Aug 1, 2006

The Adobe Lightroom Book, new book, new concept

Peachpit releases The Adobe Lightroom Book by Martin Evening as a new “Rough Cut” publishing concept-a book available as it’s being written. Which dovetails well with a product like Adobe Lightroom which is being developed as a public preview.

Digital photographers who have relied on Adobe Photoshop to work with their images have a new tool at their disposal: Adobe Lightroom.

As a professional photographer, author Martin Evening knows firsthand what photographers need for a more efficient workflow.


Martin’s been working with Lightroom from the beginning, providing feedback to Lightroom’s development well before the public beta and monitoring the product’s development. The Adobe Lightroom Book describes Lightroom’s features in detail and with photographers in mind. Photographers who routinely work with raw images will find Lightroom–and The Adobe Lightroom Book–an indispensable tool in their digital darkroom.

ROUGH CUTS BOOK: The Adobe Lightroom Book
by Martin Evening
Publisher: Adobe Press
Pub Date: December 29, 2006 (est.)
Print ISBN-10: 0-32-138543-8
Print ISBN-13: 978-0-321-38543-7
eText ISBN-10: 0-321-45003-5
eText ISBN-13: 978-0-321-45003-6
Pages: 304
List Price: USD $40.00 (when released)

Special Rough Cuts pricing on Safari:
Print Book and Online Access Bundle USD $44.99
Online Access Only USD $27.00
Print Book Only USD $28.00

More about Rough Cuts
Sometimes you just can’t wait for the book. When you need to gain early access to information on cutting-edge technologies, turn to the Rough Cuts service from Safari Books Online. With the Rough Cuts service, you’ll access books as they are being written. You can choose to purchase online access to the title with unlimited viewing and PDF downloads of each revision, pre-purchase print the book, or get the best of both worlds – online access immediately and print the book later. Any way you cut it, you will receive the finished product when it is published.

The Rough Cuts service is a separate transaction from your standard Safari subscription. Our publishers have granted a sneak peek into their authoring process. By purchasing a Rough Cuts title, you gain exclusive access to an evolving manuscript that you can read on Safari, download to PDF, or print a hardcopy. And you’ll get it all at a significant discount.

The Safari Rough Cuts service is currently in “beta”. We have delivered the information as quickly as possible. We believe that the Rough Cuts service is an example of how Safari and publishers can better create and deliver content to you. In this respect, we’ll need your help to determine the features you want the most. Try it out and send us your feedback at Check out the Rough Cuts FAQ.

PhotoshopNews conducted an interview with Martin in London about his new book, Lightroom and the Rough Cuts project and writing.

Martin, why a book about Lightroom?
One of the reasons I decided to write this book is because I have been working with the Shadowland/Lightroom team for over three years now and have therefore acquired a lot of knowledge about the background to the program as well as personally contributing to the development process. So I had already been thinking about writing a book about Lightroom when last year Pam Pfiffner at Peachpit approached me to write a book about Lightroom for Adobe Press. It seemed like a perfect opportunity as well as quite an honor that Adobe wanted me to write “The Adobe Lightroom Book”.

What are your thoughts on Adobe Lightroom and where it might be headed in the future?
Let me discuss a little bit about the background first. These are interesting times for digital photographers, times in which the digital imaging industry has seen some major technological breakthroughs which have led to a huge uptake in the number of photographers shooting with digital SLRs. We are seeing a great many photographers get involved with digital photography for the first time. It is particularly interesting to note how rapidly the expectations coming from the photography industry have outstripped what the current software and hardware are able to offer.

Not so long ago, photographers were content to scan in their images and spend time working on them one at a time in Photoshop. But with digital photography, Photoshop has had a hard time catching up with the new requirements of being able to manage and process hundreds of images at a time and work directly with raw files. In the last four years we have seen the development of Adobe Camera Raw for handling raw files and first a File Browser and now Bridge as a browser for managing large collections of images. Still there has been a feeling among photographers that the digital workflow needs to be made smoother, faster and simpler to work with. The revolution in digital photography has effectively opened up a new market in image processing and management requirements. Although Adobe Photoshop and Bridge have gone quite a long way to fulfilling some of these demands, there has been plenty of room for competing products to emerge and gain popularity among photography customers.

