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Book Review: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow – The Digital Photographer’s Guide by By Tim Grey

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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow is aimed at digital photographers who want to maximize the efficiency of their workflow. Since Lightroom is such a new product, you can either try to figure out how to use it on your own, or you can take the advice of someone who has been using the product since it was in beta.

What is Tim Grey's goal in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow? To reduce the time and effort you spend in storing, selecting, and editing your digital images. According to the author, for years photographers focused on improving their skills at creating images, but when digital came along they became more interested in improving their computer skills. This reduced the time they spent behind the camera. The purpose of this book is to put the balance back in the two areas. By reducing the time that you take managing your images, you will have more time to shoot images.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow is broken down into seven chapters and one Appendix. The book covers the full workflow for optimizing your images and will introduce you to a good pathway to get you started.

Chapter one, "Workflow Foundations," helps you prepare for a workflow that revolves around Lightroom. In this chapter, the author goes over the fundamentals of workflow and how it relates to Lightroom. He goes over what Lightroom is, what it is to be used for and what you can accomplish by using it. He explores how he thinks about Lightroom and how it relates to Photoshop in general.

Chapter two, "Configuring Lightroom," shows the many configuration options available in Lightroom. You will be shown what options you have and how to set them. You will need to understand the interface before effectively being able to use it. You will learn how to customize Lightroom's behavior for workflow efficiency.

Chapter three, "Library," explains the best techniques for managing your images. The Library module is the foundation of Lightroom since it provides all of the tools to manage your images. It functions like the light table that you may have used if you ever worked with slide film. Here you will learn how to import, review, process and export your images. It is here that you will rate, add informational metadata, and keywords to properly manage your images.

Chapter four, "Develop," covers many of the non-destructive manipulations that are available to optimize your images. Here you will make the adjustments to your images in order to fulfill your original vision of your photos. The develop module contains most of the tools that you will need to process your images. You will learn to crop, clean up spots, and adjust temperatures, tones and details.

Chapter five, "Slideshow," teaches you everything you need to create slideshows for sharing your images. This provides a method of sharing your images with your clients, friends and family in a dynamic way. Here you will learn how to build, configure, and play Lightroom slideshows.

Chapter six, "Print," shows you how to print your images to meet a variety of needs. Although on initial look it may appear that the Print Module is for creating contact sheets, it is really geared for creating quite powerful print images. Here you will learn how to select photos, use templates, determine print layout and configure output settings.

Chapter seven, "Web," highlights the process of creating galleries to share your images on the web. Although prints are a major part of sharing images, it is the web that has been overtaking the format. Lightroom makes it easy to share your images with the world. Here the author walks you through creating a web gallery, configuring the website, and publishing your photos.

The Appendix contains a checklist of steps to follow to build a professional work flow using Lightroom.

Although this is a slim book — a little over 200 pages — it gets down to business in a succinct and pointed manner. It is easy to read and easy to follow. The Appendix workflow checklist could have been a little more detailed and perhaps, had it followed an actual "from photo shoot to publish" flow, it could have been more effective, but at only two pages, it is really not a factor.

If you want a no nonsense book that provides the details in a clear and concise manner — one that gives you all the steps to create a professional workflow that you can use to evolve into your own workflow — then Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow is just the book for you.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.