14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding straight-shooter workflow guide for high-volume photographers,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.1 for the Professional Photographer (Paperback)
Adobe's 'Lightroom' (now in version 1.3) was designed from the ground up for digital photographers. Non-destructive color management and deep retrieval capability are its hallmarks, from importing photos into a catalog database to finished product export for printing, retouching or slide shows. I've dabbled with the software for over a year (from beta testing forward) and should have had a pretty solid handle on it by now ... that is, until Huss & Plotkin chastened me. I've gained a wealth of new tricks, and plucked many a pearl, from this book (for instance, I had dismissed 'Impromptu Slideshow' as a mere gimmick - now I know better).
Consider a few caveats before entering 'Lightroom' (LR): first, it performs better with native RAW files ("digital negatives") than with ubiquitous camera-processed compressed JPEGs -- new users ought to have a measure of comfort (easily gained in Photoshop Elements) with RAW processing and Adobe's inscrutable keyboard shortcuts. Although LR is quite intuitive, and its manual unusually instructive, first users might well appreciate easy-flowing introductory hand-holding (see later), rather than plunging head-first into Huss' roll-up-your-sleeves approach. Moreover, as evident from the mixed reviews, the Publisher misjudged in tagging this book for a 'beginning' audience. It is squarely aimed at high-volume users who want to minimize computer interaction and maximize productivity ('workflow'). Although illustrated with Windows screen shots, Mac users need not feel slighted.
Omission of a section on 'Sharpening' (not even referenced in the index) is puzzling at first - until one realizes that wedding photographers would rather blur than sharpen the bride's crows feet. That niggle aside, this is a solid, well-rounded and comprehensive workshop on swiftly getting up to speed with LR - hard work, to be sure, but well worth the effort. Refreshing are the authors' unvarnished comments: LR isn't (yet) the best or fastest DAM (Digital Asset Management; fancy term for photo album) around, but it's sure the most versatile; they have little use for subjective star ratings (more suitable for rating movies); Windows Vista gets a thumbs down, the authors reinstalled their stabler and faster Windows-XP/SP2. [The latest LR version (1.3) corrected many Vista and Leopard OS issues; judged by user forum reports, problems with Apple's Leopard OS have dwindled, but sluggish performance and scarcity of hardware drivers remain a major hurdle for Vista users.]
Readers new, or fairly new, to LR might look to a bit more of the basics before tackling this daunting topic. Forget the pretty pictures, the 'gee-whiz isn't that easy', or the stale hee-haw jokes books - there just isn't a primrose path to Adobe products (and that includes Elements). I recommend Martin Evening's "The Lightroom Book" [make sure to update it with the free version 1.1 supplement] as an excellent starter as well as comprehensive reference, with polished text and abundant illustrations for the "how-it-works" fundamentals. Symbiotic with the Huss & Plotkin book's "make-it-work" practical philosophy, this twin library provides unmatched coverage of the LR learning curve - from first seeing the light on up to expert workflow polishing.
All in all, this is one grand just-the-facts resource -- it demands a lot of the reader, but you'll never be at a loss because text and figures are first-class. The end-result is a broad and deep understanding of organization towards optimizing photo workflow. Managing a library of tens of thousands of images ... with hundreds more thundering in daily ... the knowledge gained here will be invaluable in using your limited time to best advantage.