An Overview of Lightroom 3 Video Tutorials

Video Tutorials Review

With Adobe Lightroom 3 having been out on the market for a while now several of the big names have released commercial packages of Lightroom 3 Video tutorials. These range from view online flash videos, downloadable video files to DVD’s you can buy. So what is available and what do you get for your money?

The Luminous Landscape Guide to Lightroom 3

If you’ve never visited The Luminous Landscape web site then you’ve really missed out since it’s one of the premier photography sites on the net. It’s the brainchild of Canadian and Toronto based photographer Michael Reichmann but accommodates contributions from many other renowned photographers and contains a wealth of resources to interest any photographer. If you think I’m a fan then I have to say quite lr3graphic unashamedly that I am. I’m a frequent visitor to the Luminous Landscape web site and subscribe to Michaels’ video journals which offer truly unique insight into many aspects of photography which you can’t really find elsewhere.
For this Guide to Lightroom R3 Michael once again teams up with Jeff Schewe, one of the co-founders of PixelGenius, and a chap who seems to hold significant influence with the Lightroom development team and whom certainly possesses a strong technically knowledge on the inner workings of Lightroom. Michael is a seasoned presenter, and guides the tutorials along and makes sure that all the typical user questions are addressed. Together they make a formidable team.

The tutorials comprise almost 9 hours of video split into 52 individual video files which can be purchased online for the sum of $49. These can be downloaded to your hard drive so are then available for you to view at your leisure and can of course, be watched time and time again without the need for an internet connection or a subscription. The files are in Quicktime (*.mov) format which unfortunately is not supported on the iPad (although you could convert the files in 3rd party software). If you purchased their Guide to LR2 they are still currently offering a 10% discount online. Michael and Jeff have produced similar tutorials for Lightroom 1 and 2, but this is by far the longest to date and just about covers every Lightroom topic imaginable. They work well together, and have a pleasant rapport with a rather relaxed and casual, style of presenting. This personal presentation style may not suite all viewers, and there is significantly more joviality than on previous LR tutorials, but I find it quite entertaining as well as being very informative. Michael and Jeff are just so familiar with the Lightroom product however, that in parts they do tend to make some assumptions that I thought may confuse the absolute beginner. If you possess some familiarity with Lightroom or are an intermediate user than these tutorials will be a excellent resource to improve your workflow, and even though I consider myself a competent and experienced Lightroom user I still found out many new things. You can test drive a sample video here. Highly recommended.
Pros:

  • Downloadable video files that you can take anywhere and watch at your leisure.
  • Huge content, 52 video files containing almost 9 hours of video.
  • In depth coverage of just about everything you need to know about LR3.
  • Detailed technical information of how many of the Lightroom processes work.
  • Good value compared to others available.

Cons:

  • There are a few parts that may confuse an absolute beginner.
  • The presentation style may not be to everyone’s liking.
  • No iPad support.

Adobe Lightroom 3 Video Workshop by George Jardine

George Jardine is name probably familiar to Lightroom users who have been using Lightroom from release 1. George was one of the original Adobe Lightroom team members and the former Adobe Pro Photography Evangelist. He produced several excellent online tutorials on the original Lightroom release for Adobe, a task which is currently fullfilled by Julieanne Kost. image He continued with an excellent series of podcasts which many may remember, which were available for download on iTunes and via his blog. George left Adobe in 2008 go his own way and now, amongst other things, runs Lightroom Workshops. In July 2010 George announced a Lightroom 3 Video Workshop comprising 16 online video tutorials on Library Workflow and Digital Photo Library Management which can be viewed by purchased a subscription. The online videos are Flash driven so can’t be viewed on the iPhone or iPad, however George will provide a link to downloadable iPad versions once a subscription has been purchased. In October 2010 a further 15 videos which cover the Lightroom Develop Module, but as yet there are no plans to provide any other series to cover the Web, Print and Slideshow Modules.
George’s indomitable style of presentation is much to be admired. You find no face shots here, nor will you detected and ‘umms’, ‘errs’ or pauses in diction. With George it’s straight down to a very business like delivery, full of concise and detailed instructions and he succeeds including an extraordinary amount of information into each of these videos. Watch them over and over again and you notice more facts you failed to retain on earlier viewings; they are that good. These tutorials are excellent for users of all standards and ideal for the beginner too.
The first series of 16 videos can be accessed by purchasing a subscription for $29.95 via George’s Blog here and if you want to view a sample movie on Virtual Copies check out this link. The second series of videos on the Develop Module is also available as an online subscription for $24.95. No iPad/iPhone versions of the second series are available (yet?) for download but they can be acquired on DVD from Amazon.com for the sum of $34.95.

Pros:

  • High on content, yet concise, well produced and very informative.
  • Suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced.
  • Very professional and well presented.

