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Book Review: The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook – Workflow Not Workslow in Lightroom 2 by Seth Resnick And Jamie Spritzer

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As co-founders of the photography training and consultancy company D-65, the authors Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer understand the importance in the use of Adobe Lightroom 2, and especially in how to manage its workflow. In The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook, they will attempt to present a well tested workflow that photographers can implement exactly as they do at D-65.

What's more is that in The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook the workflow can be adapted to a specific photographers job requirements, or changed on a job by job basis. As being alpha testers of the product, they have worked with the product for a long time and through insider knowledge, tips, and tricks they plan to take you from before you shoot to out to output in an effective and efficient manner.

Chapter one, "Before You Shoot," begins by examining the importance 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 two, "Understanding File Formats," 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. Chapter three, "Color Space 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 examine why you would or would not want to use each one of them.

Chapter four, "The Lightroom Catalog," now explains the catalog system. One of the main reasons you would want to use Lightroom is for its powerful cataloging and file management system. Chapter five, "Lightroom's Preferences," calls into question the viability of default preferences. Here you will see what the D-65 group uses.

Chapter six, "Lightroom's Architecture," defines how, while Lightroom is an application, it is modular by nature, and how this makes it not only more flexible, but will make it more expandable in the future. Chapter seven, "The Lightroom Library Module," describes the main asset management module and how it can be used to catalog and manage your assets as well as doing some quick corrections.

Chapter eight, "The Develop Module," contains all of the controls that you need to adjust images. In this chapter you will see why D-65 calls this their "tweaking command central" and how you can use it to edit your images nondestructively. Chapter nine, "Global Corrections and Synchronizing Develop Settings," now takes development further by showing you how to apply the changes learned in the previous chapter to your images either individually or in groups.

Chapter 10, "The Slideshow Module," examines that how now that you have adjusted your images, you can put them into a slideshow presentation as a method to deliver to your clients, family, or friends. Chapter 11, "The Print Module," makes printing a breeze with all of the new features in version 2. In this chapter you will see how to print layouts, print to PDF, print to a JPEG and attach a profile, and create contact sheets.

Chapter 12, "The Web Module," gives you the ability to create web galleries from RAW images. Here you will see how it is done and all with little effort and no knowledge of programming. Chapter 13, "D-65's Lightroom Workflow," is all about putting what you have learned thus far, into action. This chapter covers the D-65 workflow that they have developed over the course of working with Lightroom. Starting with a memory card of images, you will be taken all the way through editing, adding metadata and keywords, correcting, presentation, final product, and preparation to archive.

Chapter 14, "Archiving," has the goal of preservation of your catalog. This is not just backing up, but rather assuring that you have an exact duplicate of your catalog and all of your image files in multiple locations.

Chapter 15, "Importing and Exporting Catalogs and Synchronizing Your Laptop and Desktop," answers the question of how you keep your laptop synchronized with your desktop computer and any other computers that you work with. While this may appear confusing at times, D-65 has found a way that works for them, and here they share with you.

Chapter 16, "Taking it up a Notch – Advanced Lightroom," gets into working outside the box. This chapter shows you how to integrate your Lightroom with Photoshop to work with techniques like panoramas and work with actions, and then bring it back into Lightroom.

The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook provides a firm understanding of establishing an end-to-end digital workflow and for anyone who is working at this understanding, this can be a daunting task. This alone makes this a great book to own.

Add to that, The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook also gives you a solid understanding of digital photographic technology as well. You can get a good understanding of how to set everything up and how to move everything for an efficient workflow.

Pleasantly, the authors don't confound by trying to throw everything at you at, only what you need to know to get the job done. It is very systematically done, and very easy to understand from any level of user. If you want to truly become efficient in your digital workflow, then you really need The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook.

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About T. Michael Testi

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