My Pick: Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 3 Book

Last week I reviewed three books that will help you get up to speed on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 and learn all the new features that they’ve packed into, what has proven to be an excellent and indispensable upgrade to an already great photo management and processing program.

The truth is, though, that I wasn’t so much writing the article for you as for me. You see, I’m a new Lightroom user.

I upgraded my computer this month, and having been on a G5 Power Mac for the past five years, I was unable to use Lightroom. I did try out the LR2 trial version two years ago, but it ran pretty sluggish on my non-Intel processor, so I quickly gave up on it and went back to the system that was working so well for me at the time, which was a combination of Photo Mechanic, Photoshop and iView MediaPro 3.

Those days are over. Just as I needed the power of a new computer to keep me running efficiently, I also realized that it was time to upgrade to a better system of file management and organization. My file of images has grown enormously during the past few years and the system that had worked previously for me was now beginning to show signs of real inefficiency.

As I got busier, I started to see how much time I was losing with my old system, and so the second I booted up my new Mac Pro for the first time, I downloaded the trial version of LR3 and began my transition to a brand new workflow.

However, being a new Lightroom user, I knew that I had a certain amount of learning to do in order to get up to speed. Sure, I felt pretty confident that I could learn on the fly by playing around with the different menus and reading the Adobe help pages, but that’s not very efficient. I don’t really have time to waste playing around.

So, I decided to buy a book.

I did my research and found the three most likely titles, and then went over to Barnes and Noble to check them all out. I think I wrote an accurate synopsis of what each book has to offer the photographer who wants to work efficiently with Lightroom, and after mulling it over for a few days, I finally made my own pick.

I chose Scott Kelby’s book, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers.

Why? Because it’s written so that you can sit down with it and learn as you go. It’s fast. It’s efficient. It’s designed as a reference that you can use from the moment you sit down to import your images and take them through your workflow.

I didn’t really need a full manual to teach me every single thing about the program. I know that the more I use it, the more I’ll learn. I’ve used enough software to know that can figure that stuff out as I go.

What I needed was a book that would guide me through that first lap around the track. After that, I’ll know enough that I’ll probably start adapting Scott’s example workflow to my own needs and veer off in my own direction, but for that first lap, I just wanted a solid rundown of how the program works.

Not that those other two books on my list aren’t great, because they are. I just decided that this one would work best for me. And I didn’t want an eBook, because I wanted something that I can take to the couch or to bed if I want to do some nighttime reading.

Not that eBooks aren’t great, in fact I just published my first one. Sometimes I just like real books. Call me a modern, digital age traditionalist.

So that’s my recommendation. Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 3 book will get you on the right track, right away. That’s really what most of us need, right?

Note: Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 4 book is know available.

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