Lightroom 5 Up To Speed by Piet Van Den Eynde

New LightRoom 5 eBook from Craft & Vision

Lightroom 5 Up To Speed

Hot off the press after the general release of Lightroom 5 from Adobe, Craft & Vision have released a 77-page eBook complete with companion videos, by Piet Van Den Eynde, claiming to provide Everything You Need to Know About the Adobe Lightroom 5 Upgrade.  This seems like super quick work from Craft & Vision, but as Piet lets on within his introduction, it’s largely based on the Lightroom 5 beta version. As we know now the official pukkah release is pretty much the same as the beta version with the bugs straightened out. Priced at a very reasonable $5 (around £3.20) and cheaper than a monthly photo periodical, I thought this worth a punt to see whether I’d glean any hidden gems within Lightroom 5.

The eBook download is in PDF format and apart from from the cover page, is presented in landscape orientation, nicely formatted for your computer screen or pad device. It also comes with several companion videos but I was mystified when no link arrived with the download. The links to these files however, are embedded within the PDF document and open the video files on Vimeo.

So What does the eBook Contain?

The eBook contains 9 short chapters. The first deals with actually installing and upgrading your existing or older Lightroom catalog files. The following six illustrate the major enhancements introduced to Lightroom 5, namely the Advanced Healing Brush, the Upright Tool for straightening photos, the Radial Filter, the new Smart Previews, improvements to the Book Module, and new features in the Sideshow Module. The penultimate chapter details other new improvements or changes within Lightroom 5, and the final chapter is about third party plug-ins. Most have an associated online video link embedded at the end of each chapter.

Lightroom 5 Up To Speed eBook

As an experienced Lightroom user I was rather sceptical that I’d learn anything new in a short 77 page booklet. I’d used the LR5 beta version since it’s release, and was pretty familiar with the new tools, I’d also took part within the Adobe Labs Lightroom 5 beta forum, and have watched as many online videos on the LR5 beta as I could find. My initial scan through of the eBook seemed to confirm my thoughts, but once I started to delve a little deeper I found I was pleasantly surprised. Although most of what’s presented here will be pretty familiar to an experienced user, there are a smattering of interesting little snippets scattered throughout that for me made the ebook worth the entry fee.

Whilst compliling this eBook, Piet Van Den Eynde liaised directly with the Adobe Lightroom 5 beta team throughout, so there are some interesting additional insights here. Using the healing brush on complex problems for example, illustrated on on page 14, provides input from Adobe Lightroom Engineer, Eric Chan that I found particularly useful. Another example was the Reanalyze button on the Upright tool, and making sure you do your lens corrections before to get the best results; the difference between Full and Auto modes. I also didn’t realise that when building your Smart Previews it only works on images at the top of a stack, not those inside.

Not surprisingly the longest chapter concerns the Radial Filter, as in terms photo of adjustments this is undoubtedly the most powerful new addition to the Lightroom 5 tools. Here there are links to not one, but 3 online videos which address how to use the radial filter in different creative ways. Smart Previews are well explained in the following chapter, which was of great interest to me as I’ve been travelling around with several 1TB portable hard drives to be able to continue to edit my photographs. Now I can reduce that to just one, since all that’s needed to edit my photos on the road are my Lightroom catalog (catalog.lrcat) and smart preview (Smart Previews.lrdata) files. PvdE suggest using a portable SSD which no doubt provides greater speed and probably worth considering if you have a USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt port.

The penultimate chapter deals with the non-headline changes and small new features buried within Lightroom 5; the minor additions and improvements under the hood so to speak. Looking at this you begin to realise there are quite a few, and all are well documented. I can see myself referring back to this section quite often. The very last chapter seems slightly at odds with the rest of the eBook as it’s about third party plug-ins and not Lightroom 5 itself. It does this under the slight pretence that some plug-ins have been updated for Lightroom 5, but this is not really the case and it merely mentions those that have been updated since the LR4 release. The majority of these plug-ins will be familiar to most Lightroom users I’m sure. Several I use too, although one or two were new to me, but not of significant interest.

Verdict

For around £3.20 this really is a no-brainer and if you’re upgrading to Lightroom 5 then it may just save you some time getting familiar with the new enhancements and enlighten you to a few more more. Sure, you could find the video files on Vimeo for free, but together with the eBook it makes a great little package. Highly recommended. You can get your copy from Craft & Vison here.

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