A new Lightroom ebook has just hit the web from fellow Adobe Certified Lightroom Expert, Piet Van den Eynde, of Belgium. No matter how much I use Lightroom, there’s always something new to learn and I found his LIGHTROOM 6/CC UNMASKED to be the most readable and understandable Lightroom CC manual I’ve read to date. Piet (pronounced Pete) is a deeply talented photographer (and fellow cyclist!) and his guidebook is written in clear, concise language with excellent insights for every level of Lightroom user.
A lot of why I like this book is that it mirrors much of how I teach Lightroom. (Twin brothers of different mothers?) In addition to chapters on Import, Library, Maps, Develop, etc., the book is smartly divided into 69 individual “Cases.” These cases break down many of Lightroom’s more important features, clearly describing what they’re for and how to make the best use of them. It’s what makes this book unique.
For example, in Case 29: Lightroom Detective, Piet demonstrates how he uses the Filter Bar’s features to sort through photo metadata to discover which cameras and lenses he uses the most. He also discusses Lightroom Statistics, a series of 36 different, highly specialized Lightroom products and additional plugins dedicated to “exploit all the information inside your Lightroom catalog in an easily accessible way.” Lightroom Statistics can show you which editing tools you use most and even how much time you spend editing photos. This opens up a whole world of possibilities when it comes to mining photo data and understanding your workflow.
In Case 40: Practical Uses of the Radial Filter, he describes his bottom-up approach to photography (very wise!) and illustrates his off-center method of vignetting to subtly bring attention to the subject of an image (one of my favorite techniques). And as someone who specializes in recovering and rebuilding Lightroom catalogs and Libraries, I appreciate the way Piet warns how Importing can trip you up. He’s very honest about it, including a few paragraphs under the title of, “The Biggest Downside: Obligatory Import.” But that’s just a cautionary note, there is a whole chapter on importing, plus three cases that examine detailed aspects of importing, as well as a chapter on importing from Aperture. You are covered!
From Publish Services to the Basic panel to synchronizing Dropbox and a list of Lightroom Dos and Don’ts, each one of the 69 cases is bite sized reading to further explain Lightroom and make working with it easier and more efficient – including some obscure but useful LR features like Locking Filters and manually geotagging your captures in the Map module. And, unlike a print book, everything is searchable. Very useful when you’re looking to solve a problem or learn something specific.
LIGHTROOM 6/CC UNMASKED presents Lightroom as used by a pro, with the sensibility of a talented educator, and shares recommendations for under-the-radar plugins and apps that you should know about from industry insiders like John Beardsworth and Jeffrey Freidl.
If you were looking for a Lightroom CC manual other than the Adobe download, this is it.