Thursday, 10 September 2009

Inside Lightroom 2 - A Book Review

I've just finished reading Inside Lightroom 2: The serious photographer's guide to Lightroom efficiency: The Serious Photographer's Guide to Lightroom Efficiency by Richard Eamey

Its an interesting book that attempts to go further than the simple "how-to" books.

Chapter 1 starts with details of what Lightroom is, and a basic an overview of its functionality and features. It doesn't add too much to your life, but it sets the context for the rest of the book.

Next he goes onto "the ideal system" for Lightroom 2 well, it covers most of what you need to know but it is a relatively shallow description of what you should be looking at. A serious photographer would be better off looking at the The DAM Book as it covers this in much more depth.

Then we get a description of the differences between version 1 of Lightroom and version 2. Although this well written and added to my knowledge on the subject it had the feel of being a bit of padding.

Chapter 4 takes you through how to manage your photos and there is quite a bit of useful information here. This is followed by an example workflow, which is a great way to see how the product is actually used. Though it would be great to see a few more workflows detailed here for different types of photographers: journalists & wedding photographers leap to mind.

After that it is on presets. Clearly this is an area that Richard knows a lot about and explains in great detail. It really shows how presets work, and it even shows you how to edit them in a text editor, which is rather wizzy. This allows you to duplicate some of the tone curve functionality from Adobe Camera Raw. All clever stuff and well worth reading once you really understand Lightroom.

The final chapter details online resources for Lightroom, which is surprisingly useful due to the use of tinyurls and a grouped rss feed that makes it easy to get to grips with what is out there.

At the end of the book, I was left with a feeling that it is excellent in parts and somewhat disappointing in others. Personally I would like to see the workflow and presets sections used as part of a different book "Extending Lightroom 2". This would cover those two subjects as well as, the use of the various plug-ins available, real world issues like how to integrate web galleries into your existing site and a guide to writing your own plug-ins. Now that would be well worth buying.

Clear layout
Detailed knowledge of Presets
An easy quick read

Too much padding
More examples needed

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