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).