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on 19 July 2010
I bought Martin Evening's Lightroom manuals for versions 1 and 2, so it is testament to their usefulness that version 3 was ordered. It arrived over 2 weeks ago and has been in my hand at every possible opportunity since. One could expect that the latest version would be a repetition of what went before with sections added relating to new functionality, but I am happy to report that the book is virtually a complete re-write. I will not say that every nook and cranny has been revisited, but in the main, there are very few instances where a topic has not been enhanced.This mirrors LR3 itself, as few areas have escaped the quest for improvement.

As usual, Martin Evenings style is relaxed, chatty, clearly written and very informative, with useful examples to supplement the theory. I have to admit that I struggled to detect differences in a few of the before and after images, however this must be down to the printing process (and my ageing eyes). Perhaps more of the examples could be made available for download to assist readers in the identification of differences.

I found that the section on sharpening and noise reduction could have been a little more comprehensive, but note Martin's reference to the Real World Sharpening book by Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe. This tome extends to 360 pages, and in fairness, the objective of this manual is to describe LR3 and not provide an exhaustive explanation of every underlying theory.

In a nutshell, in my opinion Martin Evening still wears the crown for the Lightroom manual, and by a considerable distance. It is a great initial read, obviously massively useful for reference purposes, and worth every penny. Although this manual would be immediately beneficial to intermediate and more advanced users, it should not be particularly daunting to novice users.

Highly recommended - buy with confidence.

Footnote : (added 24 July 2010)

Having now read the Real World Image Sharpening manual mentioned above and revisited Chapter 8 of the LR3 manual, I withdraw my initial comments. I imagined that the Bruce Fraser/jeff Schewe offering would contain more in practical terms than provided in this manual. Whilst RWIS goes to great depths to explain the background to sharpening, I find that the examples and advice provided in the LR3 manual to be as comprehensive and definitely on a par with those contained for Lightroom in RWIS. My apologies to Martin Evening and any potential purchaser who may have been swayed by my initial thoughts.

If it were possible to award 6 points for this excellent publication, that would be my assessment.
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on 23 August 2010
Lightroom 3 is the first version of the software I have any real experience with. I had been using lightroom since the lightroom 3 beta, and once that beta expired I couldn't live without it. After about a month of using the real version, despite having a good feel for many of the basic controls, I still felt like some of lighroom's controls were just mysterious sliders and buttons to me, and I wasn't getting the full potential from my photos by clicking auto tone for a large proportion of pictures.

The complete guide really is very nearly complete. It goes into great depth about every area you need to know about. The very first time I opened the book and flicked to a random page, I discovered a feature I had never even noticed before on the interface.
The book explains the features and then takes you through a step by step example with screenshots for each step, clearly describing the effect of each one. It is very useful to see the examples of how multiple controls can be used together, such as the toning controls, to get the best out of your pictures.

I would subtract half a star as in some places I feel the level of detail is possibly excessive, listing all of the control methods more than once. But equally I believe I've noticed one or two keyboard shortcuts that aren't mentioned - such as using ctrl+shift to draw the horizon when cropping (I'll happily be corrected if I'm wrong about this)

The guide is up to date with lightroom 3 and even goes into detail about such features as flickr integration. For previous users of lightroom 2, it highlights areas where lightroom 3 has been improved.

Overall this book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to get the most out of lightroom, expert or novice.
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on 31 March 2007
Martin Evening is one of the most respected writers for digital photography. I haven't read any of his books before, though have one of Scott Kelby's books.

I must say I prefer Martin's style to Scott's. Scott tells you in easy steps how to accomplish different tasks, though doesn't explain the whys. Martin also explains how to complete various tasks, though explains why you carry out the various steps, to enable you to understand how to change the steps to achieve other results.

This book is the reference that should come with Lighroom. I've been using Lightroom since the PC beta came out, and over time have learnt to use much of the tools, but this book fills in a lot of the gaps, and extends my knowledge and speed using the application.

If you do not process many images, and got Lightroom to catalogue your images, then you will learn from the book, but you will gain so much more if you process large numbers of images (especially RAW) and want to refine your workflow, learn how to make the most of the cataloguing offered by Lightroom.

