New eBook – Essential Development

In Craft & Vision, e-books, Lightroom & Workflow, Resources, Tutorials &Technique by David14 Comments

There are a couple voices I listen to when it comes to tweaking my own skills with Lightroom – Piet van Den Eynde and Sean McCormack. Lightroom keeps changing, and most of us don’t have time to dig around under the hood to learn it all. Fortunately these two gentlemen know Lightroom extremely well, and have the ability to teach it clearly. Sean McCormack is a new author to Craft & Vision, but he’s been writing the Lightroom Blog for ages and his stuff is always really helpful. So when Sean and I started talking about how he could become part of the C&V family, I asked him to distill everything he knows into one short eBook. He humoured me and pretended to do exactly that, when what he did, is in fact, way better. He wrote a really big book called Essential Development, 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4, and focused on the Develop module, because that’s where we spend most of our time.

Essential Development is a killer value. Sean’s divided it into 20 chapters, among them: Understanding The Histogram, Making White White, Beauty Retouching, Dodge & Burn for Beauty, Cross Processing, Achieving a Filmic Look, Image Toning, Tilt Shift, Effective Sharpening, and Correcting Lens Issues. That’s half of them. Then he said, Hey, what if I make a set of Lightroom Presets available as well? So we did that too.

I wrote a book about Lightroom, albeit Lightroom 3, but I still learned some really great stuff in Sean’s book. Whether you’re just looking to tweak your knowledge of Lightroom since the jump from LR3 to LR4, or you’ve been waiting for a great resource that doesn’t bog you down in Library modules and Print templates, you’ll get way more than $5 worth of value out of this. The screenshots are clear and large, and the writing is concise. It’s over 120 spreads long, and fluff-free.

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We’re offering Essential Development a little differently than we usually do, with two options. The first is the PDF eBook for $5, the second is the PDF of Essential Development, Essential Development Toolbox (a folder of 85 Lightroom presets), and a short PDF instruction manual to help with the installation and catalog some of the presets, all for $6 instead of the eventual $7 (see codes below). Presets are a great way to cut down your editing time, and while I use them only as a starting point, they sure can be helpful. With 85 of them, there are presets here for a range of styles and tastes. Like I said with the last eBook, if you can’t get something solid out of this eBook, you should be teaching this stuff.

The Add to Cart button above is for the full package (incl. presets) – to receive $1 off enter the discount code DEVELOP6 and to get 20% off 5+ eBooks enter the discount code DEVELOP20 (these codes expire Tuesday, October 23 at 11:59 PM PST).

To download the basic $5 PDF of Essential Development please visit Craft&Vision.


  1. Kat

    I’m so excited about this package! I’ve transitioned from LR3 to LR4 but have barely begun to learn the differences. This is exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  2. Noel

    There’s no option to buy the $5 PDF on the C&V site. It says $5 but clicking on the bu PDF still leads you to the $7 bundle.

    1. Author

      Hey Noel. So it’s like this. Once in a while, in the rush to get all the buttons pointing to the right place that, ahem, we totally screw up. The link’s been fixed and you can now buy the $5 PDF without the bundle. Gotta go wipe the egg off my face now. :-) Thanks for letting us know!!

    1. Tom Beans

      What is this “Aperture” you speak of? 😉

      In all seriousness, this is a great little package. Lots of solid info here as to what’s actually happening and being affected with the Lightroom sliders. Throw in the presets for what, right now, is essentially an extra $1 and you can’t lose. Great filler until I can pony up the money for Schewe’s new Lightroom/Raw processing book to totally geek out on. Thanks David for another outstanding Craft and Vision piece. They’re the best ebook value out there anywhere.

  3. Pingback: Five for Friday – October 19, 2012 » K. Rox Photography | Photography by Kelly R Patton | Brooklyn NY Child and Family Portrait Photographer

  4. Maarten Crump

    David, I bought and read a lot of your books as well as a load of the Craft&Vision-series. Good value for money. This ebook is also worth reading. And it is nice that the author gives you some presets for LR4. This time I was stunned by the presets. For instance: saturation 0/15/30/50/75/10 and the same with vibrance, etc. My opinion: add some interesting presets or no presets at all. It’s not a moneything. This does’nt make sense. Normally I am very content about the C&V-series. This time it’s like buying a manual for Office with macro’s for the shortcuts CTRL+V etc 😉

    1. David duChemin

      Maarten, (and Pascal) Sean’s purpose in the presets was as he stated in the book, not solely about new recipes, but about the creation of a toolbox that, when used in conjunction with the preview pane, would allow users to more efficiently preview changes with specific settings. This isn’t going to fit with everyone’s workflow or preference. If we miscommunicated on this, then that fault’s mine, not Sean’s. Personally, it’s not the way I work, either, but for a lot of people, the ability to preview changes in this specific way is valuable. Of course, I don’t use presets as recipes either, more as starting points for new aesthetics, and Sean’s eBook was about workflow, and less about specific aesthetics.

      All that said, thank you for the feedback and the willingness to express it clearly and without malice. That’s rarer than it should be online. I hope the rest of the book provided great value to you.

      1. Maarten Crump

        David, Thanks for your reply. Of course it’s not a vital question. On the other hand it was my first real point of critique to the C&V-series, which I really enjoy. I am happy with your explanation. On the C&V-site one can read: “… and with 85 of them there are presets here for a range of styles and tastes.” That’s what made me curious about the presets-package.

        I’m glad you accept my feedback and took the time to reply to one of your groupies 😉

        “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.” (Groucho Marx)

  5. Pascal

    Hate to say it, but I think you’ve got a point, Maarten. At first I wondered what the preset called ‘saturation 0’ would do, but then I found out; it actually sets back saturation to 0! From that
    point on, 80 % of the presets became only too obvious – and therefore not so very useful (as in: I want to buy those!) – to me… But, seriously, maybe we are missing something!?

  6. Richard

    Think the “simple” preset are useful because you get a very quick mouseover preview in steps so you can make an easy decision.

    best regards

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