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The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook: Workflow not Workslow in Lightroom 2 Paperback – Oct 21 2008
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About the Author
Seth is one of North America's most prolific corporate, editorial and stock photographers, and is greatly in demand for his beautiful graphic images in both natural and created light. He has been published in the world's most prestigious magazines and is one of 65 photographers worldwide named as a Canon Explorer of Light. He has given hundreds of lectures to industry organizations such as American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Advertising Photographers of America (APA), Professional Photographers of America (PPA), Advertising Photographers of New York (APNY), and is also an alpha and beta tester for the Adobe Photoshop engineering team. Seth also produces workshops and training specifically designed for photographers through his company, D-65.
Jamie Spritzer has worked as a Photographer, Studio Manager and Photo Editor (Elle magazine). She produced the highly acclaimed Photo Mentor Series Workshops at American Photo and Popular Photography Magazines. Jamie founded Blue Productions which produced advertising campaigns, product launches and special events for top market leaders. As co-founder of D-65.com, she creates innovative and essential programs for photographers and digital image makers.
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With this book, a wider audience is able to learn the ins-and-outs of digital photography from pioneers in the field. What makes Resnick & Spritzer's book unique among the competition is that is is built around establishing a true end-to-end digital workflow, from capture to asset management to output and archiving. Whether you're a working professional or an ardent shutterbug, this book shows you effective organizational and artistic techniques. The blessing and curse of digital is the sheer volume of files one can generate; this book shows the path to get the most of of one's time in front of the computer, freeing the photographer to spend more time shooting.
Behind everything is a solid understanding of state-of-the-art digital technology, with clear and concise explanations why one should do things a certain way over another. In addition, multiple approaches are illustrated to address the different needs of different photographers; for example, the book shows how to set up the Library and Catalog features for managing external drives in a shared environment or laptops that might be synced with desktops.
Thankfully, this book is not one of those encyclopedias that tries to explain every feature in Lightroom in exhaustive detail. While there's more than enough instruction on using the various settings in the Develop Module, proofing for prints, etc., the viewpoint is always from the perspective of a photographer working on files from a shoot, not taking one picture and manipulating it to death with no context (as so many Photoshop books are). For that reason, this book is actually one you can read from beginning to end, as opposed to just pulling off the shelf and using the Index when you have a question (though it's great for that, too). The tone is concise, comprehensible, and professional (thankfully, without the relentless puns and lame jokes that define who-know-who's books).
For all my friends who pick up digital photography and seek my help, I always try to help them develop good work habits and a fundamental understanding of optimizing their files, both during capture and subsequent processing, rather than try to teach them random Photoshop tricks. Resnick & Spritzer's book is truly remarkable in that it is the first I've seen to really teach a workflow in the context of being a photographer, rather than just illustrating Lightroom's feature set. You'll learn all of Lightroom features, but you'll be learning WHY to use them, in addition to HOW (which seems to be the only part most books address). I can't recommend this book highly enough, as I think it's the best place to start understanding digital as a photographer. Even if you've been using Photoshop for years and Lightroom since the Beta version, read this book cover-to-cover and your time behind the computer will be much more productive!
Digital photography has been like a tsunami that started relatively small and just kept on growing. As hardware and software tools have grown inexorably in number and complexity, there's been a crying need for a polished, proven, up-to-the-minute set of methodologies to deal with growing collections of image files, especially for professional photographers for whom time is money and whose reputations depend on quality and consistency. Many have tried to provide this framework as consultants and trainers, but only a few have risen to the top, including the company D-65, founded by Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer, co-authors of this book.
Let's be clear; there are many ways to capture, edit, publish, and store digital images, but only a few end-to-end workflows make the highest and best use of all the tools available to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness. And of course with never-ending technology improvements and software upgrades it's a continually moving target, but in my view, this book -- which is essentially the D-65 workshop in handbook form -- is one of the best compilations yet.
In this discussion of workflow, the authors present Lightroom as the core component to move digital captures into the desktop darkroom and manage them from development through delivery and archiving. However, they stress that Lightroom is still best augmented with Adobe Photoshop and Bridge for a small number of specialized operations, and that integration between all these programs is now relatively seamless. As the core tool, Lightroom has significantly matured; its innovative non-destructive processing now includes considerable selective adjustment capability, and the digital asset management part of the program (metadata, cataloging, and search functions) is much more capable. On a special technical note, sharpening in the current version of Lightroom 2 -- at both the capture and output stages -- has been significantly upgraded using algorithms developed by the world-renowned PixelGenius team, of which Seth Resnick is an original partner.
Software books often concentrate on describing what program features do without showing how those features integrate and interact across the entire system. Here the authors go to great lengths to put features in context and offer best-practice suggestions that cover the full hardware/software workflow gamut. This is exactly the kind of information that is of greatest value to photographers at all levels.
While no one is going to become a Lightroom expert overnight, this book does a highly credible job of illuminating this very popular and rapidly maturing program and demonstrating how it can be used as the main engine of an effective and efficient digital imaging workflow. It belongs on every serious Lightroom user's shelf as both a trusted learning tool and ready reference.
Another complaint I had with the book is that the author would mention something that seemed to me should be explained further, but the author assumed that the reader knew what he was referring. The biggest example was the reference to "D-65", maybe I just haven't been around digital photography enough, but I didn't know what they were referring to, I looked through all the pages that I had read and it was never explained. Finally, on the back cover it explained that it was the authors training and consultancy company, seemed to me especially since it was referenced thoughout the book, that this explanation should have been in the text of the book.
I have thought through my own workflow a while back. But there are a few issues that are not totally to my satisfaction. And the suggestions from this book helped me resovled many of them.
I also like a lot about the parts about the Lightroom Develop Module. For example, it explains what clarity/vibrance/saturation is. It also shows how to use Ligtroom HSL adjustments to localize hue/saturation/... in the images. These are something I used to think only Nikon NX2 can do. Now Lightroom 2.5 can do it too (though as not a elegant as Nikon NX2.)
Many times, the authors also explain why they made the decision and with examples. For example, why use 16 bit vesus 8 bit. These persuaded me to change my workflow to use 16 bit now.
There are still many more goodies to pick up as I only finished reading the develop related chapters.
This books shows you how powerful and useful Adobe Lightroom 2.x is. And I'd highly recommend to anyone who want to improve their workflow.
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