In short, if you want to spend less time behind your monitor, and more time behind the camera, buy this book. It's in depth, and yet beautifully clear, and laid out.
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on 31 October 2010
LR2 I chose Scott Kelby's books, as many will know he is an acquired taste. For LR3 I thought I would try Martin Evening's style - big mistake This style is simply dull and boring. Surely training / educational books are supposed to draw you in and make you want to try the product. They should fill you with hope, ambition and above a feeling you can master this product. This fails miserably for me. I would like to say it actually covers everything you ned to know - but after 2 weeks of trying to get into it I am at page 55 as I keep falling aslee...... I suppose it is a case of "horses for courses" as they say. So the choice is Cheesy Scott or boring Martin. Your choice... or maybe there is an alternative if you are looking to undertsand LR3 either of these authors will do - if however you are looking to use LR3 and have played with LR before then try The Lightroom Queens [Victoria Brompton] Missing FAQ book - see my review of that its worth the visit
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2011
Deciding which Lightroom 3 book to choose was frankly difficult. I knew, from my other Evening books, that Martins' style is direct and accurate with no room for humour. And then there's Scott Kelby, who writes like your sat next to him having a beer and he's laying out all the great functions and possibilities of LR. Written like that you'd expect that I chose Kelby's book, but no, Martin Evening won the tussle.

If you want a book that offers up humour and information rather than a style that delivers technical information in a dry written style, this book won't be for you...move on by and get the Kelby book.

Martin Evening takes you on a highly detailed journey of what Lightroom is all about from inception of the origins of the application right through to the absolute devil in the detail. This is the sort of book that I can get engrossed in for hours and I did.

Personally I don't mind the dryness in how the book is written. I thoroughly enjoyed the Develop section that walks you through examples of how and in which order you should approach using the sliders.

In short, if your learning style is more akin to a dry classroom then this is a superb book to purchase...I've read it three times since buying it. I'd go as far as to say that I adore this book.

Want a gentler read then pick the Kelby book which I've also now read but still don't own. It's also very good but I still prefer the Martin Evening book.
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on 6 February 2013
I have to admit to bias: I think anything written by Martin Evening is worth the effort. So the comments that follow are coloured by that perception.

I wish I had bought the hard copy version. I read the book -no, I dip into it as needed- on a commonly available Tablet, and an Android phone. I am used to pinching an image to reduce its size, or the opposite to enlarge it. Works well for text, but not the images. They are all locked to their original size. This is my first purchase of a Kindle version of a book about photography.

The images in the book are important, key even. The Kindle format does not do them justice. A great shame.

The links in the Kindle version work: but since most people (I assume) will be reading on a device that probably hasn't got LR on it...... So the related source files, images to work on, and movies will need to be accessed on your PC or Mac. Added value, yes; but with a twist.

Evening's written style is careful; when he repeats himself there's good reason to do so. A little gentle humour here and there. But the effort he has made is obvious. Lots of attention to detail - a good deal of thinking things through from the user's perspective.

