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Creating a Photo Book in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

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Whether it’s produced for a client or as a professional portfolio, designed as a gift or simply to preserve precious memories, a photo book makes a great way to share and showcase your images. The Book module makes it easy to design beautiful, sophisticated book layouts, and then publish them without leaving Lightroom.

Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

From the book

In this lesson, you’ll learn the skills you need to create your own high-quality photo book:

  • Grouping the images for your photo book as a collection
  • Setting up a photo book
  • Modifying page layouts
  • Setting a page background
  • Placing and arranging images in a layout
  • Adding text to a book design
  • Working with text cells and photo cells
  • Using the Text Adjustment Tool
  • Saving a photo book
  • Exporting your creation

You’ll probably need between one and two hours to complete this lesson.

The Book module, new in Lightroom 4, delivers everything you need to create stylish book designs that can be uploaded directly from Lightroom for printing through the on-demand book vendor Blurb, or exported to PDF and printed on your own printer. Template-based layout, an intuitive editing environment, and state-of-the-art text tools make it easy to present your photographs in their best light.

Getting started

This lesson assumes that you are already familiar with the Lightroom workspace and with moving between the different modules. If you find that you need more background information, refer to Lightroom Help, or review the previous lessons.

Before you begin, make sure that you have correctly copied the Lessons folder from the CD in the back of this book onto your computer’s hard disk as detailed in “Copying the Classroom in a Book files” on page 2, and created the LR4CIB Library Catalog file to manage the lesson files as described in “Creating a catalog file for working with this book” on page 3.

  1. Start Lightroom.
  2. In the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Select Catalog dialog box, make sure the file LR4CIB Library Catalog.lrcat is selected under Select A Recent Catalog To Open, and then click Open.
  3. Lightroom will open in the screen mode and workspace module that were active when you last quit. If necessary, switch to the Library module by clicking Library in the Module Picker at the top of the workspace.

Importing images into the library

The first step is to import the images for this lesson into the Lightroom library.

  1. In the Library module, click the Import button below the left panel group.
  2. If the Import dialog box appears in compact mode, click the Show More Options button at the lower left of the dialog box to see all the options in the expanded Import dialog box.
  3. In the Source panel at the left of the Import dialog box, navigate to and select the LR4CIB > Lessons > Lesson 7 folder. Ensure that all nineteen images are checked for import.
  4. In the import options above the thumbnail previews, select Add so that the imported photos will be added to your catalog without being moved or copied. Under File Handling at the right of the expanded Import dialog box, choose Minimal from the Render Previews menu and ensure that the Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates option is activated. Under Apply During Import, choose None from both the Develop Settings menu and the Metadata menu and type Lesson 7, Architecture in the Keywords text box. Make sure that the Import dialog box is set up as shown in the illustration below, and then click Import.

The nineteen images are imported from the Lesson 7 folder and now appear in the Grid view of the Library module and also in the Filmstrip across the bottom of the Lightroom workspace.

Assembling photos for a book

The first step in creating a book is to assemble the photos you wish to include. Having just been imported, the images for this lesson are already isolated from the rest of your catalog. In the Catalog panel, the Previous Import folder is selected as the active image source.

The Previous Import folder is merely a temporary grouping and, as an image source, it is not flexible—you can’t rearrange the images inside it, or exclude a photo from your project without removing it from the catalog entirely.

You should always use either a collection or a single folder without subfolders as the source for the images in your book; both will let you reorder photos in the Grid view or the Filmstrip. For this exercise, you’ll create a collection—a virtual grouping from which you can also exclude an image without deleting it from your catalog.

  1. Make sure that either the Previous Import folder in the Catalog panel, or the Lesson 7 folder in the Folders panel, is selected as the image source; then, press Ctrl+A / Command+A or choose Edit > Select All.
  2. Click the New Collection button (Image) in the header of the Collections panel and choose Create Collection from the menu. In the Create Collection dialog box, type Details as the name for the new collection, and make sure that Top Level is selected in the Placement options. Under Collection Options, activate Include Selected Photos and disable Make New Virtual Copies; then, click Create.
  3. Your new collection appears in the Collections panel, where it is automatically selected as the active image source. The image count indicates that the Details collection contains 19 photos.

  4. Choose Edit > Select None; then, click Book in the Module Picker to switch to the Book module.
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