Thursday, July 8: I've now added links below for two versions of the book's example files. The first is a relatively slim 5MB version, which includes only the Lightroom catalog without the source images. The big-tuna version, which weighs in at 308MB, also includes all the source images.
Respect the copyright
Just a reminder: These are copyrighted images so don't use them for anything other than following along with the tasks in The Lightroom 3 Visual QuickStart Guide. Once you grow comfortable using Lightroom 3, delete the catalog by quitting Lightroom and moving it to your Recycle Bin/Trash Can.
Using the catalog
If you haven't already read Chapter 3, pages 35-48, about working with Lightroom catalogs, you might want to do so before moving ahead. That's because these example images are organized within a Lightroom catalog, rather than as individual images. The download file, btw, is formatted as a Lightroom 3 catalog, which means you can't open it using Lightroom 2 or either beta 3 version of Lightroom.
Using either the slim or big-tuna version, you'll be able to see all the keywords, flags, labels, and ratings used for nearly every image in the book. That way, you will be able to sort, find, and tag the images as you read about how to use Lightroom 3. Both versions allow you to use the History panel to move forward and backward through every change applied to the book's key 21 images. The big-tuna version also includes the full-size source files, enabling you to open them up and apply adjustments in the Develop module.
Getting started on the download
3/18/2011 note: Readers using Firefox to download the 308MB example file have been getting time-out errors. I hit the same problem myself. Solution for now: use another browser for the download (Safari on the Mac, IE on a PC.) I'll be traveling next couple of weeks, but will try to puzzle through the Firefox issue when I get back to home base.
Start by choosing which version to download:
- The slim, catalog-only 5MB version. It downloads pretty quickly no matter what kind of connection you have.
- The big-tuna 308MB version also includes the full-size source images. Unless you have a broadband connection, this one will take hours to download.
Whichever version you chooose, if your computer doesn't automatically expand the file once it downloads, go ahead and decompress it manually. Launch Lightroom 3 and use the instructions on page 45 to switch to this catalog, which is named LR3vqsExampleCatalogOnly.lrcat.
Once it opens, the main window will look pretty similar to the photo at the top of the page. If you take a look at the left-hand Collections panel, you'll see that all the images exist in a collection set named Lightroom3 VisualQuickStart. Within that set, I've created a collection set for each chapter of the book. Each chapter collection set includes collections named after the pages where that particular task is explained. That way you don't have to rummage around trying to find the images used in a task. (Chapter 8, starting on 121, fully explains how use collections for purposes such as this.)
I've also created chapter and page number keywords for every image, which gives you another way to jump to a particular image used in the book. It's bit overkill, but I've done it just to make things easier for you.
So dig in, have fun, and send me a comment on anything that strikes you as you use the book and the examples.