By Ellis Vener
Some how-to books are heavy slogs, poorly structured and jammed to a degree of incomprehensibility. You might refer to them occasionally, but only when you absolutely have no other choice, otherwise they make fine doorstops. Others, written in a breezy jokey style, try to make work seem like capital-F-U-N! Unfortunately either approach buries the truly valuable information, and like a goldrush miner you end up sifting a lot of gravel to find the nuggets. For Lightroom users, Martin Evening’s “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book” leads you right to the mother lode.
It helps that Mr. Evening knows Lightroom from the inside out. As with some other Photoshop-related books authored by Photoshop alpha testers, you can tell that he is writing from the position of not only someone who uses the program in real-world situations, but who helped shape its features. The result is a book tailored to how photographers actually work. Well illustrated, often with series of photographs demonstrating multiple refinements along with screenshots of the settings, the book shows the process from start to finish. If there is one segment of information lacking in the content, it’s how to most effectively use Lightroom’s metadata and keywording tools.
Given the genre, “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book” is an intelligently written and designed book, and well illustrated with photography ranging from still lifes to portraits and landscapes, and scores of screen shots. All the better for us as, for all practical intents and purposes, it is the manual for Lightroom and is invaluable for quickly getting up to cruising speed. As a resource, it’s well designed for frequent reference; after years of reading this type of books, I appreciate that too often overlooked quality.
It is also quite handy in the literal sense of being easy to handle. It is one of the few software manuals I’ve ever read that makes me want to go try some aspect of the program immediately. In short, it makes you want to play with the program, and that is a good thing.
“The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book” by Martin Evening
Adobe Press, 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0-321-38543-7