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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5: Classroom in a Book (Classroom in a Book (Adobe)) Paperback – 10 Sep 2013
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The Adobe Creative Team of designers, writers, and editors has extensive, real world knowledge of Adobe products. They work closely with the Adobe product development teams and Adobe’s Instructional Communications team to come up with creative, challenging, and visually appealing projects to help both new and experienced users get up to speed quickly on Adobe software products.
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The book arrived, a paperback, which is nicely packaged with a matt cover and very professional finish. The layout of the contents are exremely clear and easy to read and the format is maintained throughout the book. Illustrations are well printed and clear to see even in the fine details.
The book takes the format of 14 lesson chapters each of which takes about an hour to work through. The raw materials for these lessons are supplied on an accompanying CD which you copy to your hard drive.
The first chapter begins by introducing you to the tools bar and gives a brief description of them but you are soon into the first exercise. The quality of the materials supplied on the CD are of a very high standard and make working through the exercises a joy.
The book walks you step by step through each exercise with some explanation of the processes involved. It is presented as point by point steps so that you never feel that you are losing your way and I never once found an error in the process. Everything literally happened as it says in the book.
This is a tour-de-force of CS5 and presents to you through the exercises just about every process and tool there is on offer.
As this is presented as a work-through exercise book it is not intended as a reference book. To use it for this would be a little clumsy. Throughout there are tips and techniques which expand on the main text although these could be a little fuller.
If you are looking for a book that will explain how-to "fix" your photos or acheive certain artistic effects then this may not be for you but if you need to learn how to get around the interface, understand layers, paths, channels etc and how these can interact then I would be suprised if there is any better book available.
In short a brilliant exercise book which has given me the confidence to go further with the CS5 software and now reading the techniques in the photo magazines makes sense and I have the confidence to tackle their techniques.
where the book falls down is that while it tells you what to do, it rarely tells you why you are doing it - so you can't perform the tasks on any other images. this limits its usefulness, as i imagine that most people that purchase it hope to use it on images other than the ones on the accompanying disc. when you try to apply the "skills" you have learned to other images, you may well find it a profoundly frustrating and futile experience.
it also has a tendency to explain things in a way that don't make much sense to the inexperienced used - for example, when it explains the difference between channels, channel masks, layer mask, vector masks and clipping masks. after having read the paragraph a good thirty times, i was if anything less clear on the distinction.
this may well be the best book available on the topic but it falls short of what you would hope from the makers of the program.
Like many of these books you do not have to read as a novel. You can identify the issue that you want to approach and choose the appropriate chapter.
One tip I would give if purchasing book and have the same minimal knowledge, of Photoshop as I have, watch the dvd first. I found that it enabled me to understand the book better.
Having used and discontinued Lightroom 1.2 many years ago, I have recently purchased Lightroom 5. The content of this book is comprehensive and, as far as I am concerned, nothing important is missing. It has been a very pleasant learning experience. The book includes a link to downloadable chapter images that are used in the lessons.
Many years ago I bought a Classroom in a Book (CIB) for another Adobe product and it turned out to have so many errors that it became impossible to use; I and many others wrote critical reviews here and returned our books to Amazon as unfit for purpose. I am pleased to say that this CIB is a vast improvement and although there are some errors, they are relatively minor.
Overall, it is highly recommended.
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