Last August, Adobe released the second incarnation of their photography workflow product Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 to rave reviews. As is to be expected, Martin Evening has updated his bestselling book The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book to enhance his existing material as well as to reflect all of the changes to Lightroom 2.
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers has been significantly updated and, as with the prior version, it was written with photographers in mind, addressing Lightroom's features from a professional photographer's perspective. This version is 624 pages in length (a whopping 272 additional pages of material) and contains 11 chapters (encompassed in 5 additional chapters).
Chapter 1, "Introducing Adobe Photoshop Lightroom," begins by describing exactly what Lightroom is, and where it fits in within your image processing workflow. Lightroom is a high quality image processer and photographic image database management system rolled into one. In this chapter you will learn about installing Lightroom as well as all about working with the Lightroom interface. Chapter 2, "Importing Photos," explains that because Lightroom is a catalog management system for your images, the first step is that you need to import images. Next you will learn about all of the options that are available to you such as converting images to Digital Negatives (DNG), using Adobe Bridge as a front end, and how imported images are organized.
Chapter 3, "Navigating the Library Module," now begins the journey into working with the various Lightroom modules beginning with the Library. This first look at the library module examines how you to use it to navigate the photos in your catalog. You will also see what tools you have available to refine your image selections. Chapter 4, "Managing Photos in the Library Module," shows you how to organize and catalog your images. Then you will see how it provides a flexible system of file management so that you can really work with your images through file naming, custom metadata, and adding keywords so that you can optimize your searching capabilities.
Chapter 5, "Working with Catalogs," examines how to work with the catalog system in Lightroom. The catalog plays a central role in Lightroom in that it keeps track of where all of your images are located as well as the information that is stored with your photos. Chapter 6, "Develop Module Image Editing," explains how to use one of the most powerful features of Lightroom, the develop module. It is this image processing module that records the changes that you want to make to an image. It stores these changes within the system, but it waits until you actually export an image before it applies the changes.
Chapter 7, "The Art of Black and White," now takes a look at how to transform your images into Black and White. Here you will learn the three main ways to convert an image as well as how not to convert your image to Black and White. You will also see specialized techniques such as creating a Black and White infrared look. Chapter 8, "Sharpening and Nose Reduction," takes on the topics of capture sharpening and noise reduction. This chapter emphasizes that importance of cleaning up an image early on, and what it takes to get that pre-sharpening done without introducing artifacts.
Chapter 9, "The Photoshop Connection," describes how you can take it to the next level when you need that extra processing that only Photoshop can provide. What you want to do is to look at Lightroom as that place where you work with, and process, many images at a time, and Photoshop where you process images one at a time. Chapter 10, "Printing," discusses how to work with the print module and how you can set up batches of images in a print queue to produce high quality prints, or work in fast mode to process quick result items like contact sheets. Best of all, to produce the best, most consistent results, you can set up custom templates to use over and over.
Chapter 11, "Presenting your Work," now shows how to present your non-printed work by using Lightroom's Web module. Here you will see how to create and upload a website of your pictures. You will also see how to create a slideshow that can be presented on computer, or exported as a self-contained presentation for business or personal use.
So what do I think of The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book? Let me preface it by saying that I really liked the first version, but I think that this version is much better. Why? First and foremost is the fact that this one is much more complete and better thought-out. Second, is that it goes into more advanced information that is not found in similar books. You do not get the feeling that anything presented here was glossed over.
In addition, when the Lightroom first came out it was a version one product, and while the author had been using the product prior to release; back to the early Shadowland days of the product, he was probably like everyone else – still trying to figure it out from a technical, real world approach. Now, well over a year later of use, he has had the time to discern the best practices from an on the job standpoint, and in The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book it really shows.
I think that if you don't have the first version, then, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book is well worth the investment. If you do have the first version and liked it, I think that this second version is worth getting as well as it really covers things in much more depth and detail. If you want to become an advanced Lightroom guru, therefore, I very highly recommend this book.