Thursday, March 6, 2008

The best Lightroom training DVD I have seen...

I just finished watching "Kubota RAW workflow for Lightroom" from Kevin Kubota and all I can say is WOW!

Well, actually there is much more I can say, so here goes:

First, the DVD title does not accurately represent all of the information that you will be getting. Before you you get into serious Lightroom techniques Kevin first takes the time to show you the folder/file technique he uses for his own clients on his own hard drive. I thought the system that I had in place was pretty cool, but after seeing what Kevin had to offer, mine has been scrapped and replaced with what he taught me.

Kevin's folder structure and how he stores his files works and blends seamlessly with the client database he uses for his own photography business, as I was watching him demonstrate how it worked all I could think was "Man, this is exactly what I have been looking for" and just as that thought cleared the front of my brain Kevin announces that the viewers of the DVD can download the database for FREE!

Let me share with you just a little bit about the database, first, it runs without an installer which means you can copy it to a thumb drive or external hard drive (and run it from there if you want) or burn it to a CD and move it to another computer and it will work perfectly. It is searchable in about any way you can imagine (name, date, type of shoot, keywords, etc.) and it also comes with all kinds of workflow checklists. It will keep track of where on the computer (or network) that clients files are stored, it will tell you if a backup CD was made, if the images were edited, proofs have been completed, or have been uploaded to the web, it will also tell you who in your studio completed these tasks and remind you to send a thank you note to the client. This is just some of what it can do.

As you can imagine this database has also been incorporated into my new "Kevin Kubota" workflow.

This DVD costs $79 dollars and had it ended there, I would have considered it money VERY well spent and gladly have given Kevin a full mouth kiss to boot, but this was just scratching the surface of what was to come.

Next Kevin walks you through setting up your Lightroom preferences - not just telling you which of the default settings should be changed to optimize your workflow, but why - so you will know AND understand why your Lightroom settings are what they are. Kevin also takes the time to explain all the preferences that are being left to the factory defaults.

By the time the section on preferences is completed you fully realize that it's about optimization, speed and efficiency, but never at the cost of quality. It's about increasing your productivity, increasing your studios revenue while giving the client the best product possible.

There is a chapter/section on presets, so that as your proficiency and artistic Lightroom skills improve, you can create your own presets, but I bought the Kubota Lightroom Presets (they sell for a mere $20) and have been using them for some time, they're far better than anything I could have put together myself.

When I saw the chapter title on "file management, importing and editing", I thought to myself that "Heck, I've been importing images into Lightroom for some time, what's the big deal", well, the big deal is that Kevin will show you how to do it in a way that anyone who wants to run a professional studio should do it. I learned Kevin knows WAY more than me. And I am sure neither he or you are surprised by that last statement.

There were two things I learned in this chapter that I thought outstanding, one was how to get the images in correct chronological order when they have been shot in two different cameras whose clocks had not been synchronized, (way cool as I shoot weddings with two cameras and this has been a problem in the past) and the other was how to use the color labels to flag images in a way that will optimize your workflow later.

As you browse through the images the first time, flag the images you'll want to convert to black & white with say a yellow flag, those you'll want to tweak with a red flag, etc... what a great idea/tool for sorting and batch processing these images later. Talk about time saving!

Kevin goes through each of the Lightroom modules in detail, but I'll stop at this point so that when you get your copy of "Kubota RAW workflow for Lightroom" there will be plenty of "knowledge bombs" to shock and awe you.

This DVD is just over three hours of "Lightroom altering" videos, a printable Quick Start guide, 116 page workbook and many online resources that add and expand upon the information Kevin provides. So if you are serious about using Lightroom as part of photographic workflow, this DVD is not a "want", it's a "must".

There have been seminars and training DVD's where the only thing I learned was that the instructor was smart, but none of their knowledge made it to the students. Kevin has a great teaching style, he does not seem to take himself too seriously, but he is serious about sharing with us what he knows (which is a great deal).

And you really can't ask for more than that. Thank you Kevin Kubota.

Go here to learn more about Kevin and see some of his beautiful images, or here to learn more about his workshops.

7 comments:

Seshu said...

Scott - Finally a sane review. I am buying my copy today. Thanks for this.

Tom said...

Thanks for this review. I have several Lightroom books (all of them excellent and I've gotten some great info from them) but I ordered this DVD and within the first 3 minutes, I learned some valuable workflow tips from Kevin! I messed around with it in Filemaker and have made some quick modifications to make it work even better for me. Thanks again Scott. Really enjoying your blog!

Shena Kaye said...

Hi there,

I really enjoyed reading your blog. It was like you were right here talking to me. You did a wonderful job on the review...now I will just have to go buy my copy.

Thanks for taking time to share with us. I always love finding big brother type of personalities who are good at trying something and telling honest feedback so I don't get burned.

Have a good day.
Till next blog.

shena kaye
poeticimagesstudio.com

Donte said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Joannah

http://transcendmemory.net

Scott said...

Thank you for your kind words, and for taking the time to read my blog.

Scott

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Miguel Palaviccini said...

Even though this was meant for the original LR, i bet that some of the tips are VERY helpful. Especially this one ... "Kevin first takes the time to show you the folder/file technique he uses for his own clients on his own hard drive"