5 Best Books on how to use Lightroom and get better at editing your flower photos
I guess if you landed on this page, you must be looking for the best Lightroom book to help you learn editing? I have quite a few, so hopefully, one will match your needs if you read on!
My journey with Lightroom started about five years ago. Initially, to edit my flower pictures, I used Photoshop. However, I was finding it just too complicated. The number of tools, the actions I had to do, masks, layers, blending modes … for the beginner like myself, the whole process was just overwhelming. So I decided to look for another program.
I tried Luminar, ON1, Exposure, Affinity, and although the development of all these apps went a long way, at that time, I chose Adobe Lightroom Classic. Ok, I got it as a part of my Creative Cloud plan, but it was more about how easy it was, how fast I was getting things done (both editing and organizing my flower pictures), and all the different modules (Library, Develop, Slideshow, Book and Print).
As soon as I downloaded the app, I started to look for the best book on Lightroom. Yes, there are hundreds of online training courses on how to use Lightroom and probably thousands of free youtube videos about Lightroom editing. And yes, some of these are super useful. But I really wanted a book. Maybe I am a bit old school, I just like paperback books, holding something physical in front of me and making notes as I learn. For me, books work best every time I want to learn new software.
Ok, If I were to recommend one online course on using Lightroom – it would have to be the “Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide” with Ben Willmore. Again, I’ve seen a few on CreativeLive, Udemy and Skillshare, but this is the one I liked the most of all I purchased.
Back to the books. At that time (and as far as I am aware now) there was no book on how to use Lightroom specifically for flower photography. So I bought what I could find and I adapted the tools and techniques for my needs.
Probably 75% of all the pictures I take are flowers. But in my library (Lightroom catalog), I have a fair amount of portraits, landscapes, architecture, night shots, products, abstract, family, travel, street… 33876 pictures. Since I got these books and studied them – and practised !!! My photography and editing skills improved exponentially. One of my best investments of time and money!
Fast forward, I now use Lightroom for over 90% of all my edits. I started offering Lightroom workshops and one-to-one training, plus I am writing a pdf ebook “Lightroom for Flower Photographers”. If you would like to learn more – please feel free to join my mailing list or drop me an email.
Without further ado, below are my top 5 recommendations.
My Top 5 recommendations for Best books to learn Lightroom Classic and CC
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Classroom in a Book (2021 release)
- The Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Video Book
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ (2nd Edition): Real Answers to Real Questions Asked by Lightroom Users
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC – Edit Like a Pro
- The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Book for Digital Photographers
by Rafael Concepcion
Classroom in a Book is the first training manual that I bought about Lightroom. Ok, to tell the truth, I have the 2016 and 2020 edition, but I am linking this to the 2021 edition which should be released very soon.
“Classroom in a Book” is the best-selling series of hands-on software training workbooks developed with the support of Adobe product experts. Whether I was learning Lightroom, Photoshop or Illustrator, this was always my first choice.
Written by Rafael Concepcion, Photoshop Lightroom Classic offers what no other book or training program does – an official training curriculum for Adobe Lightroom.
Apart from that, in my opinion, this is also the fastest, easiest, and by far the most comprehensive way to learn Lightroom Classic.
It contains lessons that cover the basics and beyond, providing countless tips and techniques to help you become more productive. You can follow the book from start to finish or choose only those lessons that interest you.
It is a hefty volume – 432 pages – so it will take time to read and do the exercises. After each chapter there is also a showcase of a famous photographer – pics are amazing. But if you value knowledge and like learning something in-depth – this is the book to get!
If you decide to purchase the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Classroom in a Book (2021 release) you will also get access to the online features:
- Downloadable lesson files you need to work through the projects in the book.
- Web Edition containing the complete text of the book, interactive quizzes, and videos that walk you through the lessons step by step.
Another great book from Rafael is “The Enthusiast’s Guide to Lightroom: 50 Photographic Principles You Need to Know“.
– by Tony Northrup
The Classroom in a Book is excellent, but this gem from Tony is also superb, and I highly recommend it to everyone. This was the second book on Lightroom I purchased.
The fonts are bigger, images larger, the book just reads faster, and feels easier to digest. Apart from the printed book (290 pages), you are also getting access to 14 hours of video on Lightroom Classic and CC.
I would typically start with a book, then watch a video. There are links to download free presets and raw images for practice.
If you feel that you learn better by watching videos, just scan the code and watch the training. Later grab the book to read more or just to make notes for yourself.
Tony is straight forward and doesn’t waste time. He is not just about teaching how to use Lightroom, but why and how would you want to use a particular tool or technique. I liked it.
Tony explains pretty much all that you need – not getting too advanced/complicated. Finding pictures in the library, fixing common problems (correcting exposure, sharpening, noise reduction), cleaning up dust spots (I use it to fix petals and imperfections), adding a bit of pop to pictures (I use vivid camera profile or a boost of vibrance +12 and saturation +3), tips on retouching portraits, creating photo books, and more… Highly recommended!
