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Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Lesson 2 of 20

Import Images and Customizing Lightroom

Ben Willmore

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

2. Import Images and Customizing Lightroom
Dive into image import in-depth, examining Lightroom's myriad of import tools. Learn what the different import options mean, then create your own import preset for easily importing images and saving in your preferred folder scheme with your copyright data. Once you have your first batch of images in Lightroom, learn how to customize your workspace, from the tools that you see to the image data that's visible in the library.

Lesson Info

Import Images and Customizing Lightroom

If you think about what we did yesterday, we pretty much gave you just an overview of how to think about Lightroom without really doing much in there. We gave you a tour of the interface. Well, today though, what we're really gonna do is start trying to get your images into Lightroom and go through it in a process where instead of just showing you the quick and easy way that we did yesterday, which is pretty much ignoring all the settings. We're gonna look at the settings in depth. But in the end, we're gonna create presets that make it so we only need to investigate these settings for one day; for maybe 20 minutes or something to create these presets and from that time forward, importing your photos to get them to show up in Lightroom is going to be an extremely quick and easy process. So let's dive right into Lightroom so we can spend as much time there as possible. Alright, I have my normal Lightroom catalog here. If you haven't used Lightroom in the past though, you're gonna have a...

n empty catalog. So we need to somehow figure out how to get our images in to Lightroom and there's a couple of different ways of doing it. They all send you to the same general screen. That is the import dialogue. The one that I use most commonly just because it's usually visible on my screen is if I'm in the library module of Lightroom, on the left side of my screen, I have this panel visible over here. There's a button near the bottom called import. Now just so you know, that button'll go away if you hide this panel. Remember, each side of your screen can have a panel visible. There's a little triangle on the edge that if you click on, you can hide that panel and click again, you can show it. I usually have this panel on the left set to automatically show up when I move my mouse there. If I move away, it might disappear and I'll show you how to do that later on today. The main thing is if that panel on the left is visible, right down there is the import button. Now if you don't want to use that for some reason, instead you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts or menus, you're welcome to come up here to the file menu. That's where you're gonna find a choice here called the import photos and video. That sends you to the exact same screen that I got to if I were to click the button that I showed you a moment ago. Over here it tells you that I could type shift command I on a Mac. That would probably shift control I in Windows if I prefer to use keyboard shortcuts. But regardless of how you get there, it's all gonna send you to the same spot. So I'm gonna click on import. Now when I get to import, it shows me a small version of this screen. If you try this right now, you've never imported images before, you're gonna see a different screen that's larger. Just so you know, you can switch between the two versions of this screen in the lower left corner. You see a little triangle down there. If I click it, you can get the expanded version of the screen. Click that same icon in the lower left again, and you get the compact version. Now most of the time when I import, I can use this compact version so I don't see the clutter of all the settings that are involved with importing pictures. But in order to get to the stage where you can use this compact screen, we need to do some work ahead of time. So before I do that work ahead of time, let me show you just what it'll be like when we're done, so you know why it's worth spending the time that we're gonna spend to get these presets created. When I need to import images in Lightroom, all I do is I take the card out of my camera and I put it in my computer. When I go here to the import screen, if I have a card from a camera inserted, it will automatically usually navigate to that particular card to say that is where it should import from. So I don't usually need to do something on the left side of my screen because that's where I tell it where the photos are. Then the only thing I'm gonna be doing is going to this bottom center of my screen; that's where you have presets. If I click there, you see this list. Now we'll talk about why you need this many presets but there's one main one. In fact, I should probably change the name to put like an asterisk at the beginning or an exclamation point or something just to make it visually easy to see here. But most of the time, I'm going to choose this choice right here called copy to photo archive. Now what that did is it just set up the import screen for all the settings that I usually like to use. Then here's all I need to do when I'm importing. Over in the left side is an area called shoot name. I end up typing in whatever subject matter I was capturing. Let's just say I just came back. Right now, I'm in San Francisco. So let's say it's some pictures I took here. So I type in San Francisco. Then over on the right side of my image it says into sub folder. That means when it copies it to my hard drive, what should it name the folder that it puts it in? Well, what I usually do is just copy whatever I put on the left side and I paste it over here on the right. Then my naming convention is to add the date before it. So I say 2018 and it happens to be April, so I do that as my naming convention. Now that's all you need to do. So what have I done? Well, I hit the import button. Right when I got in here, I clicked down here, to choose the preset that I'd like to use. Then I typed in what subject matter I just shot. What's the name of that shoot, you could say. Maybe it's the name of the location or the name of the client or the name of the subject matter that you happen to be capturing. Then I just copy what's there and over on the right side, this is what's the name of the folder it's going to go into. I usually put the date in the beginning with the year first, just so it's gonna sort my folder list based on that. Then the month and there again is my shoot name. Then if I had some images in there, I hit the import button and we're done. It will import all the pictures and I don't really need to think about anything more. Now that's pretty simple setup, but it took a bit of effort for it to get to that point. So let's look at all the settings that are involved with setting up presets, so that when you're all done, you can have it be this simple. I'm gonna click in the lower left corner here and that will expand the screen. So you can see all the settings that are related to importing. On the left side of my screen, this is where I can tell it where to import photos from. For instance, I have a hard drive here and I can zone in here to let's see, I could go to my desktop and right there is a folder full of images that are not yet in this Lightroom catalog. You can navigate your hard drive just like you do in any other program to tell it where the folder of images you'd like is. Across the top, it wants to know what should it do with those pictures? Should it just add them to the Lightroom catalog without moving them, without changing their names? Just leave them there. You already have them with the right folder names, the right files names, in the right location. Therefore just make them show up in Lightroom. That's what add would do. Move is going to put them somewhere else on your hard drive. So if they're sitting on your desktop and you'd rather have them in a different location, that's going to remove them from the desktop and put them somewhere else. Copy is going to make it so it leaves the originals wherever they happen to be and it copies them somewhere else. That's mainly used when you have an SD card or a CF card from your digital camera. The standard when it comes to SD cards is to not really allow software to be able to delete things. So that's why we generally have the choice called copy 'cause it can't move them. You just will find that option's grayed out when you have a card from your camera. There is one other option in here. It's called copy as DNG. That's because