By Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
If you have trouble keeping on top of all the new software developments as they roll out, you may want to consider video training. Last month, I reviewed an Adobe Press training video on Photoshop CS5, and in this review, I’m going to evaluate their training video on Lightroom 3.
Learn Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 by Video contains 10 hours of high-quality training, as well as a printed reference book. Together, these resources cover the fundamentals of using Lightroom, as well as highlight what’s new since Lightroom 2.
When you insert the DVD into your computer, you’ll see an easy-to-understand welcome interface:
This welcome page of the DVD provides you with easy access to the table of contents, a shortcut to “play all” videos, an introduction video featuring your instructors (Tim Grey and Mikkel Aaland), and even links to the “extras” contained on the DVD.
Some features I think are really useful:
• Tutorials to Go: mobile-formatted training videos “to go” are included on the DVD (.mov files for iPhone; .3gp files for Android).
• Assets: work-along image files can be found in the Assets folder of the DVD if you want to follow along in Lightroom while you watch the videos.
• Chapter Review: end-of-chapter tests for self-testing are included on the DVD, so you can see how well you retain information after watching each chapter.
• Bookmarks: at any time, you can stop training and place a bookmark mid-video. These can be accessed at a later date, when you want to pick up the training exactly where you left off. Bookmarks could also be used for referencing important information you don’t want to search for later.
• Watch-and-Work: in addition to having full screen viewing modes, you can also use “watch-and-work” mode, which makes the video float (in miniature) on top of your other applications (see below). This makes it easy to work along if you don’t have the luxury of a second screen.
If you’re already a Lightroom user, but new to Lightroom 3, I would recommend watching at least a portion of Chapter 1—Section 3, to be specific. This section covers what’s new in each of the modules, as well as featuring improvements to Import and the addition of video and CMYK support to Lightroom.
Chapter 4 contains information about organizing the Library module. If you don’t have a set method of applying keywords or working with metadata, you will find these sections very helpful and informative.
Retouching and image adjustments are covered in Chapter 6. If you aren’t familiar with how to make local adjustments to specific images in Lightroom, this chapter is a must. Even if you’re familiar with these concepts, Section 8 is worth looking at; it discusses the new lens correction controls in Lightroom 3.
Finally, if you’ve been holding back from using Lightroom because you are simply more comfortable working with Photoshop, you will want to review Chapter 8. The first section of this chapter discusses how to use both Lightroom and Photoshop in your workflow to your benefit.
I’ve been a fan of Lightroom since its first début, and I have to say, I appreciated having this training video to see how Tim Grey and Mikkel Aaland use Lightroom to its fullest potential. Most of all, I appreciated the mobile training videos that I was able to watch on my Android phone while out and about.
While I will not completely alter my workflow to sync exactly with the methods shown in this training DVD, I definitely found improvements to implement into my own workflow that will increase my productivity and effectiveness. So, whether you already have a Lightroom workflow in place, or if you are a fish out of water when it comes to working in Lightroom, you will be able to find some benefit from this training opportunity from Adobe Press.
Learn Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 by Video retails for $64.99, and is available from AdobePress.com (with free shipping!).