Working with Sleeklens


I have the feeling that I have just added a new piece of software to my computer that I guess that will decisively change my architectural photography workflow.

I have just installed a good part of the presets and brushes created by Sleeklens for Lightroom because it’s been a long time since that I’ve been looking for a solution to make the processing of my RAW files much more personal and efficient than what I feel I have done until now.

I like to keep my workflow as compact as I can from the combination of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop –they are the industry standards, that’s obvious– and I've been trying over the years several different applications to try to add new looks to my RAWs.

Unfortunately, I haven’t always found the results that I’ve looked for and I have ended up discarding many applications available now in the market. That’s whywhen I saw some Sleeklens references in social networks and that their strongest selling point was the integration of their product in Lightroom, I decided to try –they are a company based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and that makes me confident–.

It took almost no time to download the presets and brushes, they are really simple to install on the proper Lightroom folder. Perhaps the most time consuming was choosing from all the Sleeklens catalog what I was going to buy, they seem to have solutions for each type of photography –and that makes me think that there must be photographers behind this company because the presets that I have tested are really accurate, almost exquisite–.

But maybe what I like the most is how I can easily apply a preset to a photograph and stack another preset over and even another one more on top just to add more subtleties and then, besides, paint with the brushes to fine tune the look of my image as I have visualized it in my mind. And even more important, that brushes and presets are customizable and that I can play with them and interpret my RAWs exactly like if they were a musical score.

Perhaps the only drawback that I find is that the presets previews are very small, they are a little difficult to see in all their detail at the time of choosing them when in Lightroom. I do not know if this is something that depends exclusively on Adobe but maybe it would be interesting to find a way to make a more comfortable live view, more evident.

Anyway, do you know that idea that states that digital photography is actually written? That we can take command as photographers in each and every one of the decisions of our creative process at will in the same way that a writer or a poet searches for words, rhythm and precise rhymes without any limits to their imagination.

Well, somehow with this Sleeklens software I get the impression of having discovered a dictionary full of new words, or having bought the biggest box of colored pencils that I have found or maybe even the most complete Lego of the toy store.

To test the presets I have reprocessed some original camera RAWs of the GSX House, an architecture project by the renowned Catalan interior designer Agustí Costa, one of my oldest clients that I deeply respect and that I consider my mentor, with a new interpretation. He creates his works with the highest requirements and is involved in all aspects of the design process and, thus, my photographs must respond to this rigor to portray his architecture projects and to make them visible to a nowadays global audience.

My path with Slekleens has just started and I see that the possibilities of making my workflow in Lightroom much more productive are really important. I think they also develop presets for Photoshop and that maybe later I will have to try them if the quality is as good as the Lightroom ones that I have now available.

There is nothing that I like most than working when I am actually playing and to do it so efficiently and faithful to my personal style, that’s why I hope to have fun with this software for quite a long time.

David Cardelús