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The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is aimed at mid-level Lightroom users (preferably with modest familiarity with the basics) who want to sharpen their skills, get answers about the pro's and con's of the 64-bit environment, or gain insight into the under-the-hood why, what and how of the software. The book is equally useful to Window or Mac users, clearly illustrated with screen shots of pertinent settings where the operating systems part ways (as in the file system).
Although the author takes a valiant stab at familiaring newbies with the essentials, the very depth of the book (eg, 5 pages on tethered camera shooting) may be a bit overwhelming for a second chapter; reference to an advanced chapter addressing tethered camera imports would have eased that sense of being out of your depth.
In short: THE ultimate reference guide to Lightroom 3; newbies might feel a bit intimidated by the detail - modest comfort with the software helps you in getting the most out of this book. Well worth the price.
This is no quick read, as it is jam-packed with not only step-by-step instructions but also all of the detail one could ever digest about how and why things work the way they do. Prepare to take good notes as you read, unless you have a 200 GB brain.
When Adobe announced the third version of Lightroom 3 software I gave it one more try. Huge difference ! With inclusion of camera profiles and a better RAW engine, differences between NX2 and this software are now minimal. So I bought it and used ever since because of better speed and catalog management features that makes it invaluable IMO. One drawback: a slight magenta cast thrown in shadows, but this is easily corrected via camera profiling (read on).
However, with power comes no-knowledge so I had to get myself some reference reading. Thus I bought this book some months ago and now, after I have finised reading it in detail, I think a proper review is mandatory. This is a perfect companion for your Lightroom steps, so I recommend it within my heart.
The book is dedicated to Bruce Fraser and I was impressed by the quality of the content within the 649 pages (print- and information-wise). The book does not come with a DVD, but is full of valuable examples, workflows, commented processing steps and updated content for Lightroom 3.
Content in brief:
1. Introducing Adobe Photoshop Lightroom; in this chapter you will learn about the design and structure of the software and its purposes. After a brief discussion on its place in the workflow (integration with PS), the author describes the prerequisites for installation, detailed installation guide, description of the interface and a quickstart guide to Lightroom; this chapter covers 41 pages;
2. Importing photos; This chapters spans over 45 pages; you will be briefly introduced to the source media for your imported photos: how to import from cards, how to copy as DNG, how to use copy, move, add functions and the differences between them. Then, the author describes in detail the import dialog screen: source panel, content area, destinations, file handling etc. Much appreciated are some personal advices from author's own experience regarding storing imported photos. Then, the author discussed the DNG conversion procedures and interfaces, and updating DNG; adding photos from folders to catalog, importing via drag and drop, importing to a selected folder, importing video files, auto imports and importing directly from the camera using tethered shooting are some final considerations in this chapter. Finally, the author describes organization of the images and image management by metadata.
3. Navigating the Library module; This chapter dissects the Library module of the application; sections: module panels, exploring the library module, lightroom previews, working in survey view (compare images), navigating photos via filmstrip and working with dual-display setup. Image ratings using picks, rejects, stars, color labels is the content of the next section of the chapter; finally, 17 pages are dedicated to filtering images in the library (criteria for selective display and search).
4. Managing photos in the Library module; This chapter has 88 pages and is focused on metadata and filtering images; the metadata panes, EXIF, IPTC, custom information metadata, how to edit this info and keywording are the section of metadata part; description of the filter bar, searches, attribute, metadata and custom filter searching, and collections are the sections of filtering part. Finally, the author provides some extra tips for advanced users (audio file playback, GPS metadata and embedding GPS metadata).
5. Working with catalogs; In 30 pages the author describes main topics concerning catalogs and working with catalogs. Topics like creating, opening, exporting, copying and merging catalogs are main subjects of this chapter. A discussion concerning relationship between catalogs and actual folders is provided in the end of the chapter.
6. Develop module image editing; This is basically the "postprocessing" part of the book. The most important IQ-wise and the part you should pay most attention. The chapter spans over not less than 160 pages and includes: steps for getting accurate color; quick develop panel and quick develop steps; the develop module interface and shortcuts (cropping, histograms, wb, vibrance and saturation, HSL, lens corrections, camera calibration etc); pages 340-348 provide a detailed description about creation and usage of camera profiles. This chapter is full of step-by-step approaches in image pp with practical examples and guides and many hints from author's own experience.
7. The art of black and white; A chapter dedicated to BW conversions; 26 pages; BW develop controls, temperature sliders, auto BW and fine-tuning BW images are some subjects from this chapter.
8. Sharpening and noise reduction; Not surprisingly, the author provides a separate chapter for this two important subjects. 28 pages; After a description of the differences and improvements in raw image processor in Lightroom 3, various sharpening techniques are discussed (presets, luminance targeted sharpening, supression techniques, masking and noise reduction).
9. The Photoshop connection; This is a chapter dedicated to interaction between Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop: opening images in PS, extended editing in PS, exporting from LR (presets, locations, file naming, settings, image sizing, output sharpening, metadata and watermarking) also adding export actions in LR and a quick discussion on export plugin -- all make the core of this chapter.
10. Printing; 40 pages; topics: the print module, layout style panel, image settings panel, multiple cell printing and picture packages, page setup and print resolution, prin job panel and 16-bit output. Moreover there is a discussion on custom profile printing that I find valuable for those that have issues with usage of custom printer profiles (pages 535-539) and saving settings as custom templates.
11. Presenting your work; This chapter spans over 58 pages and deals with creating slideshows and web pages with LR artwork.
Finally, the book has two appendixes: A - that contain LR preferences and B - that contain all LR settings.
The book is printed in full color on a very good quality paper. I warmly recommend this to anyone interested in integrating LR in own processing workflow.