some people have adopted what they call a DNG workflow. That's where you convert your images into a different file format. I personally don't do that when I import. It just takes more time to do so. The advantages are not so great that I find it worth it. If you happen to be using that though, don't worry about it. I'm not trying to talk people out of it. Anyway, up here is what should it do with the files. We're gonna set up presets for copy, move and add and I'll talk about when you would use each one. But for now, let's imagine that these images are already sitting in the location I want 'em to be in. The folders already named what I would like it to be, so all I wanna do is get 'em to show up in Lightroom and that's what add would be for. Over on the right side, it says file handling and let's look at the options it gives us here. First at the top it wants to know if it should do anything with previews. The higher the choices you choose from this menu, the faster your images will get in the Lightroom, but the less information it will contain. Most of the time I use embedders in sidecar or something lower than that. It's rare for me to use the top one. Embedded in sidecar means use the previews that are already built in to the file itself. Usually there's a preview that your camera attached. Or if there's a sidecar file, an extra file with this similar filename your camera created, it will grab any previews that are there. What that means is grab previews that already exist so that Lightroom doesn't have to do anything to create those previews; it just needs to read in what's already there. That's what I would use if I want my import process to be fast. When would I want that to happen? Well let's say that I have a photo archive. I have a hard drive that has 100,000 pictures that I took over the last 10 years and I've never used Lightroom and I just wanna get those pictures to show up. If I use embedded in sidecar, it's just gonna say let's import any previews that are already existing and therefore the process can go relatively quickly. If I switch to one of the bottom two options, then Lightroom is actually gonna have to open each individual file and then it's going to scale it down possibly to a size similar to the size of your screen if I use the choice called standard. Then that's where it'll store. Because it has to open each individual file to do that, if I'm gonna do that to 100,000 files, it's gonna take a long time for it to happen. So I don't usually use a choice called standard when I'm importing a huge number of images. It just takes too long. Then a choice called one-to-one means a full size preview. The time that I use that is when I've just done shooting a project and I know in Lightroom I'm gonna need to check the focus on my pictures right away after I import them. Most of the time I do that if I'm shooting portraits because if the eyes aren't in focus, then it's a shot that I can't really use. So I can have it so as it imports in the Lightroom, it automatically generates one-to-one previews, which means full size ones, and therefore, right after it's done importing, if I attempt to zoom up on a picture to check the focus on the eyeballs, then that'll happen very quickly. Whereas if I don't have one-to-one previews, if I try to zoom up to check the focus on eyeballs, it's gonna take a little while 'cause it'll have to read the file, the entire original, to show me that zoomed up version. So with previews, here's my general mindset. Most of the time I use this setting or below. I would use this one when I'm initially importing my images into Lightroom that already exist. Meaning that I have years worth of past photographs and I just wanna get them in there quick. I would use this one as kind of my standard choice. The one that I use most commonly because it's not a bad compromise between speed and how large your previews file is. I would choose the bottom choice if I'm shooting portraits and I know that right after I get in here, I'm gonna need to zoom up on every image and check the focus. For me personally, I don't shoot portraits that often and even when I do, it's not like I'm in a massive hurry afterwards to process the images. So I don't necessarily have to have those one-to-one previews. Just so you know, the lower the choice you choose here, the more space that Lightroom catalog folder is going to take up on your hard drive. 'Cause within that folder is a file that contains your previews. The larger the previews are, the more space they gobble up on your hard drive. So those are our choices. Just so you know, there is a preference, which I like, which is, I think it's called discard one-to-one previews after 30 days. Therefore, it's not gonna keep them forever and that little preview file on your hard drive will get smaller as time passes. Anyway, I usually have those set to standard but you're welcome to choose something else if you have a reason to do so. Let's look at what else is in here. There's a checkbox called build smart previews. A smart preview is what allows you to adjust your pictures when the hard drive that contains the originals is not attached to your computer. So when would I use that? Well, when I'm traveling. If I have my laptop and maybe I have an external hard drive to contain all my pictures as I'm traveling 'cause my internal drive just isn't big enough. Then if I'm importing pictures when I'm our traveling around, I'm probably gonna have this checkbox turned on so that right after I import those images, I could disconnect the hard drive that contains the originals. Leave that in my travel bag and then when I'm on a plane or a train or the back seat of a taxi, I could open my laptop and I could view all those pictures. That's due to the normal preview up here at the top. But if I have smart previews turned on, I can also adjust those pictures. I use that a lot when I'm traveling. I don't use that all that much if I'm sitting at home and I always have my hard drive attached. Then there's less of an advantage to having smart previews and it takes some time for them to be generated. They also take up space. But there is a time when you might wanna have that turned on een though you're never gonna disconnect that hard drive that contains your originals. Another advantage of having smart previews is it can speed up your general work when you're adjusting your pictures. What happens is even if the originals are available, when you go to the develop module, if you have a picture that has a smart preview and you're zoomed out so you can see the entire picture, instead of reading in the entire full size image, the original, it reads the smart preview, which is much smaller in size. Then you can adjust your picture and it's only if you zoom up on your picture enough that it would need more detail than what's in the smart preview, that it actually reads the original file off your hard drive, which takes time. It slows things down. So some people will have that turned on even though they never disconnect that hard drive that contains the originals. It's up to you. So a lot of the time I have that turned on. Down here, don't import suspected duplicates. There it's gonna look at the date and time and possibly the file name, to figure out if it already has these images in Lightroom, and if it has it's gonna skip them. Most of the time I have that turned on. Because it's not uncommon for me to grab the card out of my camera. Throw it into Lightroom to import 'cause I wanna start working. Maybe it's at lunchtime and I have a little break and I wanna work on my computer. Then after lunch I don't even think about it. I pull the card out of my computer. Put it back in my camera and I go back out shooting again. I just don't think about it. I don't format the card. Then I come back in the evening and I wanna get the pictures into Lightroom. The first set of images I shot in the morning are already in Lightroom. I never deleted them off the card I put in my camera. Now I have not only those but the additional ones I shot in the afternoon. Now if I put it into my computer, if I had that turned off, suddenly I'm gonna get two sets of the images I shot in the morning because I'm not telling it to think about duplicate files. Those files are already in Lightroom but they're also on that card that I'm importing right now. So I usually have that turned on. When you have it turned on, if some of your images here are already in Lightroom, you'll find little thumbnail images for them will get darker and the check boxes would turn off to indicate that those are already in Lightroom and it's not gonna import them and you'd see that. Sometimes it takes a while for it to do it. It all