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The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 490 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1401284352
ISBN-10: 0321934318
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott Kelby is the world’s #1 best-selling author of books on photography, as well as Editor and Publisher of Photoshop User magazine, and President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). He’s the co-host of the highly acclaimed webcast The Grid (the weekly photography talk show), and teaches digital photo and imaging workshops around the world. Scott is an award winning author of more than 50 books, including The Adobe Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers, The Digital Photography Book (parts 1, 2, 3 & 4), Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It, and Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop.
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Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 533 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (July 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321934318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321934314
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (490 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As night follows day, so a Scott Kelby publication follows the release of another version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 (LR5). I have previously reviewed several Lightroom books by Kelby and right up front I have to tell you that this version just seemed to me to have more meat on the bones than any of its predecessors. I am not sure if it is because Lightroom itself has become a more robust program (which it is) or whether the author felt the urge to go into more depth. As evidence of this, I must note that this book is almost fifty pages longer than the previous version (LR4). So let's get into the guts of this version.

First the hard facts. It is a soft covered tome of 533 pages measuring 8 inches wide by 10 inches long (hmmm - 8 X 10, a popular printed photo size, coincidental?). As of the writing of this review, it was available on Amazon.com for $36.55 for the paper version and $23.99 for the Kindle version. This book follows the same format as previous versions in that the text flows side-by-side down the page with the illustration referring to that text. I find it the most convenient arrangement because the reader is not forced to look back or ahead for the illustration to which the text is referring. Also, the size and structure of the book makes it easy to keep it open to a specific page while referencing a subject without having to weigh it down with another book. The book is rated at an intermediate to advanced user level.

Also up front I will put in my pet peeve with Kelby's books. The author prides himself on his ability to produce "jump in anywhere" books. Yes, he advises the new Lightroom user to follow the flow of the book because it is laid out in the order that the reader will probably use the program.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is really 3.5 stars. I got Lightroom 5 several weeks ago - first Lightroom product; wanted a physical product I could refer to while trying to figure it out. This fits the bill and has indeed helped me learn some of the techniques and tweaks that are possible with the program. The explanations are clear; the instructions mostly spot on. My problem with it is that there is a LOT of flipping back and forth in the book. For instance, you can be on (say) page 40 and on step 2 of what Kelby is trying to describe. He then says, go back to xx page, or go forward to xx page. And, in the first three or four chapters, this happens every page or so. Fortunately, I have tons of post-it-notes and spent a bit of time writing on them and using them as bookmarks. But, by chapter 6, I had so many little notes sticking up from the book, it became hard to follow. All that said, it is an instructional book and if you read it, it could likely make this part of your workflow easier. Perhaps in his next iteration, Kelby could come up with a way to understand not all of us started with Lightroom 1 or 2 and make some page flipping less needed.
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The book is well written, well illustrated, and well organized, which is to be expected as the author has been producing this type of user guide for many years. Adobe has added new image editing features to Lightroom over the years and this book is helpful in learning about these additions. As an Adobe customer one is forced to buy manuals from third parties as the people at Adobe are too greedy to provide even a basic manual and usually too cheap to even supply a DVD.

Where this book falls short is in the other half of Lightroom which functions as a poor man's digital asset management (DAM) application. Once you setup LR you are pretty much stuck and the same applies to images that are imported. Scott Kelby devotes less than one page to how to use Lightroom for DAM. This may be OK for someone who only has a few thousand images with most of them related to family or hobbies or limited travel but for anyone who has many collections to organize and meta tag and sort by client or location or purpose as well as subject the book is a travesty. A cannot believe that Kelby is this lackadasical with managing the images for his own projects and he should have included his own methods.

Use of Lightroom for managing thousands of image files, both pre and post processed, should include an integrated strategy for backing up the files and the catalogues and doing so as efficiently and effectively as possible. Data storage devices are dirt cheap but few people know how to create an effective setup and later find the they have lost irreplaceble pictures. It is a serious omission for a book using an application to manage ones image files.
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I scoured most of the other reviews and couldn't find the answer to what seems like an important question: what skill level is this book aimed at? I've been working with Lightroom daily since the first release and I figured it would tell me stuff I already knew. Reading the reviews, I also expected it to be loaded with forced, unfunny humor. Neither turned out to be true.

This book accomplishes the unusual feat of being helpful to beginners and experts alike. Lightroom is a powerful program, and powerful programs have lots of details and multiple ways of doing things. This book is more than a how-to guide. The rudiments are covered, but they're covered quickly, like in a sentence or two. The rest of each section tells you why and how to do things that go well beyond the basics. I wish I'd read it years ago. It would have saved me a lot of time.

Reading this book as someone who knows Lightroom is like visiting a big city where you know the street system and freeways and suddenly you meet a local who shows you all the secret passageways and shortcuts that make getting around so much more effective and fun. I didn't go two pages without learning something useful I didn't know.

Now, a lot of fuddy-duddy reviews here complain about Kelby's writing style and particularly his humor. He warns you up front that he indulges in a freeform passage at the beginning of each chapter that doesn't relate directly to the curriculum but is just there for comic relief. He even suggests that if you don't think he's funny you should skip these intros. They're harmless. Some are funny. They're really no more distracting than having illustrations at the beginning of the chapters. But judging from some of the reviews here you'd think the guy couldn't go two sentences without cutting up.
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