About The Lightroom Library Tutorials…
Photographs © George A. Jardine
There are a lot of tutorials out there, and many of them are very good. So if you’ve landed on this page, I think it’s likely that you’re wondering just how these tutorials here are any different from the others. My tutorials are different for two reasons. First, because they are carefully scripted and produced with an unwavering eye on maintaining a clear structure. Which you just don’t find out there in the sea of instructors. But I feel they are also different because they’re about a lot more than just the Lightroom Library. They are about your digital photo management, because that has to be the first step. Of course, all of this is really about your photography, but this is the foundation. Before you do anything else, you have to deal with your library. Because if you don’t fix that, you may not ever find the time… or the passion, for the important stuff.
The idea for this tutorial series was born out of my discovery that most of the students in my workshops were struggling when it came to building a photo library that actually worked. And so I set about scripting the first set of Library videos. It was very early in that process that I discovered something even more horrifying—my own photo library was in no better condition than most of my student’s libraries! And so to build that first series of videos, I found that I had to work backwards. If you don’t have a guide, you have to actually build the thing, then work with it as it grows over several years to find out what works, and to gain some insight into where it doesn’t work.
Thanks to the years I had spent thinking about the problem and interviewing successful photographers during the development of Lightroom, I had most of the basic ideas stored away. I just hadn’t organized them, into a coherent structure. Sort of like… building a library, I guess.
And so my goal for the Library series was to start from the very beginning, and build up a logical and systematic structure for you, that would make dealing with your photos a pleasure. Seriously! I love working with my photos now that they are organized. I never wonder where things belong, and I can find any photo that I’m looking for in just seconds. Out of thousands upon thousands. So that’s the goal. Yes, if you already have a large library that’s a mess, it will take some time and effort to clean it up. But the effort you expend doing that, will be repaid back to you over and over again, with many years of pleasure, rather than growing frustration. Not to mention how easy your daily workflow becomes.
In the process of finally knuckling down and getting your library organized, a transformation takes place. Having a streamlined library means that you have lots more time for the thing that brought you here in the first place: your photography.
You can find an independent review of the tutorials on a respected industry newsletter, here.
About The Lightroom Develop Tutorials…
Once your library is under control, then Develop becomes the focus. And this is where the fun begins! Develop turned out to be its own special challenge, because again, it’s not what it appears to be on the surface. There are millions of tutorials out there that show you how to use the sliders. But for me, Develop is all about making your pictures look good. And so, how do you teach that?
My approach with the Develop series has been to use lots of examples, and then to dig down into the thinking behind each tool, which very few authors do. And at the same time, I try to give you some perspective about “color correction” in general. Because there is no such thing! Fine art reproduction aside, so-called color correction is really all about just two things: 1) learning how to trust your eyes, and then 2) learning how to use the tools to make your pictures look good!
My students are always asking me for more examples on how to “tune-up” their photos. And I think it’s such a great exercise, that I try to provide as many real-world, professional examples as I can. I use numerous examples to show you just exactly what the essence of each tool in Lightroom and Camera Raw is. Because that’s really the fun of it. As it turns out, getting past the minor intimidation of all those sliders, and on to a real mastery of the tools is what my tutorials are all about. Once you understand the tools, you’ll find that “correcting” your photos is fun! And you’ll become a better photographer in the process.
And so that’s it! If you have not yet watched one of the free sample videos, I hope you will check out this page, which contains links to all the free stuff, videos, magazine articles, and everything else. About availability, you will notice that each of my series can be purchased “online”, via paypal, or on a DVD from Amazon. Links to each product can be found in the column on your right. For those of you who prefer the less expensive online version, notice that I always offer links to download the video files. Just send an email to me at (email@example.com), and I’ll shoot you the links, so that you can watch them offline, or load them directly onto your iPad.
Finally, if you would like to be notified when we announce new products, just drop your e-mail address here, and I’ll put you on the list.