depends how often you clear your card. My wife doesn't ever clear her card until it fills, which means that she could have a years worth of pictures on there because she has a massive card. So it can take quite a while for it to figure out which ones are duplicates and which ones aren't. But that's what allows her to do that. Below that there's a choice here called make second copy to. That's grayed out right now 'cause I believe I only have one drive attached at the moment. If I had multiple drives though, I could turn on that check box and that you could make it so it would print an automatic duplicate; therefore you have back up. So if when you travel you have two hard drives that you attach to your computer, or when you get home, you have your main drive that is your photo archive and then above it you have a back up drive, you could turn on that check box and point this to your second hard drive. Therefore when it imports, it's importing at two locations at once. Therefore you'd have a backup. Most of the time I don't have two drives attached at the same time, so I personally don't use that. Below that, we've got add to collection. If I turn that on, then down here you would find a list of all your collections and you could click on one. When might I do that? Let's say I'm at a multi-day event. I'm at a music festival and that's when I'm assigned to shoot. Well I might create a collection in Lightroom. A collection is similar to a playlist in your music software or some people just call it an album. I can create one for that particular event. Then when I import pictures over the multiple days of that event, I might want to have it added to that collection that I created. So it's very easy to find all the pictures that I shot from that particular event. For instance I attend Burning Man on occasion and it's multiple days long. You can be there for a week. Each day that I shoot might go into a separate folder, but I can get all of the pictures to be collected in one spot in a collection. But you gotta know more about collections to really use that and make it useful. Most of the time I have that turned off. In fact, I can't remember a time when I've actually used it. But I can think of many workflows where it would be useful. Could be you're shooting a wedding. You have three photographers and when you import from those three photographers, you put 'em in three separate folders, one for each shooter. But then you wanna see all of them together, so you add them to a collection with the name of that wedding event. So just another instance when you might find that to be useful. Alright then below that we have a section here called apply during import. First there is here develop settings. If you ever create presets when you're in the develop module, here you could apply them right at the time you import so it automatically adjusts your picture. When might I wanna use that? Well let's say that I know that I want this to be, the end result I want these to be black and white. I might create a preset that converts all my images to black and white and right here I could apply it, so from the moment the pictures show up, they're black and white. Or maybe a client hired me because they like a particular look. Maybe I create a faded, vintage look where the pictures look like the colors aren't quite right; it's a little yellowish, the shadows are not quite as dark as they could be so it looks like an old faded photo. I made a preset that gets us really close to that look. Right here I could apply it just in the beginning, so that's an option you have. It's rare for me to use that, but I'm glad it's there 'cause I can see lots of uses for it. Below that we have a popup menu called metadata. This is where it can automatically tag your picture with a copyright notice. Not a copyright notice that would be visible on the picture itself but one that in certain software, the software like Photoshop, would know it's a copyrighted image. When it shows the title of the image, there'd be a copyright symbol. If anybody got that picture and they actually knew how to do it, they could look up your copyright info like your name and your website. You can create a template for that. I have one right here, it says 2018 Ben Willmore. That's gonna take it with my website information and a copyright notice. Why don't we create one of those? Let's make a little preset. All I'm gonna do is click on the menu little icon to the right and here I can either edit presets that already exist or I can create a brand new one. So first, let me edit the one that already exists. Therefore you can see what's contained within it. Actually I don't see stuff contained within it. I thought it had it. So let's create a new one instead. Don't save. We'll make one to replace that one. I'm gonna create a new preset. The screen looks the same. Up at the very top, I can give it a name. We're gonna call this 2018 and I'll just put BW for Ben Willmore so that it's a little different from the other one. I have something built into my computer though that automatically substitutes my name anytime I type that, so I doubt I'll actually be able to make it actually be BW. Oh there we go, nope. Anyway then, down here where it says IPTC copyright and IPTC creator, that's where I wanna fill in information. So here I might put in the copyright symbol, which on a Mac, you'd hold down the option key and you type G to get it. On Windows there's a code you have to type in. I never remember it; it's called the (mumbles) code. But you can always type in copyright, symbol, Windows on Google and it will tell you how to get it, or just copy and paste it on somewhere else where you have seen the copyright symbol. So I'm gonna say 2018 Ben Willmore. Then down here rights usage terms, I'm gonna say all rights reserved. Then right here copyright info URL, this is where if you have a web page that you put in and if you had anything. Let's say you have you images where you allow people to use them with attribution as long as they put a photo credit. Well here you could put a web address that tells you about the details of that. So here I could put in dub dub dub and I'll put in one of my websites. If I had I particular page, I could do a forward slash and whatever the exact route would be to get there. This little popup menu here determines if Photoshop will know it's copyrighted or not. So if I choose copyrighted, this is what causes Photoshop to display a copyright symbol right in the title bar at the very top of your image where it's to actually in the image; it's at the very very top part of the window. Then down here you can optionally put in information like here if you want people to contact you via your email address. Another space for a website and if you want to, you can even put in an address if somebody wanted to contact you. This is all information that will be included with your picture when you export it. If somebody knows how to access that, usually it's a professional who's used to using images would know how to do it; they'd be able to see all that info and contact you. So here I got 2018 Ben Willmore. I'll just call it basic because I didn't put in my address. I'm gonna hit create in the lower right. Before I actually do that, just so you know there's a whole bunch of other areas you could type in information. But most of this stuff has to do with specific individual photographs. It wouldn't be stuff that I would want to generically apply to every picture I open, and that's why we're only concentrating on these two sections that are available in here. But I'm gonna hit create. Now you can see here in the metadata popup we now have two choices: one with my basic info and there's the other one that I had previously. So just by choosing this menu now, when I import these pictures, it'll automatically have those images tagged with my copyright info, my website address and possibly my email and address if I want to. Below that we have an area called keywords and this means let's make these images searchable. So if I type in whatever words I put in here then if I do a search based on text, it should find these. Every single picture that is here happens to be of the same subject matter. So I could type in Nash Cooper 'cause that's what this car is. I can put a comma in and put more keywords. It's a Mini Cooper at the same time and other things. Not very common I do that when I import because most of the time I have a variety of subject matters that I've shot. Maybe there's more than one model that I've shot so therefore it's not appropriate to put in the model's name because it's not all the same person, that kinda stuff. So I'm gonna leave that empty and most of the