I often get asked about my photo editing workflow. Where do I do my RAW editing... do I do more in Lightroom than in Photoshop or vice versa...when and how do I use plug-ins...etc... The truth is, your photo editing workflow is a very personal thing. It really depends on how much time and effort you wish to invest in the post processing of your images. I look at it, I guess, from a practical point of view in that, I've spent time, money, sweat, and sometimes a little blood (I'm a klutz) to create the images I bring onto the computer. So I'm going to give them the attention they deserve. If that means working on a single photo for 3 minutes and I'm happy, great! If that means working with an image for an hour...well, sometimes that's just what it takes to bring out the best in an image and put my personal stamp on it.
Recently, I was asked to try a piece of software that would assist in speeding up workflows. I have to say, I'm a bit resistant to changing my workflow since I've got it down to a science but if we don't try new things, we'll never grow, so I gave it a shot. Anybody who has worked with me knows a little about my obsession with Photoshop Layers and Plug-Ins. I pretty much do my organization and RAW editing in Lightroom and immediately kick it out to Photoshop to work with masking and NIK and Topaz plug-ins. But with this software by Sleeklens I went down a totally different road. I downloaded their "Through the Woods Lightroom Workflow" and did ALL of my editing on the image below in Lightroom. It never saw Photoshop. I do believe this is a first for me.
This first image is a screen shot of the un-edited RAW file. This is Rainbow Row in historic downtown Charleston, SC.
For the following image, I used one of the 51 presets that come with this workflow from Sleeklens and several of the Lightroom brushes including, "Cloudy Sky Definition" and "Subtle Clarity". Using the brushes allows me to add these effects to just the portion of the image that I want to for ultimate control.
I have to say, they may have unleashed a monster here because I'm tempted to download more of their presets and brushes because this was just easy and fun. Their tutorials were very helpful. It only took a few minutes to watch the tutorials to learn how to download the product and I was able to get started right away.
So...old dog learned some new tricks. Actually, I learn something new in the photography world almost every day...it's one of the things I love about this art form.