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Book Review: The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book – The Complete Guide for Photographers by Martin Evening

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Adobe Photoshop has been the mainstay of photographers for over a decade and will continue to have its place there for years to come. In creating Lightroom, Adobe has given photographers a more focused tool to fit their specific needs.

Commercial and fashion photographer and best selling author Martin Evening's goal is to explain, in easy-to-understand terms, how to use Adobe Lightroom. This is a book aimed at both amateur as well as professional photographers. To give you an insight into Evening's depth of knowledge of Lightroom, he was one of those "insiders" who helped Adobe develop the product from the ground-up

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book is laid out into six chapters and an appendix. chapter one, "Introducing Adobe Photoshop Lighroom," shows you what Lightroom is and how it fits into the overall Photoshop world. He introduces the user interface in a crisp, clear manner. He shows you how to install the program and gives you a quick start to setting up some of the basic features. You will learn how to import images and view the library as well as get a handle on working with the interface. You will also learn how to do some quick retouching, synchronizing, rating, and reviewing of images.

Chapter two, "Importing," starts to get into the detail of the book. Here, the author shows the different ways you can import images into Lightroom whether it's drag and drop, by file, or shooting tethered to the camera. He shows you how to organize the images as well as add information to the images during import

In chapter three, "Managing the Library," Evening gets into one of the aspects — it's ability to manage photos — that makes Lightroom such an important product for photographers. It is easy to manage a couple hundred photos, but what about when you have a couple thousand or tens of thousands? Starting early, you will be able to manage your images smartly. Here he goes into each of the panels and shows you what they do and how to use them. You will learn how to use Loupe View, Grid View, as well as Survey View. You will see how to rate images and how to filter images using the filmstrip. Overall, he does a great job of showing you how to build up your library and keep it well ordered

Chapter four, "Image Processing", is the meaty part of this book. Consuming over 33% of this book, Evening lays out in detail the other must reason to own Lightroom. While you can still edit and manipulate photos in Photoshop, by doing this in Lightroom, you never have to edit a pixel of the original image. The changes occur only apply when you export the image out of Lightroom.

He starts off by exploring the idea of smarter image processing and retouching. You will step through profiling for accurate color. Learn about the quick development controls as well as each of the segments of the Develop module interface. You will learn how to use the histogram panel to manage clipping as well as a detailed explanation of white point, clipping and setting the blacks.

You will learn to correct under- and over-exposed images as well as work with Tone Curve Zones and Tone Curve Adjustments. You will use the HSL/Color/Grayscale Panel to fine-tune your targeted color adjustments and grayscale conversions. To correct for deficiencies in lens optics you will use the Lens Correction panel to control aberrations and vignetting. You will also learn to calibrate your camera using the Calibration Panel.

Chapter five, "Printing," shows you how to prepare your image for printing, along with setting titles and custom profile printing. Chapter six, "Presenting Your Work," will show you how to prepare your images for display on the web or as a slideshow from within Lightroom. Finally, the appendix is where the author reserved the space to go into more detail about certain aspects of Lightroom, such as with templates, folders, thumbnails and the Lightroom RGB space. These are things that the author deemed would take away from the goal of the main text, but are certainly topics to enhance your Lightroom experience.

I find the best way to learn a product is to get the information from a professional who uses the product to earn a living. Add to that, someone who has the ability to present the information in a clear and concise manner. Martin Evening does all this and more.

To me, the steak and potatoes of Lightroom is the library and the develop modules. In The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book, the author gives me the most bang for my buck in those areas. For my dollar, you can't go wrong with that!

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About T. Michael Testi

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