time I have it empty. So let's have a look at what we've done so far. Left side of my screen. This is where should it get the images from. If you wanna navigate, you can just expand the various hard drives that would be in this list and click on the folder you wanna import at the top, at the moment we're adding. That means that these images are already where I want them to live on my hard drive. Therefore we just want them to show up in Lightroom. On the right side, we're saying previews. Make a preview about the size of my screen. Therefore when the hard drive that contains the originals is disconnected, I can still view the image full screen and it'll look great. I can do slideshows, that kinda stuff. Why don't you make smart previews? Therefore if I disconnect that hard drive that contains the originals, I can still adjust the pictures. Also, when I go to the develop module, even when the hard drive is attached, it's gonna be faster when I adjust my picture because it'll be working on a version of the picture that's similar to my screen size instead of the full resolution picture. It's only if I zoom up, where I really need the detail, that it would load the original. That's the other advantage of smart previews. Let's not import duplicates. Therefore I can re-use that card without formatting it. It's not gonna have a bunch of duplicates going in there each time. If I had a second drive always attached for backup, this would be available. I could turn it on. We also add our collection. So I got this all set up. This is how I would like to do things when I just wanna add something to my hard drive that is already in the location that I'd like it in. Those are pretty good settings to use. Now let's save that as a preset so we never have to look at all these settings again. I don't have to think through all that stuff again. At the bottom center of my screen there's an area called import preset. If I click on this little popup menu and scroll down, there's a choice called save current settings as new preset. When I choose that all I need to do is type in a name and I would call this add to hard drive or add from hard drive if you wanted say that. That means just leave the images where they are and it's already on a hard drive I want it to be on and I'd hit create. Now I'm not actually gonna hit the create button because if I look at my menu, I already have, right there, add from hard drive. Therefore I don't need to make another one. If we look, I have a second one right here. The ending with dash smart. That's where we would add smart previews whereas this one wouldn't. If I simply switch between these, watch the settings on the right side of my screen. You see the check box called build smart previews? It's turned off right now. That's because the preset I'm using doesn't have the word smart on the end. If I go to the one below it, watch that check box in the upper right. You'll see it just turns on the check box. Each time you switch between these various presets all it's doing is repopulating the rest of this screen with the settings you had at the time you made the preset. So we got one preset setup so far. That's the preset I would like to use if a folder is already existing where I'd like it to be. But now let's say that instead what I have is there's a folder sitting on my desktop and I wanna move it somewhere else. For instance, I've been traveling and when I've been traveling, I've just been dragging myself from my camera's card on my desktop. Haven't even loaded things into Lightroom. I've just been quickly getting them on my laptop and I just haven't had time to even get them in Lightroom. Well, if they're all sitting on my desktop, when I get back to my office and I attach the hard drive I usually use to hold my whole folder archive, I might wanna move them from my desktop to that drive at the same time that I get them into Lightroom. Let's figure out how we do that. Here's an example. There's our folder. It's sitting on my desktop so it's a perfect example. At the top, now instead of choosing add, I'm gonna choose move. Remember add means leave it in the folder it's already in. Move though means put it somewhere else. When you choose move, the options on the right side, you get extra ones. So let's take a look. First here under file handling, it's pretty much the same choices that we had earlier. So let's collapse that down. Down here apply during import, these are also exactly the same. But then we have two new sections. We have destination and file renaming. Because if you're gonna move something from where it currently is to somewhere else, it needs to know where to put it. So here's my destination. Now right here I have an external hard drive and if I expand this, lemme show you where I would store my pictures. It's already in that spot, so when we collapse that down... Anyway, here's an external hard drive that's got a whole bunch of stuff stored on it. This particular folder contains all my photos. It's actually 220,000 pictures in there. I open that up and there are some subfolders. Here's one for after and right there is a folder called 2018. That's where I would put brand newly shot pictures. So you can navigate to any hard drive that's attached to your computer to any subfolder that you want. In my case, 2018 folder and that's where I'm gonna tell it to put it. Right above that, you said you wanna put it in a subfolder, a brand new folder made within there, and I say yes I do. Then here it says organize and it wants to know should it put it in a single folder? Or if you shot over multiple days, let's say you were gone for all of Burning Man, which is week long, do you want a separate folder for each day? You can choose by date, or if you've already named those folders and things, do you wanna do it based on the originals? I always have it set too import to one folder, but it's nice that they have those other options. So anyway, what have I done? I told it put it in a subfolder and down here, I'm telling it what folder on a hard drive that I usually import to. That's where I put everything I shot this year. Okay let's collapse that down. The other section that's new is up here called file renaming; open that up. This is gonna allow it to rename our files. Now it's really simple to rename our files. All I need to do is click right here and type in a shoot name. In this case, I would type in Nash Cooper 'cause that's what this is. In case you don't know what a Nash Cooper is, it's a vintage Nash automobile morphed with a brand new Mini Cooper, where the engine and transmission and everything underneath the vehicle is brand new. So they called that a Nash Cooper. Anyway, I type in my shoot name there. But since right now we're making a preset, I don't want it to always use this shoot name, so I don't need anything in that field. But what it would do is if I typed something in right there, it would use the template that's up here to rename my files. So we need to create templates for file names. This is part of that little hump you have to go over. To make Lightroom simple and easy-to-use, we just need to get into the granular features and specify exactly how we want it to deal with our files, save it as a preset and then it becomes simple. Let's look at how to make a file naming preset. Well here I can have a list of existing presets or if I choose edit, I can edit an existing one or make a brand new one. Let's choose edit. Since you won't have those existing presets, I'm gonna delete what's in this top portion right here. Just select it by dragging across it and hit the delete key so I can create something from scratch. Down here are the various pieces we can use to construct a file name. I'm gonna come in here and say that the first thing I would like is the date because I want my folder sorted by date and my files sorted by date. I don't see a preset in here I like. I want something similar to this where it has the year. That's what the four Ys mean and the month, I don't really need the day most of the time. I like to have a separation between the year and month and I just don't see a choice in here. So here's what we're gonna do to construct my preset. I'll choose this choice. That gives us a four digit year. Then right up here, I'm gonna type a little underscore. Then I'll come down here and I'm gonna have a two digit month. Then I could either do a space or in my case, I'll do a dash. That's where I wanna type in the name of my shoot. So down here at the bottom, you see a choice called shoot name. I'll hit insert. Then after that, I wanted to number my files. Maybe I hit the space bar so there's a little separation there. Then if I wanted to number my files, here I can say