To assist you here are a few suggestions for things to explore further.Take a class...Read a book
There are many different approaches here. If you like to learn via video then take a look at some excellent offerings from lynda.com and NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals). Check the listings of courses in your local Community College or Adult Education programs for Lightroom related courses. Local photography clubs and Adobe User Groups often offer sessions on Lightroom.
If you prefer books then, here again, there is a wide variety of choices. Looking for tips and tricks? Try something like Dan Moughamian's Adobe Digital Imaging How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques for Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3, and Camera Raw 6. If you prefer a question and answer format take a look at Victoria Bampton's Adobe Lightroom 3 - The Missing FAQ - Real Answers to Real Questions asked by Lightroom Users. And if you like the full seven course meal then give Martin Evening's excellent The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers a try.
Spend some time with HELP
There is a wealth of information that comes with Lightroom. True. We no longer get printed manuals, but the community help system is always changing and improving. If you haven't been there or only occasionally visited then it's time to stay a while and explore. In addition to some excellent entries there are also links to other resources all over the web.Explore keywords
The art of applying keywords to your images is essential to having a well organized collection and, more importantly, being able to find that shot of the puppies in the red basket in Galway quickly. If you haven't been keywording then now is the time to start! explore the many tools Lightroom offers to keyword images.
I know you have a large collection already. But that's no excuse. Start with your new images. Keyword them on import. Add more specific keywords as you review them. Going forward, your keyword list with get richer and your images will naturally gravitate to certain words.
As for that large existing collection - take it in small bite-sized pieces. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare (ok - stop laughing) grab 10 or 50 or 100 images and add some keywords. By the time 2012 gets here you will be a keyword expert!Get to know your organizational tools better
In addition to keywords, Lightroom offers different ways to help you organize your images. On the other side of the Library module you will see the Catalog, Folders, Collections, and Publish Services panels. Dig in there and explore different ways to organize your image collection.
Need some help? Take a look at dpBestFlow. dpBestFlow is a wonderful resource on digital photography best practices and workflows brought to you by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and the Library of Congress. Best of all IT'S FREE! You can also take a look at the best book on organizing your images, Peter Krogh's The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers.What's your preference?
Dig a little deeper into your Preferences and Catalog Settings. There are some gems hidden there. Preferences apply to Lightroom overall while each catalog has it's own settings. If you find a setting that is unfamiliar, learn what it does.
Show me your ID
Customize your Lightroom! Identity plates offers a way to use text or images to change how your installation of Lightroom looks. There are also other uses of identity plates in different modules. Spend a little time here.Hey! That's my image!
While Lightroom has always has some kind of watermarking feature, Lightroom 3 finally made it useful and flexible. Now you can set up different watermarks. Use images or text. Save presets. Control style and placement. Sometimes you just need to tell the world "That's my image!" and watermarks can be one way to do that.The power of presets
Presets are easy to use and easy to create. They can be shared with others. Many free presets are available on the internet. And with Lightroom's non-destructive approach and powerful History panel, you can feel free to explore presets without the fear of damaging your image permanently. So go ahead and play!The "other" modules
Many people I talk to spend most, if not all, of their time in the Library and Develop modules. If you don't go to the other modules then now is the time to see what they have to offer. Slideshow, Print, and Web have a lot to offer you. Pick the one you visit the least and spend more time there. Find out what it does and how that can assist you. Once you've become well versed in one, move on to the next module. You may find new ways to use their features!Get to know the new features
Lightroom 3 brought us quite a few new features. The changes in sharpening and noise reduction alone was worth the cost of upgrading for many photographers. Pick through these new features. Get to know them. Put them to use. Explore. Play. Have fun!
As you progress through 2011 and build your mad Lightroom skills, keep the community informed. Find a bug? Have a new feature idea? Let Adobe know about it. Yes, the team DOES read the bug reports and feature suggestions. You can bet they are hard at work on the next revision of Lightroom. So don't be shy. Let adobe know by clicking here.
Remember Rule 5! Have a great time. If you have ideas, suggestions, plans, etc. post a comment and let us all know about it. Together we can master Lightroom and make 2011 a Lightroom year!