Until recently no single program has been able to offer a complete workflow solution. There has been a trend for some camera manufacturers to keep to their proprietary raw formats partly in an attempt to foist their software on users, but fortunately we are beginning to see a move towards more open standards, such as the adoption of DNG as a standard, interchangeable raw format. I am not a great fan of camera manufacturer software, but there are certainly some good alternative third-party products out there. This has undoubtedly led to much debate in recent years over which software is best and not only that, but which combination of products should be used, with photographers often choosing one program to import their camera files, another to do the main raw processing, another to manage the image catalog and yet another for printing.

The digital photography workflow has become one of those hotly debated issues, with people favoring different approaches: some of which make good sense, as well as some which are quite mad, such as converting all your raw files to TIFF and throwing away the raws!

Lightroom began as a small project in Adobe to explore these photography workflow issues and come up with a single program that could address photographers’ needs. As it turns out, Apple was having the same idea and Aperture ended up getting out there before Adobe’s product. Now, however, project Lightroom has given the general public, first Mac users and now Windows customers too, the chance to see what Adobe has been up to and offer their feedback and help guide Lightroom’s development.

I don’t necessarily think Adobe has all the answers here yet, because as Aperture has shown, others have had the same vision as Mark at Adobe and Apple has designed a product that will offer some serious competition to Lightroom. Plus, one should not ignore some of the other major players out there, such as Capture One. Ultimately, I think this will all be for the good as no single product can afford to become too complacent about their market position. Such competition will hopefully drive all these products forward in the right direction and their customers will benefit.

So why have you chosen to write a book about Lightroom specifically?
As I said earlier, I have worked with the team over a number of years, so I feel that this is a product that I know and understand best. Plus, it is because I have a great deal of respect for the Lightroom engineering team, particularly Mark Hamburg and Thomas Knoll. The engineers at Adobe have a great track record for producing innovative solutions to complex problems.

What I like most about Lightroom is the way it has streamlined the workflow, cutting out some of the unnecessarily complex decisions, such as configuring the color management settings. By the time Lightroom 1.0 is released, I anticipate that I will be able to set up an import template for the day’s shoot, determine how the captures will be renamed, choose what metadata I want to apply and, if I wish, set up the camera to shoot in tethered mode. From there on, Lightroom will automatically rename everything, make backup copies of all the raw captures and automatically embed all the required metadata. When I want to make a set of contact prints, I will have a template ready to create contact sheets that memorizes the print settings. If I want to upload a set of pictures to a website, it’s a matter of selecting a pre-configured upload template, entering a name for the site title and site page and clicking ‘Upload’. It’s the ease of use that has won me over.

I know we are not going to see everything we need in version 1.0 of Lightroom. Even if the team manages to pull out all the stops to add the features they have yet planned for version 1.0, it won’t be enough. But, in my opinion, it’s still a very noteworthy and promising start and a product that has a great future.

Who is The Adobe Lightroom Book aimed at?
Lightroom is targeted at digital photographers. One of the main aims has been to keep the program as uncomplex as possible, so in keeping with that goal, I decided that the book should offer clear guidance on how to use the program to the full. I tried to avoid going into technical analysis of how the program works, but it seems that a lot of people want to know as much detail as possible. I have therefore decided to provide an appendix to contain all the supplementary technical information. In the end, the book should be approachable enough to welcome the newcomer to digital imaging, but not disappoint those advanced users who want to know things like how the library metadata and thumbnail cache information is stored.

As with my previous books, my aim is not just to describe the features in a program but to provide a meaningful context as well and give examples of why, when and where you would want to use a particular feature.