how many digits do I want to use. Well it's rare for me to shoot more than 9,999 pictures at a time in a shoot, so I'm gonna choose that one. I just hit the insert button over here on the right. Now it gives me an example of a file name here at the top that it would generate from that. Well here we have the year underscore month dash and then whatever I type in for the shoot name and then it will number my pictures. Now another idea you might use is I'm going to take this thing called the image number and I could delete that. Instead what I can use is right here. It says file name number suffix. You're like what the heck does that mean? What that means is my camera's original file name. You know how it puts a number on it? Well it says let's use the original number that the camera generated. It used that on the end of the file name. The reason I might do that is what if I'm out in the field shooting and I wanna take notes. Let's say a particular model comes in front of me and I take the first photo of them and I look down on my camera to review it and I see the file name sitting there. I grab a sheet of paper, I write down the file name, and I write down the model's name after that. Well here if I end up using the original number that came on the end of the original file name, then my notes would still match up with them even though the rest of the filename has been changed. Whereas if I chose the choices down here, it would always start by numbering with the number one. Therefore it'd be hard to know how my notes match up. So it's a personal choice. You gotta think about would that be an advantage to you or not, or would you prefer the clean look of always having your numbers start at one. Personal choice. Now you might know, down here there are two choices. There's shoot name and custom text. If you're gonna end up using the compact version of the import screen, which is what I like to use where everything looks simple, make sure you use shoot name. If you end up using the expanded version, then you could instead use either one of these. Because if you look over here on the right side of my screen, you'll see that it has space for both custom text to be typed in and shoot name. So it could be that the shoot name here is the name of the wedding and the custom text would be what kind of shoot you just did, like the group shot or something like that. You can construct it out of two different entries if you want. Most of the time, they don't need that complexity and I just use the shoot name. So what have we done here? Well look at the construction I made of a file name. My file names are gonna start with a year; it'll have an underscore; will have a two-digit month; a little dash and then whatever I type in at the time I import my pictures; then after that, it's gonna use the original numbering that my camera used just so if I take any notes and I write down the number of that image, it'll still match up with my new numbering. Now at the top, I click on this menu and it says save current settings as new preset. So I'm just gonna name this so I can remember what I used. That's year underscore month dash shoot name and then I'll put... Meaning the number from camera. Whatever you wanna name it. You could just call it my default and you hit create. Now if I hit done, that's gonna be available over here. I only need to set these up once. That screen had a whole bunch of settings and it takes you a little bit of time to think about what's ideal for you. But in general, I use the same setting always when I import, with maybe one exception and that is maybe if I'm doing time lapses, I might wanna name them different or I'm importing somebody else's photos other than mine. But otherwise, this is a setting that in general I never need to change after I made it. So it might take you a little bit of time to create and that's mentally taxing. But after that, you're just creating ease for you later. Well down here's out shoot name. So if I were to be importing using something other than a preset, I could type it in right now to do that and those are our settings. So we've just set it up now. This is set up in the way that I like to use it if I had a folder of images sitting probably at my desktop or somewhere else where I wouldn't wanna leave them there forever. I get home and now, when I import 'em in the Lightroom, I also wanna move them somewhere else. That would be if I have those folders sitting on my desktop; when I get home, I want 'em on an external drive and I wanna get 'em into Lightroom. So let's look at the settings that we have. At the top, it's set to move; therefore it's not gonna stay in the same location. On the right side, we have a file naming template. It's gonna rename our file so we don't have those standard names that you get from your camera. Down here at the destination I told it, put it where I normally put my photographs and put it in the sub folder for this particular year. Now I'm gonna go to the middle bottom of my screen and click there and I would choose save current settings as a new preset and I would name that new preset move to photo archive because photo archive is what I call my external drive where all my pictures are. I'm not actually gonna choose that because I already have it right here. I've made a second one where the smart previews check box would be turned on. So if you have one preset made that doesn't have a smart preview, all you gotta do is come up here and say build smart previews. Go right down here and now save, save current settings as new preset. Meaning you started from the preset that didn't have smart previews. You changed one setting. You turned on smart previews. Now you're gonna make another preset. You just add the word smart on the end. That's how it made these two. So so far we've made these two that are called add. We've made these two that are called move. Now we need to make generally one more which is for copying. So let's go for it. At the top of my screen, I'm gonna change the choice called copy. Actually before I change the choice called copy, I would usually come down here and choose any existing preset that is as close as I can get to what I'm looking to do. Therefore it's gonna fill in all the settings over here on the right side to start with. Then I'll go over here and choose copy and let's look on the right side. See if anything changed. File handling. These are exactly the same settings we had before. File renaming. This is exactly the same settings we had before. I would just need to come in here and make sure we have whatever setting I'd like to use. I've heard of Ben's default but I might wanna use the one that I just created. It's up to you, but otherwise that's fine. Apply during import. Exactly the same as what we had before so I don't need to change anything. Destination. That's even the same. So really nothing has changed other than this setting up here. We changed from move to copy. I go down here to the bottom and I choose save current settings as new preset and I would name it copy to photo archive or you could name it copy to my main hard drive, my photo drive, whatever. Then I make a secondary version of it. The only difference between those two is that one might have smart preview is turned on. The other one I don't. That's the only difference between this and the one with dash smart. After making this one, turn on that check box and then come down here and say save again and put the dash smart on the end. So therefore we have that. Now I happen to have other choices that are in here 'cause on occasion I need to deviate from the three general concepts I gave you here. Here I have a choice called copy to desktop. I might use that when I'm traveling. I have a SD card I just got out of my camera and put it in my computer and I wanna get things into Lightroom and I wanna get them off that SD card and on to my desktop at the same time. Well, that's what that preset does. What's the only difference? There is the destination. This part down here. Instead of telling it to go to the hard drive I usually store my pictures on, it's gonna put them on my desktop instead. So how long did it take me to make that preset? Once I had the preset down here that took me a teeny bit of time to make, which is copied to photo archive, all I did was change the location right here. I said let's go to desktop. Went right down to the bottom and I said save that as a new preset. So the only change is where is it going. I made a secondary version of it that happens to include smart objects. So it didn't take long to make that at all. I have a third one right here and that is when I'm traveling. Sometimes I have a little portable external hard drive with