Nothing for it, I'll need to buy the hard copy as well. I'll try to make that mistake only once. That's good marketing is it?
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on 15 January 2012
I was a new user of Lightroom and it was apparent from the off that if I was going to get the most out of the software then I was going to need help. Of course these days software doesn't come with a manual, just the online help, which I've only ever found useful in answering specific questions rather than in getting to grips with the software. Of course you could find any amount of information on line, but I find there's nothing better than a good old fashioned lump of wood, cut up into thin slices and painted with words.
So if you're you're like me then buy this book. It's brilliantly written, good quality with lots of photos explaining the text and expertly explains all aspects of using the software. No doubt something has been missed, but this is so through I couldn't imagine what.
Both Apple Mac and PC Windows operating systems are covered with any differences pointed out.
Martin Evening is a professional photographer who has been working closely with the Lightroom developers and his writing style is perfect for a manual. Succinct and to the point, but with just enough personality to come across as human, not some robotic regurgitator of facts.
I've read it cover to cover and have only found two faults.
1. In just a couple of places things which were said to be in the file menu were actually in the edit menu.
2. Lightroom is FILLED with shortcuts. Just about everything you can think of has one, and Martin Evening decided he must tell us about ALL of them. Now with the common ones that's fine, but with others you're never going to remember apparently random three or four character sequences, but Martin tells us about them for both Mac and PC's so that sometimes an entire line of text is given over to them. It spoils the writing flow. I learnt eventually to just skip past them.
So Martin, keep in the common ones and put the rest in an appendix. Preferably a pull out one. They're all available online anyway.
So it gets five out of five stars and 97 out of 100!
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on 29 May 2012
Lightroom is a substantial piece of software with considerable capabilities. While it is unlikely that anyone without previous experience of the post-processing of digital images would start with Lightroom, even people with some considerable experience in the area will benefit from a book at their side.
Lightroom is comparatively new, so the number of books currently available is not large. My experience with books covering (for instance, Photoshop Elements in various Versions) left me with the feeling that I wouldn't fancy the Scott Kelby approach with the emphasis on cringe-making humour (but each to his own taste). So it was that I chose Martin Evening's book as my aid.
There are (as with other Adobe products) two parts to the software -- the indexing (or organizer) and the editing. The organizer section is of most value to those who have many many images they wish to index, so it will be of great help to the professional. The editing section allows you to do most things you would like to do to improve your image. (Though one could prefer to use another program for some aspects of HDR work.)
Evening's style is slightly laid-back British. So it suits me. I have at present been using the book for insufficient time to give a really complete review or opinion; but so far I feel I have made a good choice. If, sometime in the future my views become more solid, then I will update this review.
But at present it promises well.
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on 3 August 2010
Books like this tend to fall into one or other of two categories - those which tell you what to do and those which are more comprehensive and explanatory. The former are no doubt better for the beginner or the reader who simply wishes to get at the main parts of the programme; the latter, into which category this book falls, undoubtedly lead to greater understanding but also require more effort from the reader.

I have avoided books by Martin Evening for years because I found his book on Photoshop 7 pretty unreadable - I still do but it clearly is quite complete. This book is of a different order altogether and might almost have been written by someone else - whether his more recent books compare with this one or the earlier one I do not know but if the latter then they will be very good indeed.

Everything is better - the style, the presentation, the explanations, the layout, everything. If I decide to migrate from Elements 6 (where I have been fairly well served by Scott Kelby's somewhat instructional but, for me maddeningly flippant, style) to CS5 there will be no doubt as to where I shall turn for elucidation.

20.7.2011 Update. I have been using this book extensively for the last few weeks and it has dramatically opened up LR3 for me. As I said before, the style is instructional rather than by example (as in the Kelby books) and extremely thorough. The Library section is fulsome if organisation is why you choose LR but for me it is the section on Developing where the book truly excels. The part on sharpening is brilliant and has transformed my use of this facility. Ditto for B&W conversion. Indeed, the only shortcoming I would point out is that the short piece on noise reduction is sparse. I should have welcomed a similar treatment to that given on sharpening. Absolutely essential book for all LR3 users.
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on 3 August 2010
I am of a generation that is used to reference books and I have a number of Martin's previous books on Photoshop and know that he is a pains taking author who tries his best to cover the ground thoroughly without being boring. Lightroom is not a difficult program to use and I have been using it from some time but when I upgraded to version 3 I thought that I would buy this book and am pleased that I did. As with any software, you tend to develop your own way of getting results out of it but, you may well miss out on better ways of working so reading a decent book on it may open up 'new to you' things and yes, I picked up a number of gems along the way.

Although I personally don't need to have a step through on installing the product, things like an explanation of setting your "preferences" once installed, are useful. Lightroom is neither complex nor obscure to use but it has an amazing number of capabilities and it is often in the little "tweaks" or thorough explanations of particular features that you can get some extra bangs for your bucks. This is a well written and illustrated book, if you buy Lightroom, do buy a copy, it will pay you dividends and you will rightly, consider yourself smart for doing so !
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