Craft & Vision has delivered another great eBook on digitally refining your photos this month. The new release, “Essential Development”, covers 20 techniques for Adobe Lightroom 4. It was written by Lightroom guru and first time Craft & Vision author Seán McCormack. The eBook is over 120 pages and packed with info. Whether you are new to Lightroom or are a seasoned user there is definitely something here for you to learn.
Seán starts with a basic brief on Lightroom and what the advantage is to using it. The eBook goes in depth very quickly. Although much of the info is the same for various versions of Lightroom, this eBook is specifically aimed at Lightroom 4 users. Lots has changed since Lightroom 3.
There are a lot of interesting techniques in here, from playing with white balance to “faking” HDR”. I particularly enjoyed the extensive section on retouching and digital make up. I currently use Photoshop for these purposes but Seán’s techniques have opened my eyes even wider to the possibilities of Lightroom. He brushes adjustments like clarity combined with dodging and burning to create a really beautiful effect.
Throughout the rest of the eBook Sean talks about a lot more than just editing portraits. He talks about stuff like fixing skies and creating a tilt shift effect. Sharpening, noise reduction, and lens correction are covered in detail. Towards the end he covers presets and batch editing. Finally he touches on the limits of Lightroom and talks about taking things like panoramas and HDR images into Photoshop.
An original image of mine edited using two of the presets from the eBook package.
If you want some more help in Lightroom, you can buy the eBook packaged with 85 presets for you to use on your own images. These can help speed up your editing and help you understand how Lightroom works and what is possible. Personally, I found the presets to be fairly limited and wouldn’t use them on my own work. But I’ve never been a fan of presets; some will find them very useful. I should also note that for the next week the eBook + preset package only costs an extra dollar.
Like usual, this eBook is an excellent value- it crams a ton of information in for a very low price. Purchasing it with the presets will add a lot of value for some users; though like I said, I won’t use them. As for the eBook, like most of Craft & Vision’s releases, I highly recommend it.
Check out Essential Development packaged with the presets here (Use code DEVELOP6 to get it for only $6)
Check out the rest of Craft & Vision’s collection here (Use code DEVELOP20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more eBooks)
Both codes expire at 11:59PM PST on October 23rd.