I have just finished reading “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers” from Scott Kelby.
I know, Lightroom 5 was JUST released and, of course, the “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers” is already in pre-order, in the best Scott Kelby tradition! But that doesn’t change this book and the next one tends to be an expansion with the new features.
About the author, most of you probably know Scott Kelby. Photographer and author, I naturally felt into his material when I came back to photography, not long ago. Not only for his several books in photography and Photoshop/Lightroom, but his whole media group (Kelby Media Group) and training associations (NAPP and Kelby Training)
Scott Kelby has a very light and funny way of writing. Maybe you need some knowledge of US culture to get the jokes and expressions used, but nothing 10 seasons of Friends and 8 seasons of How I Met Your Mother can’t provide you :-). I think I’ve read enough of his books and saw enough of his shows to get his sense of humour. I’d love to translate this book to Brazilian Portuguese, my mother language (let’s just hope Peachpit Press is reading that hehehehehe).
The book’s goal is the last chapter, in my opinion, where a full workflow is described. To understand this last chapter you have to read all the previous chapter (or be already a Lightroom expert, than reading the book becomes a bit unnecessary). The chapter brings the information from the shooting (tethered), sorting and working on the shot to send to the client and closes with some of his famous portrait retouch techniques (more widely explained in his book “Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop“, which I still have to finish reading 😉 )
The other chapters in the book describe each part of Lightroom 4 and how to use, with examples and in an efficient form, each of the functions in each module. Though Lightroom 4 is a pretty intuitive software, having someone describing you how to get thru the whole import and organize the photo library is really helpful. Together with it, having a professional that uses Lightroom as main tool in his workflow telling you “I use the ‘White slider’ this way and the ‘Vibrancy slider’ that way” for me was really helpful.
I have been using Lightroom since version 3, 95% of my processing is done there, and every now and then I’ve read in the book something that made me go “Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!! This is how it’s done!!!”
The chapters are organized in a logical way, like first the import, than the library, than interface customization, than editing … until printing. And in a progressive way, like, editing doesn’t fit in a single chapter, so you have the basic, than the more advanced, than the even more advanced …
You don’t have to agree and apply all that’s in the book, it’s not going to break the workflow if you do some of the stuff your own way.
The book reads fluently and is totally (really totally) documented with screen shots of each move described. Totally worth reading it. You probably won’t see me telling you a book is not worth reading it, because I would stop reading it before the end and would not comment on something I didn’t really read 😉