Why a Rough Cut edition of the book? Please explain.
This is something new that Peachpit has gotten involved with and I believe I am their first guinea pig author! The idea is that readers can download a copy of the book while it is a ‘work in progress’. It is an option that allows you to get hold of book information in advance of publication. The Rough Cut that has just gone on sale I finished editing about 6-7 weeks ago. The important thing to stress here is that it is a ‘rough cut’. This is not the finished edited version. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are included at no extra cost! I have almost completed the first draft of the book now, which is about 300 pages, so we will probably be releasing at least one further rough cut edition in another 6-7 weeks and the next release will contain a comprehensive list of chapter contents, including descriptions of the image management, slideshow and web modules. Because this is a public beta, I am able to publish an advanced extract ahead of publication. So I probably see this as a one-off opportunity only. But it will be interesting to hear back from readers to see if they feel it has been worthwhile or not. From what I understand, Rough Cut is a new program and some kinks are being worked out. My editor says she welcomes feedback, comments or questions. You can email her at:

Will you continue writing books about Photoshop?
Of course! I have plans to continue writing about Photoshop for Photographers. I think it is 10 years now since I wrote my first book on Photoshop and I will soon be about to start work on my eighth edition in the series. I confess that the presence of Lightroom, along with the other changes that I referred to, do in some ways make it tougher to know how to approach the Photoshop book, because I do feel that Lightroom is providing a better alternative and more complete solution for a digital photography workflow. On the other hand, the Photoshop and Bridge teams are never ones to sit on their laurels and NOT make improvements. So one should expect to see further refinements to the Bridge Photoshop workflow. But I better not say any more than that! What I can say, though, is that I cannot afford to make the Photoshop book any bigger and I am therefore going to be concentrating more in future on describing just the tools photography Photoshop users really need to use. At one point I used to try to write about everything that was new in Photoshop. But as the Photoshop program has become more diverse in its graphical applications, I think it has become ever more important to focus the book to describe the photography tools only.

Do you enjoy the writing process?
The novelist Evelyn Waugh was once asked what he liked most about writing, to which he replied “having written”! I think every writer can sympathize with that sentiment. The most demanding thing about writing a technical software guide is that when you have to describe a new feature, there are no previous manuals for reference. We technical authors usually have to work it all out for ourselves. But, as they say, the best way to learn something is to work out how to teach it to others. It is very satisfying when you have completed work on a book to look back at what is all your own work. In my case, I shoot most of the photographs used in the book as well as laying out the text using InDesign.

Will you be speaking at any events in the near future?
The Lightroom book has taken up most of my time this year and I have had to keep myself busy working at the computer. Consequently, I have had to turn down quite a number of speaking invitations. However, it looks like I may be speaking one day at Photokina in Germany this September (look out for me on the Adobe stand) and I will also be speaking at PhotoPlus Expo in November, again at the Adobe theatre (I won’t be providing any sessions in the main halls downstairs this year). So if anyone intends visiting either of these shows, please do come along (they are free)!

About Martin Evening

Martin Evening by Jeff Schewe

Martin Evening is the author of Photoshop CS2 for Photographers published by Focal Press.

Based in London, Martin is an advertising photographer and noted expert in both photography and digital imaging. As a successful photographer, Martin is well known in London for his fashion and beauty work. Check out Martin’s web site.

In addition, Martin is a principal of PixelGenius where he designed and was product manger for the recently released PhotoKit Color 2. PhotoKit Color 2 was recently awarded 4/5 Mice by MacWorld Magazine.

Martin also works with the Adobe Photoshop engineering team consulting on new feature development and alpha and beta testing. He worked alpha & beta for Photoshop CS2 and was influential in the new Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw 3.0.

5 Responses to “The Adobe Lightroom Book, new book, new concept”

  1. mel Says:

    Where’s his kilt & bottle shot? :)

  2. Sune Says:

    Judging from the photo he looks really happy about this book release :)

  3. Coop Says:

    Hope he didn’t use Lightroom on the headshot – the forehead and cheek are blown out! LOL

  4. Martin Evening Says:

    I have no idea if Jeff used Lightroom or not to process this portrait. But I guess it depends on how people view web images – not an easy thing to control. Actually, on closer inspection it looks like he was quite conservative on setting the highlight point – he preserved lots of info. Now, if you want to see bad photographs, you should have seen some of the pictures Jeff took at our wedding! (just kidding Jeff) :-)

    Sorry Folks, no kilt shots. Even though I do have some Scottish ancestry, I could never compete with Bruce.

  5. PSN Editorial Staff Says:

    You mean, like this one Martin?

    You can see the rest of Martin’s wedding shots at: A Wedding Story


    [don't mess with the Godfather...]

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