Review: Rob Sylvan’s “Taming Your Photo Library with Adobe Lightroom”

sylvanYou’ve got thousands of images on your hard drive, hundreds more on memory cards you just filled, and you just installed Adobe Lightroom. If you’re new to LR and don’t proceed thoughtfully, disaster can be lurking. Image organization is often a neglected part of post-processing. It’s unappealing and for many (me included) organization is not a strong suit. If you’re eager to start editing images it’s easy to lapse into bad habits for what I call “inflow,” getting my images into LR so I can develop them.

When Rob Sylvan‘s book was announced I signed up for pre-order, and have  since recommended it to many. Taming Your Photo Library with Adobe Lightroom is a must-have for new LR users and anyone who has yet to establish their own workflow. (Judging from what I see in the Lightroom Help Group on Facebook, there are plenty of experienced LR users also struggling with this.) While it is mostly oriented towards new LR users, almost anyone can benefit from a careful reading (me, for instance). The book begins with an elegant description of the concept and functions of the LR catalog, which new users often find difficult to understand, and then moves on to basic LR setup. Subsequent chapters address the Library module and the import process, file management, using collections, managing metadata (including keywords), catalog maintenance and backups, using presets and templates, workflows, integrating with LR mobile, and troubleshooting.

Having learned a workflow, what is left to the readers is to develop the discipline to stick to it, and Rob’s book can’t teach that. But, it’s easier to be disciplined when we know what we’re doing and why, and we realize the benefits that come with efficiency.

Lightroom Workshops

LR_logoI had Lightroom for over six months before I really started to use it. I was happy with Photoshop and bought LR mostly to see what all the fuss was about. In retrospect, I wasted time that I could have used to learn to use an outstanding image processing program. I decided that if I was going to really learn Lightroom, it made sense to get some hands-on training. I searched the net and found plenty of workshops. Some were four days of training costing more than $1,000. All were in distant cities and I wasn’t ready to invest that much.  I found Lightroom Workshops and saw that they were offering a workshop only 2 hours away for about $300 for two full days of instruction. Sign me up. [Note: as of 2015 the cost of the two-day workshop is $400.]

Continue reading “Lightroom Workshops”