The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers

Author: Scott Kelby

Publisher: New Riders

Review by Conrad J. Obregon

When Lightroom 1.0 was introduced, everyone who tried it was a new user, even the folks who had tried the beta editions that Adobe had offered. That meant that it was easy to say that Scott Kelby’s older book, “the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers” was one of the best of the hoard of Lightroom books for all users. Lightroom 2 (LR2) is a different matter. There is already a large base of competent Lightroom users who are mostly interested in learning how to use the newest upgrades to the software. As a result, recommendations for Kelby’s Lightroom 2 book have to be slightly tempered.

As with his first volume, Kelby covers all the basics of Lightroom 2 with step-by-step instructions with profuse illustrations. Each of the modules is covered in sufficient detail to explain to any newcomer how to use LR2. The chapter on the quick develop tools has been reduced to a few pages, the local adjustment tools are described with sufficient particularity to master the newest tools, and a full chapter has been added on Lightroom\Photoshop integration. The two workflow examples have been changed from the first book, giving readers of both volumes a little more bang for the buck.

Many of the photos used for demonstration are available for download so that the reader can follow right along with the author. A video on a workflow example of a wedding is also available for download.

Some people who were put off by Kelby’s sophomoric sense of humor will be pleased to learn that there has been a substantial reduction in the jokiness.

There is no doubt that if you are a new user of Lightroom, this book is as good as it gets. On the other hand, for experienced users, there doesn’t seem to be much value to reading over the sections on tools you already know how to use. As I’ve said before, what most LR2 users need is a book like the “Photoshop: Up to Speed” books that just cover the new tools. (Are you listening, Peachpit?) I suspect many experienced users will derive their information on the upgrade from the wide assortment of on-line sites that have introduced LR2. On the other hand, I’m replacing Kelby’s Lightroom 1 book that I kept next to my computer with this volume, and I expect to refer to this opus whenever I encounter a problem in LR2 (or my aging memory fails me).

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This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 0 Comments

  1. I took the liberty of visiting Mr. Obregon’s website and he is clearly a fine photographer. I’m afraid I can’t disagree more with this review, however. Mr. Kelby’s book is terrific — as is his sense of humor. What I do find “sophomoric” however, is criticizing an author for not writing the book that a reviewer would have preferred to read. This review is a bit like saying, “gee, Sir Conan Doyle, that’s a really good detective story, but I prefer science fiction.” No doubt you do, but that isn’t what he chose to write. Mr. Kelby apparently wanted to write ONE book that would meet the needs of LR2 users, regardless of experience with the program. He did just that.

    Reply
  2. I took the liberty of visiting Mr. Obregon’s website and he is clearly a fine photographer. I’m afraid I can’t disagree more with this review, however. Mr. Kelby’s book is terrific — as is his sense of humor. What I do find “sophomoric” however, is criticizing an author for not writing the book that a reviewer would have preferred to read. This review is a bit like saying, “gee, Sir Conan Doyle, that’s a really good detective story, but I prefer science fiction.” No doubt you do, but that isn’t what he chose to write. Mr. Kelby apparently wanted to write ONE book that would meet the needs of LR2 users, regardless of experience with the program. He did just that.

    Reply
  3. Again – you simply can’t criticize Kelby. ANY critique of the Great Kelby brings the NAPP fanboys out in droves :)

    Reply
  4. Again – you simply can’t criticize Kelby. ANY critique of the Great Kelby brings the NAPP fanboys out in droves :)

    Reply
  5. I never needed a book to help me learn how to use LR 1.x. Between the design of the program and the free educational resources available online ( such as Michael Tapes http://www.whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/Photoshop_LR/01/) a book is a superfluous expense. That’s what makes LR such a great program. Adding a few new tools doesn’t change that.

    When I find Scotts’ humor becoming tedious, I remind myself he’s writing for himself and the person who’s never read him.

    Hey Scott B. don’t you have some fanboys? (and girls?) ;-)

    Reply
  6. I never needed a book to help me learn how to use LR 1.x. Between the design of the program and the free educational resources available online ( such as Michael Tapes http://www.whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/Photoshop_LR/01/) a book is a superfluous expense. That’s what makes LR such a great program. Adding a few new tools doesn’t change that.

    When I find Scotts’ humor becoming tedious, I remind myself he’s writing for himself and the person who’s never read him.

    Hey Scott B. don’t you have some fanboys? (and girls?) ;-)

    Reply
  7. @Tim I WISH I had fanboys – especially fangirls – who were so loyal as Kelby does. The guy has the best PR ever. Whatever his secret, my hat’s off to him. He works hard for his success. Me, I think I might have one fanboy out there somewhere, and he’s just BARELY a fanboy :)

    Reply
  8. @Tim I WISH I had fanboys – especially fangirls – who were so loyal as Kelby does. The guy has the best PR ever. Whatever his secret, my hat’s off to him. He works hard for his success. Me, I think I might have one fanboy out there somewhere, and he’s just BARELY a fanboy :)

    Reply
  9. I agree with Mr. Oberon that the book is useful but a bit superficial for experienced users. I, too, keep it by my desk and refer to it fairly often. I would also suggest the very fine The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook by Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer as a fine reference as well.

    Reply
  10. I agree with Mr. Oberon that the book is useful but a bit superficial for experienced users. I, too, keep it by my desk and refer to it fairly often. I would also suggest the very fine The Photoshop Lightroom Workbook by Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer as a fine reference as well.

    Reply
  11. First, I’m not sure one person can be a “drove.” Second, if Mr. Bourne has but one fan, then it’s me. I never miss the weekly podcasts.

    Reply
  12. First, I’m not sure one person can be a “drove.” Second, if Mr. Bourne has but one fan, then it’s me. I never miss the weekly podcasts.

    Reply
  13. @Ray you should read the other review Conrad did about another of Kelby’s books. The combined outcry does indeed constitute a drove. Thanks for being my one fan :)

    Reply
  14. @Ray you should read the other review Conrad did about another of Kelby’s books. The combined outcry does indeed constitute a drove. Thanks for being my one fan :)

    Reply
  15. @Scott, for the right amount of money I will be your fanboy. For a little bit more, hell, I’ll be your fangirl :P

    Reply
  16. @Scott, for the right amount of money I will be your fanboy. For a little bit more, hell, I’ll be your fangirl :P

    Reply
  17. @Michael. Thanks but no thanks. I do have standards you know. They’re pretty darn low – but I do have em :)

    Reply
  18. @Michael. Thanks but no thanks. I do have standards you know. They’re pretty darn low – but I do have em :)

    Reply

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About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Retired traveling and unhooking from the Internet.

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