTW workflow presets and brushes, I used to go through an initial series of quick select adjustments (exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast, clarity) in the Lightroom Library mode,or just go directly to Develop mode and go through those initial exposure adjustments – plus several more (cropping,, sharpening, noise reduction, and individual color saturation and luminosity adjustments. I have this process pretty well perfected – but it takes TIME.

Now, with SL-TTW, I typically start in Lightroom Library mode with a customized SL-TTW preset, then move to Develop mode and use additional presets and brushes as needed. One very useful SL-TTW feature is the ability to tweak and customize any of the presets with your own settings – and save them as your own customized version of that preset. The out-of-the-box, built-in SL-TTW settings serve as a great starting point – and are very instructive as to what slider adjustments were used to achieve a particular effect. I’m finding that not only am I reducing my work time by half or more, but also getting better and more precise adjustments.

One of the most useful SL-TTW presets for Lightroom that I have begun using is the HDR preset. The image comparison below is between the original unprocessed photo (shot on an iPhone 6s) and the photo after only ONE CLICK of the SL-TTW HDR preset. The results achieved would have normally  taken approximately 8 LR Develop slider adjustments without the preset. The before-after comparison clearly illustrates how the SL-TTW preset significantly expedites the Lightroom workflow.

BEFORE:  (Original image – cropped only)

Panorama of mountains near San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

Panorama of mountains near San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

AFTER:  (One click using Sleeklens Thru the Woods – HDR preset for Lightroom

Landscape panorama photo of mountains near San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

AFTER: Panorama photo of mountains near San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

Here’s another example. In only 6 clicks (1 to crop and 2 to enhance color balance in the eyes), I was able to transform a mediocre photo of a kitty in a tree into a high impact portrait of a beautiful kitten. This could have been accomplished with the normal Lightroom adjustments – with about 10 more clicks. Again, the Sleeklens presets saved a lot of time.

BEFORE (Original photo – shot on iPhone 4s)

Cute orange tabby kitten in tree

Cute orange tabby kitten in tree

AFTER (6 Clicks using Sleeklens Through the Woods presets in Lightroom 6

Cute orange and white tabby kitten in a tree

Cute orange and white tabby kitten in a tree

In conclusion, the Sleeklens – Through the Woods Workflow presets and brushes for Lightroom are a very useful set of tools to enhance the quality of your final images and save you a substantial amount of time in the process.

In addition to Through the Woods, Sleeklens also has several other excellent workflows (which are also available for Photoshop) for several different photographic genres, including:

Complete Sleeklens LR Collection
Lanscape Essentials Workflow Bundle
Portrait Essentials Workflow Bundle

Or available as individual Workflows
Out of the Shadows HDR Workflow
Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow
Chasing Light Workflow
Aura Laborar Workflow for night photography
Forever Thine Wedding Workflow
Brick and Mortar Workflow for architecture/urban/real estate photography
Runway Fashion Workflow
Ala Carte Food Workflow

I will update this review further as I continue to explore these LR presets further, but I can already enthusiastically recommend the Sleeklens – Through the Woods Lightroom Workflow for any landscape photographer who does a lot of image adjustment to save time and maximize the visual quality of their images..

I will be excited to explore many of the other Sleeklens Workflows.

Happy image processing.

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Buy The Postcard

Whenever you’re traveling and at a popular tourist location or viewpoint, you can rest assured that some professional photographer (like me) was there before you and took the exact same photograph.

Except he or she was there at dawn on a spectacular morning, with the flowers in all bloom, a perfect reflection, the mist rising from the lake, special permission from the King, and $20,000 of professional cameras, lenses, filters, a  tripod, etc. More than likely your pic will not compare.

So I suggest that you seriously consider buying the postcard at a local shop. Concentrate on capturing your memories with photos that only you can take, or be in.
Happy travels.                                                                                                                  See More

Reflection on Little Molas lake in the Rocky Mountains

Clouds reflecting on Little Molas lake in the Colorado Rockies.

Heceta Beach sunset - Oregon Coast

Sunset reflections on Heceta Beach on the Oregon Coast

 

 

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The Ranks of the Fallen

In honor of Veteran’s Day and of those who fought and died for our country and the freedoms we enjoy in America, I’ve created some panoramic images of the spectacular Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Pt. Loma in San Diego.

My undying gratitude for their great courage and sacrifices .

The Ranks of the Fallen

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Sail Into The Sunset

Thanks to all the new subscribers to my blog, I’m motivated (by guilt) to add a new post. Since I recently joined a sailing club and am taking sailing courses, it seemed appropriate that I do a blog post on sailing – before I sail off into the sunset.

Sailing, of course, is a great venue for getting idyllic images. So enjoy my Sailing Images Gallery

Waikiki_Sailboats-01821967_sunset-art

 

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Double Vision

Those who are old enough may remember that great old song by the band Foreigner called “Double Vision”. Although I’m pretty sure they were singing about doing drugs and not photographs of reflections, it seemed a perfect title for this post about photographing reflections.