As the name suggests, “The Missing FAQ” is designed as a conversational FAQ-style reference book.
I have the previous edition – Lightroom CC/6. Thick and heavy – 596 pages. Great buy! Nice size of the font, tips, shortcuts, plenty of images, diagrams, screengrabs, etc…
All your questions answered! So plenty of: “How do I fix / apply / install / edit / organize…”, “Should I …”, “Is there a way …”, “What are the …”, “Why use …” and more.
If you are new to Lightroom, you will probably like the Fast Track sections. These are short tutorials that guide you through a simple workflow, allowing you to gain confidence; before diving into more advanced techniques. In addition, this second edition includes a new chapter on the concepts behind editing photos and how these translate into Lightroom adjustments. Ideal for anyone new to photo editing.
Victoria doesn’t just lay the theory of how Lightroom’s supposed to work, but offers the workarounds and solutions for the times when Lightroom doesn’t behave the way you’d expect, as well as more in-depth technical explanations to help you get the best from Lightroom.
If you get stuck on something – you will find an answer in this book!
Some books on Lightroom can feel a bit out-of-date within a few months when the program’s next version is released. This book is a bit different. Victoria updates her eBooks every time Adobe updates the software, so you can always have the latest information! If you register your paperback book online, you will get a year’s complimentary Lightroom Classic Premium Membership on the Lightroom Queen website. Granting you access to the eBook updates, email assistance and more.
Please note – buy this book only if you are going to use the Adobe Lightroom Classic – NOT the CC cloud.
If you are going to use the cloud version, please check the book below – “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC – Edit Like a Pro”.
– by Victoria Bampton
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC – Edit Like a Pro also comes from Victoria Bampton (probably better known as the “Lightroom Queen”). Written in a conversational style with hundreds of illustrations and diagrams, this book is very easy to read and understand, even if you’re new to photography.
The book starts by explaining what the workflow is. How to add pictures to Lightroom, organize them and add metadata to make them easy to find. In the next lessons, you’ll learn how to analyze an image like a professional, use the best tools to quickly achieve your desired results, and finally print or share your work online. Very similar layout and ration text/images like the book above about the Classic version.
Again, if you register your printed copy, you will get a complimentary Premium Membership. (Access to the eBook updates and email assistance).
Please note – buy this book only if you use the Adobe Lightroom CC. The Adobe cloud ecosystem to synchronize online photos from your desktop, mobile phones and/or tablets.
If you are using Lightroom Classic (desktop version), consider the book above – “Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ”.
Scott Kelby’s The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers is another classic! Advertised as world’s #1 top-selling Lightroom book – who knows…
Scott is an award-winning photographer and author, and the original “Photoshop Guy”, plus the CEO of the above mentioned KelbyOne.
I also have his books on Photoshop and studio lighting – “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It“, and a subscription to KelbyOne – an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. Apart from access to hundreds of excellent courses, I get Photoshop and Lightroom User Magazines every month.
In his book, Scott doesn’t just show which sliders do what. He shares all his settings, techniques, insights, and invaluable tips – step-by-step in plain-English. He is telling which methods work best, which ones to avoid, and why.
Expect to learn:
- Step by step system how to organize your images, make a backup, and, importantly, find them quickly and easily later!
- The whole process of editing (fixing problems and enhancing images), how to make your pictures look even better by taking advantage of the new RAW camera, creative, and B&W profiles.
- How to use Lightroom along with Photoshop, and how to make the two work together.
- There’s a full chapter on how to use Lightroom on your mobile device to expand Lightroom’s power.
- The last chapter sets this book apart because this is where Scott answers his #1 most-asked Lightroom question, which is “Exactly what order am I supposed to do things in?” So you’ll see his entire start-to-finish Lightroom workflow and learn how to incorporate it into your workflow.
Apart from images for practice, Scott is also giving away some of his most favourite Lightroom presets.
Like many other editing apps, Lightroom has an official user manual. Unfortunately, Adobe hasn’t updated it for quite some time. The last version is from 2018, and since then, we have seen some important updates and changes. But still, there is so much you can learn from it! Definitely worth a try. Especially that this ebook Lightroom pdf is free to download! There are 18 chapters, 278 pages of knowledge!
Apart from the few Lightroom books that I have – sitting neatly on my bookshelf – I keep this pdf on my computer and my mobile.
If I need to find something quickly, all I need is that pdf. Open, run a query, and there is a high chance that the answer will present itself. Et the end there is a whole list of keyboard shortcuts too.
In my opinion, currently, these are some of the best books on how to use Lightroom and edit photos. However, if you come across a publication written specifically for flower photography, please give me a shout in the comments.
Personally, my favourite is the Classroom in a Book. I like the format, the graphics, the exercises, the in-depth explanations. But this is just me.
You can find out more information about each book by clicking on the Amazon buttons. Often there is a special “Look inside” preview, so you can have the feel of how the text/images are laid out. And the style of writing. I am participating in the Amazon Associates Programme and if you decide to buy one of the books – it won’t cost you anything extra – but you will support my flower photography website – thank you!