Those that follow this web site will know that I’m a fan of Adobe Lightroom. I’ve used it since it was first released and whilst I still use a variety of other tools, for example Photoshop, Lightroom is the key tool in my post-processing workflow. I even offer a comprehensive set of keywords for Lightroom which can be downloaded from this site.

However, as a tool Lightroom is extremely complex and there are quite a few tricks and tips that can help you better achieve the final image you desire. You can use the software at a basic level fairly easily but spending a little time to dig into it provides additional benefits. This is where “Essential Development – 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4″ by Sean McCormack, the latest book in the Craft & Vision stable can help.

Rather than focus on just the tool features, Sean takes as task-based approach talking about how Lightroom can be used to achieve a particular post-processing activity. These activities cover portrait shots, landscapes and travel photography. While showing the process he highlights various tips and tricks that even if you’re familiar with Lightroom you might not know about. Some of the tasks covered include:

  • Making whites white
  • Beauty retouching
  • Cross processing
  • Image toning
  • Cropping inside and outside the image
  • Straightening photos
  • Fixing skies

In addition to explaining how Lightroom can be utilised to achieve the final image you want, Sean also provides a collection of 85 Lightroom Presets. Whilst previously I’ve talked about my problem with presets, these are slightly different. Instead of trying to be a comprehensive one-click processing solution the majority of the presets are designed to help you quickly apply a single adjustment – exposure, vibrance, clarity, etc – along with some simple effects such as toning and B&W conversion.

Due to these 85 presets the book is slightly more expensive then usual but still a bargain. You can download “Essential Development” from the Craft & Vision site for US$7. If you use the code DEVELOP6 you can get theb ook for $6 or use DEVELOP20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF books from the site. Both codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) on 23 October 2012 (check your timezone here)

Buy: “Essential Development – 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4″ by Sean McCormack