Customer Review

51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A white elephant, 24 July 2013
This review is from: The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers (Paperback)
In a previous version of this book, the author tells of Mark Hamberg joking that Adobe must have 'failed in its mission to make Lightroom unreasonably simple if you need a book as thick as this one to understand it'.

Unfortunately, I don't think that it is Hamberg (one of the lead people in the development of Lightroom) that has failed.

The trouble is twofold: Evening is (1) a completist, and (2) he doesn't know how to prioritise the things that are important vs. the things that are peripheral. So you end up with a big book that goes through absolutely everything in fine detail, but actually tells you very little about real workflows. Put another way, Evening is more concerned about describing Lightroom than telling you how to actually use it.

If you want to learn Lightroom, steer well clear as this book will simply confuse you. It will make you believe that Lightroom is a complex application. My advice: Google 'learn lightroom adobe tv', and stick to learning only the library and develop module to start off with. They are the only two you will use 90% of the time. (NB - Adobe haven't updated the videos for Lightroom 5 as of this writing, but the lightroom 4 videos are fine for learning).

If you know Lightroom well and want a reference book, then you are probably confusing Lightroom with Photoshop. I have it on good authority that Lightroom is designed to be unreasonably simple and you don't need a reference book for it. What you might need is a concise book of common techniques (which this book isn't), and the Lightroom help pages for when you get stuck, but I have a feeling that Googling 'Julieanne Kost lightroom 5' will get you closer to what you want, and it is free and far quicker.

In conclusion, this is an old style 'Bible' reference for an application that doesn't need it. Evening's Photoshop books are much better (as Photoshop warrants Evening's style). Clearly, the Photoshop books sell well, so editorial have asked Martin to do a Lightroom book using the same winning formula, but I fear the needs of the reader have been lost somewhere: sorry Martin, it probably isn't even your fault.

Fair Disclosure: I am not Julieanne Kost nor Scott Kelby!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Aug 2013 12:16:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Aug 2013 14:26:33 BDT
M. Bhangal says:
Probably not part of the review, but for those who have previous versions of Lightroom, and are buying a Lightroom 5 book to 'keep abreast of the world of Lightroom', this is the best online link to do just that: (Lighroom Facebook page).

Also, if you are going to be learning Photoshop for photography at the same time as Lightroom, I suggest you get good with layers, masking, adjustments, filters and the brush tool. Again, those are the things you will be using 90% (and probably 99%) of the time, so are the things to concentrate on. I would also suggest you look at Photoshop *after* you are comfortable with Lightroom!

Posted on 20 Aug 2013 09:47:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Aug 2013 09:50:45 BDT
If I was to write a review about this book I would have written this one, so its saved me time. Half way through reading it I got a copy of Scott Kelby's book and that made more sense of the work flow. Now having read Scott's book I am back with this book and it is making more sense to me as a complete novice to Lightroom. I have watched many of the recommended videos suggested above and there are many more on Utube which are worthy of a viewing before buying this book.

Posted on 17 Nov 2013 15:00:09 GMT
G. Edwards says:
This book does what it says on the tin. The title is "The Complete Guide " so difficult to justify criticism of the author for being "completist". If you want a book to tell you how to achieve particular effects then go for Scott Kelby (which I also own) or to web tutorials as suggested in the review but if you want a reference guide to lightroom that goes well beyond the manual and to help you understand what each control does "under the hood" and the potential that each has, then this is the book. In put another way if you want to create standard changes in a routine workflow without understanding how you are achieving them then this isn't the book. So M.Bhangal's review is criticising this book for not being a different book from the one it clearly advertises itself as being. Its horses for courses and if you want a "complete guide" rather than set of workflows then this is the best book out there.
As to there being no point to this book because lightroom is a simple application, that just show a lack of understanding of lightroom which has evolved over the years into a complex piece of software capable of myriad effects. I have both LR and PS and back in the days of LR1 and 2 I used to find I would make a least some edits in PS on about 90% of images but as LR has evolved that number has steadily fallen and now I probably open less than 10% of images in PS. Is LR as complex as photoshop? Of course not but that doesn't mean there is no need for the book. If you want to exploit the full potential of LR rather than just slavishly follow effects created by others like Kelby or Kost then this book is what you want.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Nov 2013 15:33:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Nov 2013 01:26:29 GMT
M. Bhangal says:
@ G. Edwards.
All fair points, but I stand by my original review, and in particular 'Evening is more concerned about describing Lightroom than telling you how to actually use it'.

I am, however, glad that you are finding use from this book!
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M. Bhangal "S"

Location: Somewhere in Northern England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 149