Top 10 Best Books to learn editing in Adobe Lightroom Classic and CC
If you are new to Adobe Lightroom, thinking of installing, or maybe already have a library with few hundred pictures – but feeling lost. Don’t delay and get the best Lightroom book!
There are hundreds of online training courses on how to use Lightroom and probably thousands of youtube videos about how to edit photos in Lightroom. Still, nothing will give you the same feeling of having a proper manual in front of you and following along. It might sound like an old school method – but for me, it just works every time I want to learn new software.
Whether you are a beginner or more advanced user, I hope that one of my recommended books will match your needs. I have most of them myself, and I use Adobe Lightroom Classic and the CC cloud version almost daily, so this is not just a random list.
Above all, I like paperback books, holding something physical in front of me and making notes. However, many of these books are also available in Kindle format or as PDF ebook. So you can always have them handy on your computer, tablet or a mobile phone. Think about this if you decide to purchase one. Choose the format that will suit your needs!
My Top 10 recommendations – 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 CC – Edit Like a Pro
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ (2nd Edition): Real Answers to Real Questions Asked by Lightroom Users
- The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Book for Digital Photographers
- Photoshop for Lightroom Users
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic For Dummies
- Lightroom CC Complete Training: Learn the Entire Photographers Workflow in the new Lightroom
- Mastering Lightroom Classic pdf ebook bundle
- Free PDF Adobe Photoshop Lightroom ebook Manual
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.
Whether I was learning Lightroom, Photoshop or Illustrator, Classroom in a Book was always the first thing I would get. It is the best-selling series of hands-on software training workbooks developed with the support of Adobe product experts.
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. But if you value knowledge and like learning something in-depth – this is the book to get! After each chapter there is also a showcase of a famous photographer – pics are amazing!
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. Not only you are getting a paper copy (290 pages) but also access to over 14 hours of video on Lightroom Classic and CC.
I would typically start with a book, then watch a video to complement the learning. You are also getting free presets and raw images to practice with, so you may want to download these first.
If you feel that you learn better by watching videos, just scan the code and watch the training. Later grab the book for an in-depth explanation or 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. When Lightroom isn’t the best tool, Tony suggests better alternatives.
Tony covers every aspect of Lightroom in-depth (both 6 and the CC version). But structures his teaching so that both beginner and advanced photographers can learn as efficiently as possible.
Finding pictures in the library, fixing common problems (correcting exposure, sharpening, noise reduction), cleaning up dust spots, adding a bit of pop to pictures, tips on retouching portraits, creating photo books, and more… Highly recommended!
– by Victoria Bampton
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC – Edit Like a Pro 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.
Many books on Lightroom can feel a bit out-of-date within a few months, when the program’s next version is released. Adobe Lightroom – Edit Like a Pro is 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 with the author, 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 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 below – Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ.
As the name suggests, “The Missing FAQ” is designed as a conversational FAQ-style reference book, giving you the detailed information you need to make informed choices and optimize your workflow.
New Lightroom users 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.
Experienced users will appreciate the more advanced information, including many charts and graphs. However, 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 Classic.
In chronological order, this was the third book I purchased when I was learning Lightroom. Thick and heavy – over 500 pages. But I must admit – if you get stuck on something – this is the book that most probably will give you the solution!
Again, if you register your printed book, you will get a complimentary Premium Membership. (Access to the eBook updates and email assistance).
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 above – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC – Edit Like a Pro.
Scott Kelby’s The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers is another classic! Advertised as world’s #1 top-selling Lightroom book, not that I have any statistics – probably isn’t far from the truth (currently no 18 on Amazon in the Best Sellers in Digital Photography Software category)
I also have a subscription to KelbyOne – an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. Apart from access to hundreds of excellent courses, you are also getting Photoshop and Lightroom User Magazines every month.
Scott is an award-winning photographer and author, and the original “Photoshop Guy”, plus the CEO of the above mentioned KelbyOne.
In his book, Scott doesn’t just show which sliders do what. Instead, 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!
- Apart from 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 absolutely seamlessly.
- 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.
– by Scott Kelby
Both Adobe Lightroom Classic and CC are fantastic programs and my primary editing tools. However, at some point, you will probably realize that there are things you need to/want to do to your images that Lightroom just can not, or is going to take you a long time and still may not look perfect.
It could be anything, like removing unwanted objects (dust spots or entire background), extending an image, adding text, blending and multiple exposures, special effects, sky replacement, well… there are just lots and lots of incredible things you could do… if you only knew Photoshop.
Photoshop is terrific – but can give you a headache. With 70+ tools and more than a hundred filters, it doesn’t seem very easy compared to Lightroom.
That’s why I decided to include here Scott’s Photoshop for Lightroom Users book. For most of the extra bits, you will probably only need to know about 20% of what Photoshop can do, and that 20% is covered in his book. Like everything you need to know about layers, blending modes and masking techniques.
Plus, his favourite portrait retouching techniques, special effects for landscape and travel photos, and the creative filters.
If you have been using Lightroom for some time, and you feel that it limits you in any way – this book is for you!
by Rob Sylvan
Lightroom For Dummies tries to transform the hard-to-understand into easy-to-use. Written by Rob Sylvan – 18 chapters and almost 400 pages – is a great starter, especially if you are a fan of the “… For Dummies” series.
The main focus of the book is on how to use Lightroom Classic, but it also includes an introduction to Lightroom CC – the cloud version.
All with the goal of helping you get started with Lightroom, learning about the workflow, and as you progress through the chapters, hopefully, how to take your editing skills to the next level.
This book will help you with:
- Deciding which version of Lightroom is the best fit for you
- Take control of your photo library in Lightroom Classic
- Importing, organizing, and finding photos
- Editing, fixing problems and enhancing your pictures
- Printing and sharing your photos online
- Producing slideshows, a book or a web gallery
- Getting started with Lightroom CC – the Cloud version
Get ready to spend less time in front of the computer and more time behind the lens!
– by Serge Ramelli (Kindle Edition)
As far as I am aware this ebook is only available in a Kindle edition – but it is truly amazing and I highly recommend it!
Serge Ramelli is a French photographer famous for beautiful and amazingly detailed HDR photography. He published numerous fine art books: Paris, New York, Venice, Barcelona and more… He is also running a very popular Serge Ramelli Photography youtube channel where he offers tips and tutorials about various post-processing techniques in Photoshop and Lightroom.
In his ebook Serge will take you through ALL of the features of Lightroom CC, from start to finish, and in great detail.
What is really important, Segre is not only talking about the technical stuff (you can bet that from any other book) but he is sharing all the steps of his workflow in Lightroom. Priceless!!!
by The Creative Photographer – Andrew Gibson
This is a series of ebooks that can help you master Lightroom Classic. You can buy them individually or get a bundle and save a few dollars.
They can guide you pretty much through every aspect of the Adobe Lightroom software – over 730 pages of easy to follow, clearly written instructions. Each ebook is beautifully designed and thoughtfully written to help you learn how to use Lightroom Classic better.
They are all available for immediate download as a PDF and have been optimized for viewing on a computer screen, iPad or other tablets.
- Free lifetime updates
- The 15 step Lightroom Classic workflow
- Creative presets
- 10 free Print module templates
- and Calendar graphics
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 the best books on how to use Lightroom and edit photos. However, if you come across something more recent (and good!), feel free to 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 site – thank you!