I clearly read my share of techie and non-techie book.
From time to time one of these books I would recommend to folks. With the age of Blogs among us now, I thought I would try my hand at reviewing a book I purchased for a number of reasons. I have been a devout Adobe Lightroom user since it was in it’s early pre-release beta days. Earlier this year when Release 2.0 came out, I quickly updated, and converted over my 1.x catalogs. Back when Lightroom was first being released, some folks from Adobe got together with a number of adventurous photographers, took a trek across and about Iceland. For some reason at the time, I was less enthusiastic about that book, or Iceland. But when I heard that Adobe and more photographers were embarking on another adventure for the release of Lightroom 2 and where and whom was going… I was interested in this new book to be coming out in the future. Well, the Future is here! When I returned from my business trip out to the Denver Metro area for 6-weeks, I dropped by my favorite local book shop to play catch-up. There on the New Arrivals shelf were Two copies of the new book ‘Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure‘ by Mikkel Aaland From O’Reilly. As I mentioned this book appealed to me for number of reasons. A major interest was the fact that they worked on this Adventure across Tasmania. One place I had, and still regret today not visiting while I was working down in Australia for 8-months. Especially since I was based from Melbourne while I was there. Tasmania for those that are not really sure, is an Island off the Southern tip of Australia. Other interests include Everybodies favorite Tech Geek Leo Laporte, who along with writing the Forward for the book, was the Adventures Special Media Guest. Frederick V. Johnson from Adobe (TWIP Fame and more…) had a hand in this Adventure as well. Other photographers of note whose works and such I was also familiar with included: Bruce Dale, Katrin Eismann, Jeff Pflueger, Marcus Bell along with many more. These are just a few of the photographers from the adventure group whose work I am aware of.
This book covers Lightroom 2.0 from the ground up so any one new to using Lightroom could benefit from this. But there is more than enough new or changed items with this release that even for someone fairly versed in Lightroom 1.x will find useful knowledge between the covers. Not only do they teach us about these new Lightroom pointers, but they share bits and pieces of the Adventure throughout. And they have put this book together well in my opinion. After introducing the primary functional parts of Lightroom, the book begins walking through defining functionality as one would use the program in practical daily activities. From real life activity of reviewing a Days Shoot, to a pretty good discussion on Black and White conversion including a dialogue about when to use it. This was another reason I really like this book. While it does work through using the various modules, almost every item discussed it backed up with a screen-shot detailing the object at hand. Many of these screen-shots have highlighted portions related to the text. They also cover using this program together and interacting with Adobe Photoshop CS3. The print module and Slideshow module are covered in good depth as well. There was an interesting chapter on what they called “Developer Recipes”, where 8 of the photographers walk though custom Developer Module set-ups useful examples to polish off your images. I thought this was a nice addition.
One of the sweet parts of the book is the Adventure images around Tasmania. There are images included throughout the book from the photographers on this Adventure Journey. There was a funny looking one which seems to be of Leo Laporte with a night cap and PJ’s on a plane in-flight. I’d love to see that image in a larger size! But this book is full of wonderful images from this trip. The scenes from around this wonderful island not only show off the beauty of this beautiful state, but the varied talents of the photographic team that made up this adventure. Additional Images available on the O’Reilly digitalmedia site: Tasmania Adventure Team Galleries
As an individual who travels a fair amount and takes my Photography with me. I use Lightroom pretty heavily as part of my workflow these days. This book is written from a Photographers perspective by photographers. It is written at a level that does not talk down at the reader, but explains features and issues in an easily readable style. I can whole heartedly recommend this book for any photographer looking to start using Adobe Lightroom 2 or just looking to brush up on all the new and updated features of this program.
Maybe they can seek me out as a “Special Guest” on their Adventure???