Adobe Lightroom forms an essential part of my workflow and I use it daily for almost 99% of my work. Each photo assignment involves going through a range of a few hundred to a few thousand images at any one time. That is why I have been constantly on the lookout for tools and methods that will translate to any form of time savings as it works in my favour to cut down my post-processing work to a minimum.
I have used other presets in the past but have yet to implement any of them into my workflow. I ended up settling into a comfort zone of using the same few simple presets which I have created with some minor tweaks to get to my preferred look.
Recently, I was introduced to Sleeklens and their workflow products which helps photographers cut down on post-processing time and at the same time obtain better results. I decided to give the Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow a try for my portraiture work.
After running the presets and brushes over some of my favourite shots, I must say that it was truly a well-worth investment. There are plenty of presets and brushes to choose from. 69 presets and 62 brushes, in fact. For presets, the great thing is that they are editable, which means you are not bound to any preset. For instance, you can start off with a “All In One” or “Base” preset and make further tweaks to fit the style you envisioned, or you can edit and save it as your own customised preset. What’s more, presets can be “layered” or stacked together for multiple effects.
Before and after applying the Kaleidoscope preset.
As you can see from the example above, the “Kaleidoscope” preset made some significant changes to my original edit. I finalised the image with a few minor tweaks, but honestly, the preset by itself is good enough and I wouldn’t hesitate to leave it as that. The next example shows what the brushes are capable of achieving.
Before and after applying brushes for skin softening, eyes enhancing etc to the face.
I was already contented with what I achieved in my original edit, but the Strike A Pose brushes took it a step further and helped provide the finishing touches for a more vibrant and refreshing look. Skin is softer, eyes look shinier, hair and eyebrows are more defined, and blush is applied to her cheeks! Although changes could look subtle, the overall effect was significant, especially when printed into one of our signature albums or viewed on a larger screen. And all of this could be done in under 5 minutes!
These are just but a tiny fraction of what the entire bundle is capable of achieving. There are many, many more presets and brushes to experiment and with. I recommend it to photographers who are looking to cut down on some processing time as well as to people who do not use Photoshop yet hope to achieve similar results in Lightroom alone. You can find more details of the Strike A Pose bundle here. Or you could also check out the entire collection for Lightroom. So many options, there’s something for everyone!