Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 for Digital Photographers Only (For Only) Paperback – 10 Oct 2008
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From the Back Cover
Learn to breathe life into your images with Lightroom 2
Technology should complement talent. Veteran photographer Rob Sheppard finds that Lightroom 2 is perfectly designed for the photographer′s needs, giving you back the control over color images that photographers once enjoyed in the traditional darkroom. From editing and organizing your images to processing and displaying photos, this book shares secrets Rob has discovered and developed. His insight will make Lightroom the most valuable tool at your disposal.
Learn how Lightroom processes RAW and JPEG files non–destructively
Discover the way Lightroom is designed for photographers and their workflow needs
Improve your efficiency with the organizational features in the Library module
Navigate quickly through your photos in any module with Filmstrip
Learn how you can optimize your photos quickly with the adjustment brush and graduated filter tools
Discover the keyboard shortcuts that will really save you time
Process multiple images quickly and easily using Sync, Copy, and Paste
Prepare images for the unique requirements of print or online display
About the Author
Rob Sheppard was editor of Outdoor Photographer for 12 years and today serves as its Editor–at–Large. More than ten years ago, he was instrumental in launching PCPhoto magazine. He is nationally recognized for his commitment to bringing professional photographers together with technology that benefits their craft. Rob′s work has appeared in National Geographic, and he is the author of several books including Adobe Camera Raw For Digital Photographers Only, also published by Wiley.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In this book he covers most of the sliders and buttons available in LR2. But then he throws in the something extra, sometimes in small amounts and sometimes in large amounts. For example, in his discussion of LR2 basics he provides schematics of LR2's functions that help the reader put all of the sliders, buttons and panels into a simple mental organization that enables one to more easily grasp the entire approach of the software. For the slideshow module he provides two chapters, the first of which follows the usual model of telling you where something is located on the monitor screen and then how it works. Then a second chapter tells the reader how to organize a slideshow for maximum impact. Similarly with printing, Sheppard not only explains the software set-up, but also explains how to use the tools to create pictures with more impact.
Sheppard is not afraid to note LR2 features which he finds of little value, like the quick develop facility,or to suggest that the ability to switch to Photoshop's HDR facility is not really of much use, given its poor performance compared to software like Photomatix Pro.
This will not be a perfect book for every LR2 user. There is none of the detail step-by-step procedure used by Scott Kelby in "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)". Images are not available for download to follow along with the author. Not every tool available is discussed in the exhaustive detail of Martin Evening's "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers". For example, Sheppard admits that he does not use the keyword facility to the extent possible, so it's no surprise that he scants LR2's hierarchical key wording structure. That in turn leads him to suggest using collections far more than one might need if one used the key wording facility more. On the other hand, his discussion of collections should certainly stir the reader to consider other useful applications of this facility. Similarly, his discussion of the compare facility neglects to indicate the ease of its use in selecting the best of three or more images of a particular subject, and instead suggests using the survey facility when there are several images, even though the size on the screen of the images to be compared will be substantially smaller.
This book's strong suit is not in a detailed explanation of the controls available in LR2, although it is certainly adequate for that purpose. What appealed to me most was the approach that suggested ways to use LR2 to create more artful pictures.
Again, a good introduction but not a particularly useful reference book.
I particularly liked Sheppard's comparison of photo-centric Lightroom workflow with tool-centric daunting Photoshop. Even so, not a word here on program installation, the vexing question of whether to use LR2's 32-bit or 64-bit version or that nasty keyword import bug in the 2.0 release (used here) that required a workaround [since fixed in LR2.1].
The author appears rigidly fixated on calling Photoshop to the rescue for photo retouching chores. That program may well be the author's preference, but Photoshop Elements version 6 [PSE6; Mac or Win] with virtual layer masks (grouping a layer with an underlying blank layer) will do nearly the same. Elements, like LR2, is aimed squarely at photographers, has a leaner learning curve, and is far less costly. Favoring the coupling of PSE6 with LR2 is that Lightroom renders, then globally develops, RAW files swiftly and nondestructively in 16-bit mode - squeezing every last bit out of those extra pixels - seldom requiring further retouching with adjustment layers or masks.
The book's layout is a busy 2-column format with dizzying colored blocks and strong lines in the gutters, altogether distracting from text and graphics; the apple-green 'Tips' callouts are topped by a black pixelated bar that calls an urban skyline to mind. Photos are adquately reproduced on medium quality paper, but in the printing, fine tonal detail is lost - leaving one wondering at times about the intended message. And then there are gems such as "... the button slightly to the left of and above the word Red ..." (p.157; fig 6-21).
In sum: This book by a well-regarded photography educator focuses more on technique than on technology. Nature photographers may find many useful development and slideshow tips here, but for most of us there are more complete and better rounded guide books such as the Kelby-Evening pairing. Somehow, that special spark seems to be floundering, giving the text a linear two-dimensional rigidity rather than a dynamic alive feel with room to grow.
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