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Book Review: The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 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. Now in its fourth version, Lightroom has become more mature and much more refined, giving users many more options than ever before.

The goal of commercial and fashion photographer, and bestselling author Martin Evening is to present, in easy-to-understand terms, how to use The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4. In The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers, Evening aims his book at both amateur as well as professional photographers. Adding to the depth of knowledge of this product Evening was one of those “insiders” who helped Adobe develop the product from the ground-up. is 704 pages and laid out into nine chapters and an appendix.

Chapter 1, “Introducing Adobe Photoshop Lightroom,” shows you what Lightroom is and how it fits in to the overall Photoshop world. He introduces the user interface in a crisp clear manner. You will see how to install the program and get a quick start to setting up some of the basics. You will learn how to import images and view the library as well as getting a handle on working with the interface. You will also see how to do some quick retouching, synchronizing, rating and reviewing images.

Chapter 2, “Importing Photos,” starts to get into the detail of the book. Here, the author shows the different ways that you can import images as well as videos into Lightroom. He shows you how to organize the images as well as adding information to the images during import. He also gets into all of the details such as file handling, auto importing, importing direct from the camera, and working with the Layout Overlay view.

Chapter 3, “The Library Module,” gets into one of the aspects that make Lightroom such an important product for photographers – its ability to manage photos. It is easy to manage a couple hundred photos but what about when you have a couple thousand or tens of thousands. By starting early, you will be able to manage your images much more effectively. 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. You will also see how to work with the various types of collections within Lightroom.

Chapter 4, “Develop Module Image Editing”, deals with processing your images in Lightroom. The author lays out in detail, all of the various panels that are involved in the Develop module. 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, and setting the blacks. You will learn to correct under- overexposed images as well as working with Tone Curve Zones and Tone Curve Adjustments as well as many more techniques.

Chapter 5, “The Art of Black and White,” now works with creating black and white conversions within Lightroom. Here you will work with the black and white controls as well fine-tuning black and white images using split toning and working with the HSL panel.

Chapter 6, “Sharpening and Noise Reduction,” begins off with capture sharpen to start off. Here the author looks at the improved Lightroom raw image processing. He then takes you through all of the methods that you can use to sharpen of your images and then finally he looks at noise reduction methods for eliminating unwanted image noise.

Chapter 7, “Exporting from Lightroom,” examines how to accomplish various tasks such as opening images in Photoshop, as well as exporting to another location such as a directory, CD or DVD, sending as email attachments, exporting to third party plug-ins, and more.

Chapter 8, “Printing”, shows you how to prepare your image for printing, setting titles and custom profile printing. Here you will see how the Print module will make your life easier so that you can see previews of how your photographs will be laid out on the page, how to work with batches as well as how to work with templates to streamline your workflow.

Chapter 9, “Presenting your Work,” looks at the fact that there many more ways to display a photo than by creating a print. Here you will see how to use Book module for creating a photographic book that can be printed, sending your work to a slideshow for presentation, and getting them ready for the Web.

Chapter 10, “Managing your Photos in Lightroom,” finishes up with how to work with metadata to organize your images. Lightroom can help you organize and catalog, but you do have to put some work into it. The results on the other hand will be that they will become so much more manageable. Here you will look in depth at EXIF metadata items, custom information, key wording, photo filtering, and how to geo tag images.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book is filled with plenty of image and diagrams that help to enhance what the author is talking about. Even they are highlighted with additional information that ensures that you will understand completely. There are also plenty of notes, tips, and supporting information that makes this one of the most complete books I have seen that covers Lightroom.

With the fact that the author has been there from the beginning, I feel that you get a lot of insight that you normally wouldn’t have. The writing is clear, concise, and easy to read. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner just starting out or someone who has been using Lightroom for years, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book will show you how to do just about anything in Lightroom, and will make for a great reference book afterwards so I can very highly recommend this book.

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About T. Michael Testi

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