I was recently contacted by a company called Sleeklens (https://sleeklens.com) to try out their Photoshop actions for free in exchange for an honest review. The company said that their actions are designed to help photographers cut down on their time editing and to help make their images pop. While I have a pretty streamlined workflow at this point, I was curious to see how their actions differed from my own and if I could learn anything new or improve my photos. I generally start in Lightroom and make global adjustments to color and exposure. This means that if my white balance is off (aka if the image looks too cool or too warm), I will adjust all of the similar images at that point. Similarly, if it is too bright or dark, I’ll correct this in Lightroom (and this can vary image by image depending on my vision for each particular photo). After I make these broad, general adjustments that can apply to all of my images in Lightroom, I will then go into Photoshop to tweak each image and finish it to my liking.
It was at this point that I tested the Sleeklens Actions. In general, I was quite pleased with the results. Even for a relatively novice Photoshop user, it would be easy to tweak the actions to increase the desired effect of each one. For my liking, the results of most of the actions were quite strong, but I believe that was the intended result as they are easy to customize.
The pros: This set is warms the images nicely and makes the colors pop. The base actions had many layers which made them easy to customize.
The cons: The action set (Portrait Perfection Photoshop actions) is not as extensive as some other actions sets that I have purchased, in that there are fewer sharpening, dodging & burning, and color tweaking actions.
Here are a few examples below of images that had basic edits only in Lightroom (the “before”) and the finished edit using only the Sleeklens actions (the “after”).
#1 – Used “BASE – From Cloudy Days” at 60%
#2 – Used “BASE – From Nature” at 60%
The Sleeklens actions for both Photoshop and Lightroom can be found here: