Are presets & plugins making me lazy in my editing?

A question I’ve asked myself of late … I’ve not been a big user of presets in my editing apps as I love working the software in my own way to make my image. However there are so many offered with the programmes now that I’ve been trying some out – & I’ve got to admit some are really nifty & do save so much time! I know I can create my own but I’m not usually thinking of that & so often find I save my work before thinking about creating a preset … besides I’m not that cleaver & other cleaver people have gone to so much trouble, time & effort to create the myriad that are out there why not use them!
Plugins are the same … I’ve not been an avid collector of plugins but do have my favourite couple I frequently turn to. Again however just recently I have found myself exploring them more as a – shall remain nameless – upgrade presented me with the opportunity to use some free ones … & surprise, surprise, I’m enjoying them – at least for now.

Bringing me to my question … Are presets & plugins making me lazy in my editing – am I losing my editing skills & knowledge of my programmes? I guess I will answer that over time!

In our editing programmes there’s a multitude of ways to achieve the same result & we can use these variants to recreate many of the plugin effects available … sometimes it just takes a couple of clicks other times it can take a much longer process … so long as you are familiar enough with the software … but I am finding it so convenient to go the easy way – at least I am at this point in time! Am I lazy … at first I thought there’s no challenge here … just click on an effect & bingo but I’m quickly realising that to get the right look does indeed take some – well yes skill if you like! So for now I will further explore what my plugins have to offer & how far I can go with them.

A couple of thoughts, one – time – does it take less time to edit an image if I use these plugins or presets, can I process more images in less time … is that good or bad? Two – file size – should be a whole lot smaller as there won’t be so many layers!

Of course if I could get everything perfect in camera first that would save heaps of time … but hey I like playing! Besides if you’re perfect what have you got to drive you onward & upward?

Here’s a couple I’ve worked on … seems like I’m going thru a soft focus phase :)