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Mar 27, 2013

Phlearn Reviews SLR Lounge: Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection

Phlearn Reviews and Our Overall Thoughts

So right off the bat our Phlearn review will concur that  this is an incredibly well-done DVD series. There’s like 27 hours of content in it. It’s all extremely professional and your host is Post-Production Pye. What I really loved about this is it’s not like a money grab, it’s not like, “Oh, we can make DVDs and sell them for a lot of money.” Pye is a super genuine guy and he’s basically in charge of the production for a wedding and a portrait studio doing all the post production, over 500,000 images per year.

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Basically he developed this really great system having done this year after year of having to look through millions, literally millions of images and produce over 100 weddings for this company every single year. So he came up with a really great system of editing, culling the images, choosing the images that you actually want to have edited, choosing your picks, editing them, applying presets, just basically making this very quick and easy and getting a system in place to where you can manage a lot files, a lot of images at the same time. So he developed a system kind of out of necessity and that’s what he’s bringing you guys in this DVD series. So it’s just awesome.

Lightroom A-Z Tutorials

If you guys are relatively new to Lightroom, I recommend starting here. This is the third DVD and this is the A-to-Z tutorial. Basically it takes you through Lightroom. If you’ve never even opened the program before, by the end of this DVD you guys are going to be really great. What was really cool is I’ve been using Lightroom for years so I knew quite a bit of this, but they make it really easy for the advanced users to kind of skip through the beginner stuff, and I learned some sick techniques.

My favorite technique that I actually learned through these DVDs was I could get rid of all those different modules. I could kind of “hack” Lightroom. So, you know at the top you have your library and you have develop and then you have the map and web and slideshow and print and all? I don’t use any of that stuff, and they showed me how to hack Lightroom so none of it shows up. It takes up less of the system resources and now I can just focus on what I actually do. So, really cool systems about actually making Lightroom fit your needs and getting the most out of the program.

Lightroom Preset System

The next DVD is the Lightroom 4 preset system, and while the workflow DVD was all about how to actually use Lightroom, this is going to be your bread and butter when it comes to actually editing. The reason is they created these amazing presets that really just take care of most of your editing for you, and I can tell you, before this I really was not a big fan of presets and plug-ins. You guys know from watching Phlearn that I don’t use any plug-ins, but they kind of changed my mind about that.

I used one of these presets last night on some images we took around the studio and they made them way better. I posted them on Twitter and people were like, “Wow, those are really nice.” And I was like, “Yeah, I just pushed the button that I got from these guys.” So I felt kind of bad because I teach Photoshop, but they really are good. The thing that I like the most is that the way they named them, and I know it sounds like a small detail, but the way they named them wasn’t like “cherry sunburst” or like “a midsummer’s day.” All the descriptions say basically exactly what you’re going to get. So the whole system, it makes complete sense. You can just kind of look through, you can scroll through and see the previews really quickly and easily and you know exactly what you’re going to be getting before you do these presets.

Lightroom Workflow

I really love the workflow DVD. It’s really great because a lot people don’t really have a really nice system in place, or if they do have a system it’s just kind of something they developed on their own which, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, but getting something that’s a little more standardized and something that makes a lot more sense from someone who’s been doing this a long time really will help out. Everything from shooting to importing, archive, working with catalogues, syncing, developing, culling, exporting, archiving- I already said archiving, but they go over it twice, maybe- All of these things are covered in this DVD.

So it’s basically everything from when you actually shoot to delivering the pictures. The entire workflow is catalogued and it’s in a way that’s going to make it a lot easier for you guys to get a system in place to where you can just kind of run through these images, get some really great results out of it, and not take a lot of time doing it. I thought it was really cool because this was actually developed by photographers and what that means is that they’re not just going over what’s going on in Lightroom.

All these people are actually the photographers who took these pictures as well, so they go over some really great tips on what you can do during your photoshoot to make sure your process of culling and editing, developing, editing, and syncing, all that stuff is going to be a lot smoother and easier, and delivering your products is going to be a lot faster. So all the way from shooting all the way to post-production, they just go through the entire process and it makes it really cohesive and very easy to understand, and it should make you guys a lot faster.

Conclusion

If you are a wedding and portrait photographer and want your workflow to rock and produce some great stylized images in the process, this DVD is perfect for you.

After making several hundred video tutorials for Phlearn I have a good idea of what it takes to produce them well, and SLR Lounge did everything right. There is some serious value here and I am happy to have found a comprehensive product that does such a good job explaining the ins and outs of Lightroom.

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