Author: Rob Sheppard
Review by Conrad J. Obregon
Rob Sheppard always provides something extra in his photography instruction books. Like every author of a Lightroom 2 (LR2) book, he tells you where the sliders and buttons are located and what they do. But he often goes a step beyond, exploring things more deeply and suggesting ways to use equipment and software to create more artistic images.
In this book he covers most of the sliders and buttons available in LR2. But then he throws in the something extra, sometimes in small amounts and sometimes in large amounts. For example, in his discussion of LR2 basics he provides schematics of LR2’s functions that help the reader put all of the sliders, buttons and panels into a simple mental organization that enables one to more easily grasp the entire approach of the software. For the slideshow module he provides two chapters, the first of which follows the usual model of telling you where something is located on the monitor screen and then how it works. Then a second chapter tells the reader how to organize a slideshow for maximum impact. Similarly with printing, Sheppard not only explains the software set-up, but also explains how to use the tools to create pictures with more impact.
Sheppard is not afraid to note LR2 features which he finds of little value, like the quick develop facility or to suggest that the ability to switch to Photoshop’s HDR facility is not really of much use, given its poor performance compared to software like Photomatix Pro.
This will not be a perfect book for every LR2 user. There is none of the detail step-by-step procedure used by Scott Kelby in “The Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers”. Images are not available for download to follow along with the author. Not every tool available is discussed in the exhaustive detail of Martin Evening’s “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book: the Complete Guide for Photographers”. For example, Sheppard admits that he does not use the keyword facility to the extent possible, so it’s no surprise that he scants LR2’s hierarchical key wording structure. That in turn leads him to suggest using collections far more than one might need if one used the key wording facility more. On the other hand, his discussion of collections should certainly stir the reader to consider other useful applications of this facility. Similarly, his discussion of the compare facility neglects to indicate the ease of its use in selecting the best of three or more images of a particular subject, and instead suggests using the survey facility when there are several images, even though the size on the screen of the images to be compared will be substantially smaller.
This books strong suit is not in a detailed explanation of the controls available in LR2, although it is certainly adequate for that purpose. What appealed to me most was the approach that suggested ways to use LR2 to create more artful pictures.