Monday , April 22 2024
If you are wanting to get up to speed on Lightroom, there is no more entertaining way than with The Lightroom Book

Book Review – The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book For Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby

As many of you know from my review of Adobe Lightroom that Lightroom is a new workflow management program from Adobe that will seriously help your management of photographic assets from day one. Well, you knew it had to happen, but one of the masters of all things Photoshop, Scott Kelby, would be coming out with a book on Lightroom. Along with being the President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), he is the editor-in-chief of both Photoshop User magazine as well as Darkroom, a companion publication devoted to Lightroom that is available free to NAPP members.

Being a member of NAPP, I have known of Scott Kelby for years and am familiar with his teaching style and the entertaining way he presents information. When I found out that he was coming out with a book on Lightroom, I knew I had to get a copy. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book breaks out into eleven chapters but before you get to chapter one you must first pass through the “An unexpected Q & A Session.” Again, here is the Kelby wit performing to get you to read an introduction to the book. Here he explains what the book is and how you should read it, kind like if Abbot and Costello wrote the intro!

Chapter one is on importing your photos. Each of these sections are built into steps to achieve the goal. They are detailed steps on how to accomplish the task at hand with interjections of how the author performs the task and little bits of wisdom sprinkled throughout. As simple as importing may be, the twenty-five pages will expose many time saving tips.

Chapter two, “Library” begins the meat of the book. He explores the best ways to view your photos. Shows how to organize, label and sort out the keepers from the trash. He talks about Metadata, grouping, finding as well as the hidden power of the filmstrip. You will learn to work with file, folders, multiple libraries as well as backing up your database.

Chapter three, “Quick Develop”, shows you how to do minor corrections from within the library module and how to apply that same fix to a bunch of other photos. Although this is a short chapter, the depth in which Kelby goes into within this book is evident here as it is throughout this book. For example, step eight in “Doing Quick Fixes” the author shows a histogram of a photo and explains “See that gap on the right, where the graph just stops before it reaches the right side? This gap tells me that I can increase the highlights in the photo (which I control by increasing my Exposure setting) a little bit more with out loosing detail in the highlights of my photo.” It is this kind of insight that I look for in a book, that makes it a must read; especially for a new product.

Chapter four, “Editing Essentials”, you will learn how to develop your photos. You will be shown how to adjust the white balance and then cascade them across the other photo’s in the shoot. You will learn the “No Risk” way to tryout different versions of your photos. You will work with contrast, boost colors and use sync to fix groups of photos. You will learn how to create presets as well as using presets from others users.

Chapter five explores “Problem Photos.” Here the author looks at undoing changes, sharpening and reducing noise, fixing chromatic aberrations, cropping, removing red eye and tricks for removing spots and other nasty junk. You will also learn about basic camera calibration in Lightroom as well as adding Photoshop automation to your workflow.

Chapter six focuses on creating black and white images from within Lightroom. Again, Kelby not only steps you through how to make a color image into black and white after, with tongue-in-cheek, explaining that you can make a lot more money by creatively making artistic B&W images, but he gives personal insight into what makes a B&W image work. Chapter seven will step you through Slideshow and how to share your photos onscreen as well as export them to PDF. He even has a trick to put music into the PDF slide show if you have Acrobat Professional.

Chapter eight will take you through printing of your photos, adding text to your layout, creating contact sheets and adding boarders to your prints. Chapter nine illustrates what it takes to get your photos to the web and what you should do before you ever start building your web gallery.

Chapter ten and eleven are delightful surprises, but this goes back to the thoughtfulness of the author. Chapter ten, “Wedding/Portrait Workflow” takes you inside what a working photographer would do using Adobe Lightroom. You start out at the shoot and work your way all the way to presenting the customer with their proof shots on the web. Similarly, chapter eleven, “Landscape Workflow” does the same for a landscape/nature photographer.

Would I recommend this book? Even if this were version eight of Adobe Lightroom, I think that this would be one of my recommendations, but since this is version one and the product is so new, I would have to say that The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book is a must have.

One other note, if you find yourself entertained by Scott Kelby, you can keep up with him and all things Photoshop on his blog Photoshop Insider. Also a must read!

There is also an interactive sample of his The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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