The Beauty of Lightroom: the Adventure Begins

by Colleen Wheeler

At last, the Photoshop Lightroom Adventure book is here in print. We've been fighting over the copies we have here in Sebastopol. I have a feeling this is one of those books that's going to disappear off the desks of those select few who have copies lying around. I've realized that part of why this book looks so gorgeous is the subject itself. (And no, I'm not talking particularly about Iceland, although Iceland is no slouch in the beauty department as you can see below.) I mean Lightroom, and I mean it in more ways than one.

Obviously, the asset management tools in Lightroom helped Mikkel and I wrangle the 1000+ images that eventually appeared in the book. Imagine trying to find a particular image for a particular need from a collection of thousands contributed by over 15 shooters in the "old" days. And, I won't name names, but not every photographer on the adventure had time to meticulously keyword given the relentless temptation of copious amounts of gorgeous light in Iceland. But even if the keywording was inconsistent across photographers, there was plenty of other metadata (camera model, creator, date) to use to find a particular photo. And if that failed, we could use our eyes. Needed something blue, a horse, a landscape, an image with particular processing needs to illustrate a point? Just made the Grid view as big as possible and used the old fashioned method of visual scanning.


Lightroom gracefully displays Icelandic photographer Sigurgeir Sigurjonsson's aerial landscape in the Library Grid, Derrick Story's ethereal Icelandic beauty in the Navigator pane, and a host of our other esteemed contributors' captivating thumbnails in the filmstrip.

But Lightroom also contributed to the book's quality by just being an attractive interface for looking at stunning photography. Sure the "portfolio spreads" scattered throughout the book are inspirational, but even the screenshots deserve a second look. (Ten years in tech publishing, and I don't know if I've ever said that before.) Lightroom's interface, aided of course by our contributor's images, allowed us to fill the pages with lively and colorful thumbnails that push the discussion visually far beyond standard technical instruction.


Adobe's Pro Photo Evangelist, aka "Mr Lightroom," George Jardine's photo graces the cover of Adobe Lightroom Adventure by Mikkel Aaland, NOW AVAILABLE (woo hoo! thanks for your patience Mark!) from O'Reilly. Mikkel tells a great story of how this cover came to be.