Reflections are a visual phenomenon unlike anything else. They capture the world and turn it upside down or backwards. Like a mirage, a reflection is an illusion.

Sea of Tranquility

Drifting clouds reflecting of a tranquil sea in Hawaii

Reflections have always enchanted me, and over the years I captured some amazing images of things reflecting off of other things. I even published a calendar once entitled Reflections. Along the way I developed some procedures and tricks to get the best results. More recently, I perfected some digital techniques for creating reflections that weren’t actually there – counterfeit imitations of illusions.

Reflecting surfaces come in many shapes and sizes from mirrors, windows and calm water to metallic surfaces like chrome, tinfoil, toasters, Christmas ornaments, sunglasses, a wet beach or any other shiny thing you can think of.

I’ve learned that the angle of view makes a tremendous difference. It is amazing how a wide angle lens just an inch above the water makes a puddle look like a lake.

Check out my Reflections Gallery on my website, DouglasPage.com, and try to figure out which of the reflections were real and which ones I created. Please post your guesses and comments … and try to be reflective.

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The Long View

I have to admit it. Visually speaking, I’ve been narrow minded. Life is 360 degrees, but even the best super-wide angle lenses only capture about 1/3 of that. So I’ve resolved to expand my horizons, see the big picture and take the long view of the world – literally.

Super high resolution 5x1 panorama of Waikiki, Hawaii skyline at evening. For wall mural applications up to 30 ft. (Douglas Page)

Super high resolution 5x1 panorama of Waikiki, Hawaii evening skyline. For wall mural reproductions up to 50 ft.

So, I’ve developed techniques for photographing dramatic extra-wide panoramic scenes in super high-resolution clarity – capable of reproduction as full wall murals at 50 feet long with astonishing clarity. By photographing the 180 degree scene with a series of hi-res exposures (up to 12) across the width of the panorama and then stitching together (with great care and precision) in Photoshop, I’ve been able to achieve digital image files up to 20x the size of a single image file. The results are amazing, with unbelievable clarity at 50 ft. enlargement as a full wall mural – as shown in the 36″ detail of the 50 ft. mural below.

 (Douglas Page)36 in. sq. detail of Waikiki Skyline panorama at 50 ft. enlargement.

This is part of my new series of original mural art. See the complete collection at my new Wall Murals Galleries and let me know your impressions. More to come, so check back often.

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Tunnel Vision

A woman walks 'into the light - at the end of the tunnel' (Douglas Page)

 (Douglas Page)

I was on the spectacular Big-Sur coast of California and walked into a tunnel under the highway to a vista point. Immediately the visual metaphor possibilities started flashing through my brain. So I lurked in the shadows in the tunnel, waiting to provide unwary hiker with their very own ‘near-death experience’ as they walked ‘into the light – at the end of the tunnel’.

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Forensic Proof

To follow up on my previous post, Intelligent Designs, I was able to photograph a rare phenomenon that provides forensic evidence to prove the claims of proponents of Intelligent Design. The unaltered photo below should finally put the debate to rest 🙂

Photo of the Week:  The Fingerprint of God?

The forensic proof that God created the heavens and earth (Douglas Page)

The forensic proof of God's hand in the creation of the heavens and earth?

To  see more Intelligent Designs visit my website Design | Abstracts | Impressions Gallery @ www.DouglasPage.com.

 

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Intelligent Designs

Photo of the Week:  It Looks Intelligent To Me

Palm fronds from an abstract design (Douglas Page)

You don’t have to look to far to find amazing designs in the world around you. Of course for me, living in Hawaii – surrounded by lush tropical foliage and spectacular natural wonders, it is a little easier. But no matter where you are, design is all around you, especially in nature.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the debate over ‘Intelligent Design’ – the proposition that life is too irreducibly complex to have just happened by random natural selection, and therefore was designed by some intelligent entity. In looking at and photographing the designs I find in the natural world around me, I find it virtually impossible to disagree with that proposition.

If you have been living under a rock, there are undoubtedly some amazing designs on or in it. If you haven’t yet noticed them, you’ll just have to look more closely.

 

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Another Day in Paradise

Photo of the Week:  Waimea Sunrise
 (Douglas Page)

Creating a great Photo of the Week is not exactly difficult when you live on a beautiful tropical island, within minutes of sweeping beaches and pounding surf. With good reason, the world famous North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii is the veritable epicenter of the surfing world.

When the surf hits 20 feet or more, the shorebreak wave at Waimea Bay becomes an awe inspiring glimpse of nature’s power. Shortly after sunrise on a clear morning, the rays of the sun slice down Waimea Valley to cast shafts of light on the thundering shorebreak waves.

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