In the old days, when I needed a break from working on a book, I’d make a social phone call, or tidy up my desk, or go for a walk. Now I poke around the internet and spend way too much time looking at book ratings on amazon.com. I just noticed, for example that amazon lists no less than seven books on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, including the one I’m madly trying to finish. Seven books! And the product, as of this date, still hasn’t shipped. (Apple Aperture, Lightroom’s direct competitor, has only a couple books about it, and it’s been shipping for over a year!)
I’m in impressive company. Martin Evening, Tim Gray, Scott Kelby, Rob Sheppard, John Beardsworth, John Blair, and Matt Kloskowski. I know several of these authors and they are really good at what they do. So why so many books? The fact is, since very early in the products development Adobe actively sought as much input as possible and created a very large tent with room for us all.
Most everyone knows about the Lightroom public beta program that Adobe started a year ago and about 600,000 folks downloaded the beta. But more than two and a half years ago Adobe very quietly brought in a number of us professionals and asked our opinion on what was basically a bunch of screen shots of a potential product.
Not long after that several Adobe personnel, lead by George Jardine, came to my photo studio south of market in San Francisco and looked over my shoulder during a commercial shoot. They did this with other professionals across the country and abroad. Adobe continued seeking input last summer when they agreed to sponsor the Lightroom Iceland Adventure, which I organized. 12 professional photographers joined Adobe personnel in Iceland and successfully road tested Lightroom in real-world conditions.
So, here we are, on the eve of Lightroom’s ship date (Feburary 19th), and a lot of us feel the product contains a part of us. Adobe has wisely gotten us vested in Lightroom by listening and responding to what we said. This has also led to at least seven of us writing books to be published in the same 3-month window.
I am especially excited about my book, which is just about finished. It won’t be your typical software book, even though it is full of valuable technical information, techniques and tips. I have at my disposal all the incredible imagery produced by the Adobe Iceland Adventure team and you better believe I’m having a lot of fun filling the book with their photographs. It’s my dream Photoshop Lightroom Adventure will not only honor Lightroom the product,, but photography the medium.
Ok, enough distractions. I gotta get back to work.
PS. I just checked amazon.com again. Did you know there are 4,790 Photoshop books listed? And I thought seven was a lot!