eBook Review of “Lightroom 4 Unmasked” a Craft & Vision book by Piet Van den Eynde

Well this is a first of a kind for Craft & Vision, a fully fledged instruction manual for Adobe Lightroom. I’ll tip you off on what I think of it; it is a must have if you are a Lightroom user, plain and simple. Other eBook titles have explored and explained certain aspects and techniques that can be used in Lightroom, Dodge & Burn being a good example, none have gone as far as being a definitive manual. I can see where they are coming from, honestly because of how important post processing has become as a step in the image creation process. And like the Craft & Vision authors, I also advocate the use of an image cataloging/editing software such as Lightroom or Aperture simply because the workflow is much more efficient.

Review of “Lightroom 4 Unmasked: A Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom” by Piet Van den Eynde

The first thing you will be struck by in this volume is the sheer size. Weighing in at around four times the size of a typical Craft & Vision eBook, Lightroom 4 Unmasked is an absolute behemoth of an eBook at over 300 pages. They have included some helpful tools to make this more valuable a resource. The eBook offers a great combination of explanation, insight, and practical tips.

  • The Author, Piet Van den Eynde, is an Adobe Certified Expert
  • You are able to search the PDF by keyword, a must if you are searching for help on a specific topic.
  • The Table of Contents is fully hyperlinked, as are many internal references.
  • In word and page count, this PDF is about 4-times the information of a ‘normal’ Craft & Vision eBook.
  • This Lightroom BIG BOOK is up to date, all the way up to Lightroom 4.2.
  • It’s aimed at both beginning Lightroom users and at more advanced ones. It grows with you as your Lightroom knowledge grows.
  • In addition to the regular text, the eBook features 60 cases, 10 of which are pro-cases for advanced users.
  • It’s ideal for upgraders: text boxes labeled ‘New in Lightroom 4’ immediately draw the attention to things that have changed between versions.
  • Two cases also deal specifically with what’s new in Lightroom 4.
  • The BIG BOOK does not limit itself to Lightroom as it comes out of the box, but points the reader to useful third-party applications and plugins that integrate well with Lightroom.
  • It focuses on Lightroom as an entire workflow application. There’s thorough coverage of ALL the modules, not just Library and Develop.
  • An entire chapter deals with the Lightroom to Photoshop integration.

My Take

Due to the sheer size of the book and scope of the content I decided to write this review a little differently. Normally I would highlight particular images or sections of an eBook that inspired me. I try to explain who would benefit the most from a particular eBook. For Lightroom 4 Unmasked, I am going to write from the opposite perspective, who wouldn’t benefit from this eBook. New to Lightroom? Well that’s an easy one, you will totally benefit from this. Newly upgraded? The explanation of the new features in version 4.2 are spelled out in very clear language, with cases studies to match. Are you looking for good quality advise on image workflow, metadata, and file backup? LR4 Unmasked has you covered. Combined with this video from Chase Jarvis about workflow and file backups as well and you will be all set.

I currently don’t use Lightroom as my editor of choice, I am using Aperture, but in my opinion both pieces of software are essentially doing the same thing. I am totally sold on the whole referenced file/non-destructive photo workflow. I use the big guns, programs like Photoshop or Pixelmator, from within Aperture for it to fit into my workflow.  I have used Lightroom in the past. Many of the features were intuitive based on my use of Aperture. But some of the features or tools were frustrating, simply because they worked in a slightly different way than I was used to. After my first glance through the eBook, the first place I headed was to those areas that had given me trouble in the past. Unsurprisingly, those sections, like the rest of the book were laid out well enough to help explain what was going on, and I was able to determine why I was having trouble.

The value and efficiency of the catalog to non-destructive photo editing platform is so great that it is a must in today’s world of photography. Unfortunately many people either don’t know about it, or are afraid to try something new. After this eBook there is no excuse for either of those scenarios.


Craft & Vision Discounts:

Like any other new release of a Craft & Vision book there are two different discounts that apply for the first 7 days of the eBook’s release (November 21 – November 27, 2012).

  1. Get 20% OFF this eBook title using the discount code (Get LR4 for $4): Use discount code LR4FIVE at checkout. (note: expires midnight Nov 27/12)
  2. Check out the bundles & deals on the sidebar or in my Discount Codes page for all the various bundle discounts that exist.
  3. You might want to check out the Piet Van den Eynde Author bundle. All his ebooks for 30% off.
  4. Jump over to the Craft & Vision site: Click here to visit Craft And Vision.

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