me and the only difference between these and the other ones that say copy is the destination. So these would happen to copy it to an external drive that I travel with on occasion. So it looks like there's a lot of choices that are in here but they're really easy to make. It takes you a little bit of time to go through the options that are there, but I think it's really worth it because once you've done that, then life becomes easy. Let's take a look at the various ways I would import images into Lightroom now that we have those presets. The first thing is remember to import, either to to the file menu and choose import photos and videos or you go to the left side of your screen when you're in the library module and you have the import button. Then on this screen in the lower left is an icon that allows you to collapse it down to a more compact version. It will remember the setting you used last as far as was it the big version or the small version. So if you last used this, that's what you gonna get next time. Then before I really mess with anything in here, all I do is click right here and I just ask myself what do I wanna do? Where are my pictures right now? If they're on the card that came from a camera, it's gonna use copy, it has to use copy. It can't add them for they already exist. The option will not even be available as far as at the top up here. If you look, it's grayed out if I'm on a SD card. Same with the choice called move. So if I ever have a card from my camera in there, it's always one of the copy choices. So then the only thing I need to decide is where should it go? So look at the names of these presets that have the word copy next to it. Do I wanna put it on my desktop right now? I'd use that if I don't have any external hard drives attached 'cause where else am I gonna put it? I would go over here and use photo archive if I'm at home and have my main hard drive. It's a big raid system that has multiple drives in it. Holds over 200,000 pictures in it, yet I wanna put it there. That's where my pictures ultimately end up. If I have that drive attached, I'd use this. Or if I'm traveling and my hard drive's getting full, I'm gonna be shooting a lot of images. Like if I'm out for two months time, which I do on occasion, when I travel overseas, I'll have a portable little hard drive that I hook to my laptop. That's where I store 'em. just 'cause I wouldn't have enough space on my laptop itself so that's why I have this preset. It's gonna copy them to that particular drive. So, what did I say? If you had a card out of your camera, you put it in. Then you're gonna choose one of the choices called copy. All I'm choosing, should it go to my desktop, that's if I don't have any drives attached. If I'm at home and I've got my main drive, I choose this. If instead I have my travel hard drive, I choose that. So therefore it's a relatively easy choice between these. Then I just choose between the smart version and dumb version. Smart simply means I'm gonna need to adjust these pictures when that drive's disconnected. I wanna be able to do that if I'm traveling. I'd usually use the smart one. Therefore I just can open my laptop at any time, if (mumbles) in a taxi and I can be adjusting images without having to attach drives. So that's the copy. If I was in a hurry and I didn't even have Lightroom running and I was out shooting and I had just put in the compact flash or SD cards from my camera and I just drag and manually to my desktop, so there's just a bunch of folders sitting on my desktop. They're not in Lightroom at all yet. Then in here I would instead choose the choice of move. I could have multiple versions of move. I could have this to my photo archive or to my travel hard drive. It's just if I was gonna move them to my travel hard drive, I probably would have connected it already and manually done that. So anyway, here it can move it so when I'm at home I can move those from my desktop to my main computer. I could use that. Then we have one other choice up here, add. Add means leave the pictures where they already are. That's for photos I already have there, like my photo archives. If I've never brought them into Lightroom before, where I meticulously named the folder. I meticulously moved the it where I wanted it already before launching Lightroom. That's when I use that. So pretty much 98% of the time, I'm using copy to desktop when I'm traveling or copy to photo archive when I'm at home and my big drive's attached. It's simple. It's easy once it's set up. But it takes a bit of a hump to get to that point. Now once you have chosen something like that, you can look at the options that are in here. Let's take a look at what it is. First on the left side, this is where are the originals coming from? If you were to insert an SD card out of your camera, it would automatically navigate to it 'cause it would assume that's what you wanna get to. Then below that we have our shoot name. That's what's gonna be used in our file name. So I would type in the subject that I'm shooting. Let's see, this was a Nash Cooper, is the photos I think I have here. Over here on the right side it says what do you wanna name the sub folder it's gonna be put into? My standard is the year, the month and then the subject. Then I would just hit import. Now at the moment though, it needs to make sure there are pictures here. That it knows where they're coming from and at the moment I don't have that set up. So let's go over here and switch to our desktop. On my desktop I can say let's go to another source. Right there's the folder. Shoes. Okay, now that it knows where the pictures are, I can import them. So here goes. We're gonna copy these photos and we're gonna put them on to... Tells me right here, that folder called 2018. Hit import and here they come. You'll see a progress bar here as it imports them. You see two bars 'cause I probably used a... If you click here you can find out. I used a choice called smart previews I believe. So it's doing normal previews and it also did smart previews. But there it is. All the images are here. So you probably have to play back that section again and spend a little bit of time making your presets. But once you have, the process can be easy and the one tip I would give you about importing folders that already exist is this. If I hide Lightroom and I just go to the folder that I want to import; let's say I wanna import this particular one. If I were to drag it to the Lightroom icon and just let go, it will usually automatically navigate so it knows it's pointed at that particular folder over here. So if I had some folders I wanna import, just drag them to the Lightroom folder, or the Lightroom icon and that will navigate for you. Once this is done importing, then you can just go to your folder list that is on the left hand side of your screen and if you remember where you told it to import it, then you could navigate here to actually go and find it. I can see it right here. But often times I'm just not thinking that much about where it went. So the moment I get back into Lightroom, I'm like, where are those pictures that I last imported 'cause maybe you navigate away from this. You come in here and you're not looking at those images and you just forget. Where was that folder? Well, on the left hand side of your screen in this area called catalog, there's a choice here called previous import. If I click that, that always brings you to the last images you imported into Lightroom. The only problem with that is you can't tell what folder it's in just by glancing. There is a little trick to get to that folder. There'd be two of them. One would be on the right side of your screen in this area called metadata. Right there would tell you the folder that the picture you're currently clicked on resides in. Or if you actually wanna go to that folder, you can right click on any picture you're viewing and there's a choice called go to folder in library. What that means is navigate your folder list to this actual folder. Then over here it would highlight it and you'd be viewing that actual folder. So getting images into Lightroom. We're gonna spend what, maybe 40 minutes, getting your templates set up. Getting your presets set up but once your done, all you gotta do is hit import, (mumbles) to the left side of your screen where the images is coming from. If you just put a card in your computer, it's gonna have that automatically chosen on the left side. I type in a shoot name and a folder name and I hit import. That's it. But now let's take a look at Lightroom and how can we do some of the things that were done inside that import screen? How can we do it afterwards? Like moving files, changing the name of a folder, changing the name of a file. Renaming the whole folder full of images because maybe I didn't import 'em that way. Instead I left the original filenames from my camera manufacturer. So let's take a peek. First off, over here in our folder list, if you don't find the hard drive that you want listed here because you've never imported something from it, I believe you can go up here and there's a choice called add folder. That means just put a folder here so that I have it figured out. If you have an existing folder, you can use that to get it to show up. If, on the other hand, I have an existing folder but I don't like the name; maybe I had a typo when I was putting it in. With the folder, I can just right click on folder. Right here's a choice called rename and I'll just put in something different. I'll put vintage. So you can tell it changes. All I did was right click and choose rename. If I wanna put a folder inside of that folder, then I can right click on the folder and there's a choice here called create folder inside. So that means make a sub folder inside there. Maybe I wanna separate interior versus exterior of this shot. I'll do that so here I will say create folder inside. I'll say... Careful of this check box. It says include selected photos. I wasn't thinking about what folder was selected. What image. So I wanna have that turned off otherwise this image will be moved automatically. If I choose it with that turned off, it makes an empty folder. So now if I look over here, I can expand this folder down there. You can see my newly created folder. It's called mechanical systems. You can see there's zero pictures in it and I'm gonna sit here and grab this picture, which is from the underside of the car, and drag it there 'cause that's more about the mechanicals and I'm gonna come over here and select these images and drag them over there as well. Now you gotta be careful here because sometimes you'll do that and it will look as if you copied the pictures there instead of moving them. But the only reason it will look that way is because there's a setting under the library menu that is called show photos in sub folders and I have that turned off. So if it was turned on, then it's gonna show me not only the images contained in this folder I'm clicked on, but also the sub folder that is within it. So therefore instead of seeing 10 photos, you'd see 14 and if you're not aware that that's turned on, you might make the assumption that you're only viewing the contents of the base folder that's here and that it's not showing you what's in the other one. I so, you'd think they got copied because you still see 'em here. You need to go to the library menu and turn off this check box so that when you click on a folder, you only seeing what's in that precise folder and it's ignoring the contents of any sub folders within it. That's one of the most common questions I get. Whenever I drag between folders, it always copies, it never moves them. If you want a copy, you could, I believe, hold on the option key. So if you hold down option when you drag, that's alt in Windows, Do you see a little plus sign near where I'm dragging? That means it will move a copy. I think, although it didn't look like it did. At least on the Mac usually that's the case. Let me see if I try it again. I could be wrong. No, there it is. No, it doesn't look like that worked. I thought you could hold option and do it. It's interesting that it gave me the plus sign to indicate that it should copy. So anyway, now we know how to make sub folders. We know how to rename our existing folders, But how do I rename a file? Because up here I can see the filename, but if I click on it, it's like, I can't rename it just by clicking. There's a couple of different ways to rename a file. The way I mainly do it is I go to the right side of my screen when I'm in the library module. In this area called metadata, right there it also shows your filename. But it's in an editable field. You can just click on it and you can type in whatever you'd like. Maybe I find out that this is a 1950 or 51, I think. 1950 Dash Cooper. Hit return and it just changed the filename for me. But what if this whole folder has my original camera's file naming in there and I wanna rename the whole folder of images? Then I might wanna type command A to get all the images. Over here where it says filename, it says mixed because there's more than one. To the right of it there's an icon. If I click that little icon, it brings this up. Guess what this is? These are the exact same presets that we had available when importing our picture. So I can come over here and use Ben's default or use this one here and have it so it can rename my files. So that is clicking the little icon to the right next to filename. So we know how to rename a folder. How to create sub folders. How to rename images. Those are most of the things that you end up doing when you're in the import module. The only other exception I can think of is what kind of preview you have attached to your image and also your copyright info so let's look at those. If I select all, command A to do so, I can go to the library menu and there's a choice right here called previous. So here it says build standard sized previews. That means a preview about the size of your screen. Here it says build one to one previews. That means full size. If you've done that in the past, those take up a lot of space so you could also discard those. There's build smart previews and discard smart previews. So that's where I could do that after the fact if I didn't use the choice that I wanted when I was importing. Then finally undermetadata and I never need to do this so it'll take me a moment to look. Here's where I could edit or create a metadata preset. There is a spot which I actually won't know where it is because I've never used it but you can apply a metadata preset. I might even be able to do it when I right click. Right here, metadata presets. If I right click on any image, there's a choice called metadata presets and right here I could choose one of the presets that I made; meaning the same thing where it takes up my copyright info. So if you've already imported images into Lightroom and you're going man, I didn't do what he did. That doesn't mean you have to reimport them and start from scratch. So many people tell me they wanna start from scratch. Like, I've already got my stuff in it but it didn't do it the way you did. Now what I wanna do is just mess with my hard drive and reimport everything so you start from scratch. No, I don't do that. What I do instead is if you know how to fix it when you're in your computers operating system, you can fix it whilst you're in Lightroom. You already know how to rename folders and move 'em. If you wanna move a folder, just click on the folder and drag it somewhere else you want it to go. Let go and it's gonna move that folder. It'll take it a moment. So if you wanna reorganize your folders, just do it in this list. Whatever you do in this list happens on your hard drive as well. So you can rearrange your folders. You can rename them and so there's no need to do it outside of Lightroom. Because if you do it outside of Lightroom, and then you try to reimport or something like that, there's some things you can lose. There are features in Lightroom that are not stored in that folder. That can get out of sync. So I just don't see as much of the value of wanting to start over. Instead what I would say is refine what you have here in Lightroom. Alright. Jim, any questions? Ben, we've always got questions over here. Let me kinda take a peek and throw a couple your way. A couple of people, actually Wendy has been asking, when do you choose to copy to DNG? For me, personally, never. That's the answer. But for some people, they have chosen to use the DNG file format as their way of storing their pictures. Their originals. There are advantages and disadvantages of that but it's a long talk. It's kind of like somebody asking should I use pro photo RGB or Adobe RGB? I can tell you what I use and say that's good or something. But to actually understand what it means would take longer than I think is worth. All I will say is right now, if you're not currently using it, you're doing fine. If you're currently using it, as long as you have some idea as to why, you're also fine. But there's not a huge reason to change from whatever it is you're currently doing. For me personally, I don't. It takes longer when you import your pictures and I'm usually in a hurry. When I'm importing, I don't want it to take longer. Great. A question here, does smart preview work even if your library is on a disconnected external drive? Well if your library is on a disconnected external drive, you cannot use Lightroom period. Whenever you launch Lightroom, what you're launching is a catalog. If the catalog doesn't exist, sure you might have Lightroom the program but you have nothing to open. It's like having Photoshop and not a single picture in disabling even the new choice where you can make a new one. That's not a workflow that works. Instead you have to connect that drive before you launch Lightroom or have a catalog file stored up somewhere where you have access to it. Then a workflow question, we have a couple of these for David and Dennis. Isn't it a mistake to create a new catalog for every new project? It's a mistake if you haven't thought through of why you're doing it. Often times I find somebody does it just because they watched a video of somebody that went on YouTube or they went to a seminar or something and somebody said that's the way they do it, so they adopted the same thing without really thinking through the ramifications of it. I would say using a... This is something we discuss when we talk about the details in catalogs, but I would just say this in general is if you work on a project and that project and that project is completely independent of every single other project you ever work on. Maybe you shoot weddings and you only work on one wedding at a time, you never need to see pictures from two different weddings at the same time. Then it could work fine to have one catalog per shoot. But if you ever wanna see photos from more than one shoot at a time, then I think that is not as ideal to set up. For me I have a total I think it's four catalogs, but for most people, one catalog is fine and we discuss that when we get into catalogs in a different session. Alright now let's talk about customizing Lightroom. If you look at my copy of Lightroom, it probably looks a bit different than yours. First up in the upper-left, you see my name up there. It even says Lightroom Classic. On the right side of my screen, do you see the typeface that's used for these various modules that are here? If you look at your version of Lightroom, you might have more choices up here than I do. That's because Lightroom is very customizable to make it really fit your particular workflow. Let's take at some of the things we can do to customize it. First in the upper-left, this area is known as your identity plate and it's also a menu. If you actually click on it, there are some choices here where you can turn various features on and off. If you right-click on it, the right mouse button or Ctrl clicking if you're on a single-button on a Mac, you're gonna find also here this choice called identity plate and the option of editing it. What'd I do to get that? I pressed the right mouse button when I was on top of this area. If I'm on a Mac with only one mouse button, I held down the Ctrl key and I clicked. I choose edit identity plate and this comes up. This is showing me what I see across the top of my screen. Over here on the left side, I can have two different kinds of identity plates; one based on text, the other would be a graphic one. I would use graphic if I had a logo I wanted to put up there. For now let's make one based on text. Below that I can type in text. I'll just type Command A to select all and we'll just call this CreativeLive. If I wanna change the typeface, I can type Command A for select all or I can just drag across. Maybe I don't wanna select all of the text that's there. Down here I can choose the typeface I'd like to use, I can choose what style, if there are multiple styles available like Italic and Bold. The size and there's a little square on the right for the color. I'm gonna click on that and in this case, this is a standard Mac color picker. So if it looks a little different in Windows, it'll just give you a standard Windows color picker. You might wanna this one where you can choose whatever you'd like. In my case I chose white for that text. Since I had only part of the text selected, it didn't change the whole thing. It only changed that beginning part. I can type in additional text here. Again, stylize each word separately or each letter, if I'd like. On the right side this controls what the right side is gonna look like, what's known as your module picker. There, I can choose what typeface I'd like to use. I don't know what muscle looks like. Ooh, that looks good. Or if I wanna get my wife going, I'll put in giddy up in which it's made out of rope or something which will drive her nuts. Anyway, this is what I'll usually use for me personally. You can choose the size of that text and over here on the right side, you can choose what color is used for the module you're currently in. Maybe if it's not obvious enough for you here, you can make that red. Then what colors should there be, the second little square, for the other modules, the ones you're not currently using? So you can dial that in. This would be a text-based identity plate. Once you set up all of this the way you like it, up at the top here, you have two popup menus. This and the one on the right. The one on the right is where we wanna go 'cause that's where I find Save As. I'm gonna give this a name and click on Save. Now it has that as a preset. I can easily switch between this one and others. You can go to default ones. One would have your Adobe ID or the standard ones that Adobe would use. Or if you set it to personalized, you get your own. In here, I have various ones depending on what kinda talk I'm gonna give. If I want my website name up there 'cause maybe I'm gonna be up on stage and I want everybody to know what that is. I have graphic ones, but not all of these are actually to be used up here. Because this choice called identity plate is something that isn't just used for the top of your screen over here on the left. When you end up creating slideshows, for instance, you can have it overlay your identity plate on your pictures or behind your pictures that kinda thing. Some of these are set up so if I choose them, it's not gonna look good up here. That's because this is not designed for using in the top of my screen. It's used for when I'm doing slideshows or something else. So you will find this in other areas. If you wanna create one based on your logo, all you need to do is switch from this part that has to do with text to this one over here which has to do with a graphic. Then right over here is a choice called Locate File. If you click on that and navigate to your logo file, you could use your logo in here as well. You can set it up quite nicely. For me though, I'm gonna use that choice called CreativeLive, click okay. Now you can see we've customized your identity plate and we customized the style of the text over here on the right. If I were to Ctrl click or right click on this, I could then switch between various choices and right there is where I could edit my identity plate. That's one customization we've made. Now let's customize other things. Let's say over here where the modules are, you mainly use the library module for organizing your pictures. You use the develop module for adjusting them. You might view them on a map on occasion and you print, that's it. You never do slideshows, you never do books, so why have it clutter up the interface that's here? Well if I right click on this area where the module picker is, you'll find a list of all the choices I could have. If I choose select all, you'll get 'em all to appear there. But I rarely come in here and create books. Most of the time my wife makes books that we have and she's great at it, so I let her do most of that. Maybe I don't use the map and I never do the websites from Lightroom. That might be my setup, but yours will be different depending on what you need to do. Let's look other areas. Let's say I'm in the develop module. We'll grab a picture here, head over to develop. In the develop module, we have these various panels on our screen and we can set those up in a custom way. Let's say when I'm in this list of the various develop settings here, I find I absolutely never use this one called Calibration. I'm not sayin' that for real, I'm just sayin' maybe you are that way. If I right click, you're gonna find a list of all the choices that are usually in here. If I were to turn off the checkbox next to Calibration, it simply wouldn't show up. Maybe in here, I never do split toning. That's just not my style, so why not turn it off? Therefore, you can customize this. You can always right click again and turn those things back on, but it's nice bein' able to customize. Then another way I customize is watch what happens when I switch between these various modules. