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Review: Michael Frye’s “Landscapes in Lightroom 5: A Step-by-Step Guide”



California landscape photographer Michael Frye recently published his latest ebook, “Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide“, and it’s a good one.  I mean, really good.  I’ve been using Lightroom for seven years and I’ve read countless books and online tutorials, all of which have contributed significantly to my proficiency with the software.  Michael’s ebook is as good as they come.  In a nutshell, here’s why I think it’s well worth the $15 investment:

An ebook is no good if it isn’t easy to buy, download and use.   ”Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide” was easy to purchase on Michael’s website and is delivered as a PDF that downloaded to my iPad without any hiccups.  Most importantly, it is laid out in a logical, easy to use and attractive format.

There’s a lot of content here, folks.  Really, really  good content.  Some “how-to” books are too basic while others cater to those who are experienced users of the software.  Michael strikes a good balance of both and as a result, you’ll find value in the ebook regardless of your proficiency with Lightroom.

To many, myself included, the tools in Lightroom’s “Develop” module are a bit of a mystery.  Sure, we may have a pretty good idea of what they are and how to use them, but each new version of Lightroom brings new tools and updates to old ones, some of which are significant.  Michael did his research and is able to explain each tool in depth, but in a way that the average person can easily understand.  I learned things about several of the tools that I use daily, and I think having that knowledge will make me more adept at using each tool.

We’re all unique and we each learn best in different ways.  For some of us, just reading about a new technique is sufficient while others may pick it up quicker by watching a video.  Michael recognizes this and has included several video tutorials that cover some of the more complex topics.  I found the video tutorials to be very helpful.

Yet another way people learn is by doing.  Michael has included sample workflows wherein he walks you through step-by-step as he processes six unique images, each with different challenges.  He even provides a link to the actual DNG files for each image so you can download the unprocessed RAW files and import them into Lightroom so you can edit them yourself.  This is huge.  It’s almost like getting a one-on-one Lightroom workshop with Michael.  This alone would make the ebook worth $15 (or more, actually).

Landscapes in Lightroom 5: A Step-by-Step Guide” is an excellent ebook for all photographers.  If you’ve never used Lightroom I recommend you start with another book, Nat Coalson’s excellent “Photoshop Lightroom 5: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process“.  Nat’s book begins at the ground level with importing and organizing your images in Lightroom and then delves into the editing and other features of the software.  Once you’re comfortable with the basics, “Landscapes in Lightroom 5: A Step-by-Step Guide” will be a great supplement to your library that will help you fine tune your processing skills.