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Book Review: D-65’s Lightroom Workbook: Workflow, Not Workslow In Lightroom 3 by Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer

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The co-founders of the photography training and consultancy company D65 have been training people for years in the use of Adobe Lightroom. Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer understand the importance using Adobe Lightroom for digital photography and how important it is in managing your workflow. In D65’s Lightroom Workbook, their goal is to present a well tested workflow that photographers can modify and implement as they do at D65.

D-65’s Lightroom Workbook is based on the four-day workshops that D65 puts on through the year. They are intensive workshops that equip photographers with the tools to manage their workflow effectively. D-65’s Lightroom Workbook is 488 pages in length and is contained in 16 chapters.

Chapter 1, “Before You Shoot,” begins by examining the importance of some of the key elements that you need to consider before shooting digital. In this section you will look at memory cards, ISO, white balance, using a color checker, working with histograms, filters, and other important concepts in the digital world.

Chapter 2, “Understanding File Formats & Shooting Raw,” looks in to the various file formats that can be used while shooting digital and what some of the pros and cons of each are. It also looks at the reasons that you should be shooting using Raw format and what it means to the quality of your images.

Chapter 3, “Color Spaces For Digital,” digs down into the four main color spaces that you can work with when dealing with digital: sRGB, Adobe98, ColorMatch, and ProPhoto. Here you will learn what color spaces are, how they affect you, and when best to use each of them.

Chapter 4, “Lightroom’s Architecture,” looks at its modular nature and how each module is designed for a specific task. You will see how you can control your workflow through the toolbar, panels, and keyboard shortcuts.

Chapter 5, “Setting Up Lightroom,” is more than using the defaults that are set when you first set up the software. Here you will see how to optimize Lightroom, set up an identity plate, and configure a watermark, as well as other settings to streamline your work.

Chapter 6, “The Lightroom Catalog,” explains the catalog system and how Lightroom is a true digital asset management system. This is one of the main reasons you would want to use Lightroom: its powerful abilities to manage your files. Here you will see how to change the location of your catalog, creating new catalogs, and make it easy to find what you need.

Chapter 7, “The Library Module,” is essentially command central for Lightroom. This is where everything starts. It is the database. Here you will learn how to import, view, sort, index, add metadata, and much more.

Chapter 8, “The Develop Module,” contains the controls that you need to make adjustments to your images and it contains the same processing engine that is contained in Adobe Camera Raw. What is so great about Lightroom is that the edits are non-destructive. That is, at any time you can hit Reset and go back to the original image. Here you will learn best practices on developing your images.

Chapter 9, “Synchronizing Develop Settings,” looks at the power of synchronizing changes to all of the images in a group of similar images. Here you will learn how to significantly improve the speed of your workflow through the use of Sync.

Chapter 10, “The Slideshow Module,” gives you the ability to put together a set of images into a slideshow presentation that you can deliver to your clients or show your portfolio. Here you will see how to put one together, control how it displays, and export and display.

Chapter 11, “The Print Module,” makes printing very easy through all of the features that you have on hand. In this chapter you will learn how to print, print to JPEG, produce print packages, and much more.

Chapter 12, “The Web Module,” now looks at creating web galleries directly from RAW images. These galleries can be previewed in Lightroom, exported to a folder, or uploaded to a website. Here you will learn about all of the new controls that have been added as well as how to use the FTP functions to upload your gallery directly to your website.

Chapter 13, “D-65’s Lightroom Workflow,” now ties all that you have learned back into a time-tested workflow. Here you will see how to manage your workflow efficiently giving you back more time to use behind the camera. This chapter leads you through all of the features of Lightroom and puts it all together.

Chapter 14, “Integrating Lightroom and Photoshop,” shows you how to take it up a notch and further enhance the power of Lightroom through the use of Adobe Photoshop. Now you will learn how to go directly to Photoshop for more complex editing, creation of HDR images, and creating panoramas.

Chapter 15, “Using Lightroom on More Than One Computer,” is necessary when you use one computer such as a laptop out in the field, and another in the studio. The question then becomes how to sync them. Here you will see what you need to do to keep them all running smoothly.

Chapter 16, “Archiving Your Images and Catalog,” shows that while backing up is important, the ultimate goal is to have an exact duplicate of your catalog and all of the image files on multiple media and in multiple locations. Here you will see how.

D-65’s Lightroom Workbook provides a firm foundation on which you can base all of your Lightroom work. It is very easy to read and progresses in an orderly and logical manner. It is very systematically done, and very easy to understand by any level of user.

What I like about this book is that it doesn’t just tell you what to do. It gives the reason and logic behind all of the decisions that were made. Even in the early going, when talking about getting better captures, it explains the smallest details about why you should overexpose in digital and why one color space is better than another.

Adobe Lightroom is a necessary product if you want to manage your digital workflow, but if you don’t use it correctly, you will end up being inefficient and just working slowly. If you want to truly become efficient in your digital workflow, then you really need D-65’s Lightroom Workbook and I very highly recommend this book.

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About T. Michael Testi

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