I read this 130 page 10-step guide from ebook cover to ebook cover. Over the last few years I’ve read everything I could get my hands on – and there’s quite a lot to get your hands on – concerning Lightroom. I can easily say that this latest ebook, The Photographer’s Workflow, by Gavin Gough is the best, in my opinion, by far. He writes in a very personal style; you have the feeling that he’s right there with you, telling you all he knows, as simply as possible, not holding anything back, and eager to pass on his knowledge.
He’s actually a wonderful photographer and teacher. Not just that, his background as a Systems Analyst, well versed in computers, enables him to explain just enough of the technical side that is necessary to know what you’re doing and why and fortunately not get bogged down with unnecessary detail.
Lightroom is a masterful program and Gavin goes through each step in the process extremely comprehensively and clearly. He leaves no stone unturned. It’s so easy to take hundreds, even thousands, of photographs a week, actually a day, even an hour, that we quickly become overwhelmed. It’s vital to have a well thought-out logical system that can be applied to every photograph from beginning to end. That’s what this book is about, and it’s not just the theory. Gavin generously explains his own personal workflow, honed over a decade of taking photographs for the likes of Lonely Planet and Getty Images, and gives us his own presets for each step, so that we can do exactly as he does. Whether we can take as good photographs at the outset is, of course, another matter. As he says, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
In addition to the text, there are clear video tutorials and photographic examples. The ebook is more or less divided into two parts – the first part deals with data management, the vital need to back up everything, and why, the naming of files and folders, Lightroom’s system of flags, ratings and labels, and colour management. He recommends software that helps – some of which is free. And he explains how to configure Lightroom so that it gives the best service. He describes his own gear and what he takes on an assignment – with a lot of helpful tips, such as carrying superglue and elastic hair bands. He even advises on which way up to pack your camera.
Then he gets into what to do with the images once they have been taken, importing them into Lightroom, easing the chore of metadata, explaining smart collections (which I’ve never really understood properly and am looking forward to putting into practice), and, to me the best part, actually developing the images. Gavin has some very helpful – and wise – advice concerning lens corrections, perspective corrections and cropping before explaining the controls for exposure, white balance, contrast, hue, saturation, luminance, vignettes, tone curves, sharpening and noise reduction. He kindly provides presets for all of these, as well as several brush presets. Brush presets are used when you just want to alter part of the image and not the whole.
Finally, there is a chapter on exporting the image – which could be to a hard disk, CD, DVD, blog, Facebook, email, or web site. He explains what the appropriate image size and resolution should be.
I have no doubt that whether you are starting out with Lightroom or an experienced professional you will find this ebook highly useful. I wish it had been available when I started out myself using Lightroom. You will enjoy the really clear explanations and diagrams. At less than the price of a pub lunch, a mere US$30, it’s an incredible bargain. And who could not warm to a man who writes, The time has come to get into the nitty gritty of data management, you lucky sausage.
To buy the ebook and be reading it in under a minute: Click here to visit Gavin Gough.