Cons:

  • Not all is downloadable.
  • Requires a live web connection and subscription to view.
  • Doesn’t cover all aspects of Lightroom just yet.
  • Only the Develop Module videos are available on DVD and at $35.00 is expensive.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Power Session WITH Matt Kloskowski

I’m sure almost every Lightroom user must have come across the excellent Lightroom Killer Tips web site hosted by Matt Kloskowski. It’s just about top of every Lightroom search on Google and has been since Lightroom was released. LR3PSMatt is part of Scott Kelby’s KelbyTraining.com team and has release at DVD entitled Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Power Session. It’s priced at $69.99 but if your a member of NAPP ( National Association of Photoshop Professionals) you can get get for $54.99. You can find out more information about Matt’s DVD here, but there is no sample video to watch or DVD contents listed.
A perhaps more preferable option to access the Matt’s Lightroom Power Session Tutorials may be to purchase a subscription to Kelby Training online. This gives you access to hundreds of online video tutorials, and not just Photoshop and Lightroom, but many other design, video and creative applications. It also contains a section on Photography which has something of interest for just about every type of photographic genre. Unfortunately you can only watch the videos online and can not download copies to watch later. Subscription is not cheap and currently runs at $24.96 per month. If you are a member of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) your subscription is reduced to $19.99 a month, but as membership to NAPP costs $99 per year it’s not really a saving at all, although with NAPP membership you do get a years subscription to the Photoshop User Magazine. If you think this all smacks a wee bit of rather clever American marketing by the astute Mr. Kelby, then I’d have to agree, however much of the online content I’ve sampled thus so far has been extremely good. I just wish I could get the content on my iPad.
If you purchase the Lightroom 3 Power Session DVD you get access to 19 instructional video files ranging from 1:31 to 6:45 minutes in length, plus a brief introduction and conclusion, totalling just under 75 minutes. The videos are just as slick and informative as Matt’s online video’s and indeed Matt has a pleasant and relaxed style that is a joy to watch. The DVD videos are rather terse however, and lack the depth and detail of the Lumimous Landscape offerings. However, if you purchase a subscription to Kelbytraining.com you get access to 3 further courses of tutorials by Matt entitled Lightroom 3 In Depth, which cover the Library module (Part 1), Develop module (part 2) and Printing, Slideshow and Web modules (part 3) in some considerable depth. These cover aspects of Lightroom 3 such as integration with Photoshop, creating HDR and Panorama stitching, and 3rd party plug-ins. Currently there are also video course on Lightroom for the Web one of the other Kelby Instructors and video tutorials on culling and selecting photos from a fashion shoot and beauty retouching from Scott Kelby himself.

Pros:

  • Abundant online content.
  • Well produced and lots of choice.
  • Content for all levels from beginners to advanced.
  • Professional and well presented.

Cons:

  • DVD represent poor value compared the Luminous Landscape downloads.
  • Subscription content requires a live web connection for access.
  • Online subscription can work out to be quite expensive.
  • Unable to download subscription videos copies to your hard drive.
  • No support for the iPad unless you buy the DVD.

Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training from Lynda.com

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Lynda.com is a huge online resource that provides video tutorials for just about every graphics package, web design and photo-manipulation software you can think of, and many more to boot. It even contains tutorials on Home Computing, iPhones, Business packages, Animation, and has recently been adding videos on Photography. It boasts at having the largest access to online training courses available, and looking at the list they certainly seem to be the granddaddy of the online video tutorial world. It’s an odd name for a web site but that’s down to it’s founder Lynda Weinman. You can access just about anything, but it’s not cheap, ranging from $25.0 (basic) to $37.50 (premium) per month to $250-$375 for a full yearly subscription. The basic subscription covers access to all videos, the Premium subscription provides access to Instructor’s exercise files. The courses however, can only be watched online and thus require a live internet connection, and can not be downloaded to your hard drive.

For LR3 users they have a course entitled Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training presented by photographer and designer Chris Orwig. Comprehensive details, video transcripts, course contents and 24 sample videos can be viewed and accessed here. The course details are very comprehensive and list over 13 hours of videos in 30 sections and contain over 200 individual video files covering techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. The course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow and also includes exercise files to accompany the course if you have plumbed for a premium subscription.

The whole course can also be purchased on DVD for $99.95 which you can then watch at your leisure. The online subscriptions however, give you access the a multitude of other courses, so if you additional Photoshop tuition is in your remit, this could be the way to go.
Pros:

  • High on content, thorough and very informative.
  • Very professional and well presented.
  • Covers all aspects of Lightroom.
  • Online subscription covers many other software packages

Cons:

  • Unable to download copies to your hard drive.
  • Requires a live web connection and subscription to view.
  • Could work out quite costly for a long subscription.
  • DVD price expensive compared to others.
  • No support for the iPad unless you buy the DVD’s

Free Lightroom 3 Video Resources

Of course you don’t have to part with good money to get Lightroom 3 video instruction as there are plenty of free resources on the web, many of which are linked in the side panels of this web page. I’ll try and cover some of those in another post.

Summary

It’s too difficult to select a clear winner here as each cater for slightly different audiences and provide differing levels of accessibility. If you’re experienced user, you may find Luminous Landscape Guide to Lightroom 3 more to your taste, whereas beginners may be best suited to Lynda.com’s offerings, Matt’s DVD or George Jardine’s videos. If you’re looking for wider base tuition then the online subscription offer much more. Personally I prefer to have downloadable content that I can watch at my own choosing, irrespective of whether you have an internet connection or where I am. If value for money is an issue then I’d have to say Luminous Landscape takes first prize. The good news is, no matter what you choose you won’t be disappointed; they are all very good. Do try out the sample videos first and see what appeals to you. The choice is yours.

Resources

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