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If you want to take your use of Lightroom to the next level, this book should find its way to your bookshelf.

Book Review – Managing Your Photographic Workflow With Photoshop Lightroom by Jürgen Gulbins and Uwe Steinmüller

With the advent of digital photography came the need for new tools. One staple is the image editing software Adobe Photoshop. As digital cameras became more sophisticated, and after the development of raw image capture, the need arose for a RAW converter such as Adobe Camera Raw.

As photographers made the permanent move to digital, there came a need for something to manage all the files they were generating. Simple image browsers such as Adobe Bridge did not have enough power. In 2005 Apple came out with Aperture as a solution. In 2006, Adobe’s product, which had been code named Shadowland, was released as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Managing Your Photographic Workflow With Photoshop Lightroom is based on the 1.2 version of Lightroom. It is a little over 200 pages and divided into nine chapters, along with two appendices and an index.

Chapter 1, “The Photographic Workflow,” first looks at a typical photographic workflow, describing the tasks and the steps that are regularly performed during the processing of images. The authors describe their own personal workflow and how you can adjust it to fit your own needs. Chapter 2, “Understanding Lightroom,” explains how Lightroom is a new type of application with which you can perform RAW conversion, Digital Asset Management, and image presentation in various output forms, all in one program.

Chapter 3, “Image Management in the Library Module,” describes Lightroom’s default module and how you use it to select the images that you will work with in the other modules. Here you will learn how to import, rate, and select the images. Chapter 4, “Editing Images in the Develop Module,” shows you that the next big step after selecting your images is to get the best out of them. To do this you will use Lightroom’s core image and editing engine, the same one that powers Adobe Camera Raw 4.x.

The subject of Chapter 5, “The Slideshow Module,” is one of the presentation possibilities for your images. There are two types of slide shows: the ad-hoc, and the standard presentation. Chapter 6, “Print,” goes into that more traditional method of presentation, and while it is beyond the scope of the book to go into detail about how to create the perfect print, it does present a good overview of what is needed to produce a good print.

Chapter 7, “Web Galleries,” is for photographers who want to present their images on the web. There are four basic steps to creating a web presentation in Lightroom: collecting the images, converting them, building the gallery, and uploading it. Chapter 8, “External Editors and Exporting Images,” describes how Lightroom edits your images in a non-destructive manner by using an XMP sidecar file, and what you will need to know to work with external image editors.

Chapter 9, “More Useful Lightroom Features,” describes some features that did not fit into any of the other chapters. These include backing up, exporting catalogs, importing catalogs, and working with templates and presets. Appendix A, “Keyboard Shortcuts,” provides a list of all the available shortcuts used in Lightroom. Appendix B, “Resources,” contains a list of books, e-books, and web resources to further your knowledge.

Uwe Steinmüller has been a photographer since 1973 and has been exhibiting his work worldwide since 1978. In 1999, he launched the web magazine “Digital Outback Photo,” which attracts about 4 million visitors per year, and currently focuses on digital workflow, RAW file processing, and the printing process.

Jürgen Gulbins is a prolific author who has written and translated books on topics such as CAD, Unix, DTP, typography, Internet, document management, Linux, and various aspects of digital photography.

What is interesting about Managing Your Photographic Workflow With Photoshop Lightroom is that it is not aimed at the beginning user, but targets the more experienced Lightroom user; by this I mean, you are not taken step-by-step like other current books on the subject. The book covers Lightroom 1.2 and so includes some of the newer developments, such as the improved sharpening feature.

Managing Your Photographic Workflow With Photoshop Lightroom is a book for photographers who have some experience with Lightroom and want to take their processing to the next level. The authors reveal some hidden gems within Lightroom and offer several different approaches to individual tasks. If you want to take your use of Lightroom to the next level, Managing Your Photographic Workflow With Photoshop Lightroom should find its way to your bookshelf.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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