Saturday 2 July 2011

Vision and Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - a book review

I have just finished reading Vision and Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by David DuChemin and found it to be a generally excellent book.

The book is not a full blown guide to Lightroom, you won't find any thing about the library module, printing or slideshow.  Tthis is a book dedicated to getting the best out of your pictures using the development module. The book begins with some text which basically boils down to "develop a view of the world you want to communicate" and then it is straight into an overview of the development module.

The overview is then followed by the real meat of the book, where David takes 20 images and explores how to develop them in Lightroom. Each image starts with a zeroed raw file of one of David's shots,which you can download from the web so you can try the instructions out yourself. Once you have the raw file it then shows each of the steps David goes through to achieve his desired result. The style is always to talk about what it is he is try to achieve in visual terms and how to achieve it rather than to get obsessed with the options. It gives you a pretty good idea of what a slider does and why he decided to move a particular slider at that particular time.

What I really liked is the way he takes a raw file, which is already pretty good, and just tries to get the best out of it. There is no manipulation just for the sake of it or rescuing a poor image here, just the digital equivalent of developing a shot in the darkroom. As the lessons progress, he gives the Develop module a pretty good workout and took me in to areas like HSL & split toning where I had never really seen much point in going to before.

The only downside I could find with the book was that the lessons can get slightly repetitive as most pictures need the same beginning adjustments. But if you work along with each picture or try them out on your own images this is needed (and helpful) to make sense of the process.

Overall this is an excellent book and recommended for all those Lightroom users who want to get the best out of their images.

Friday 1 July 2011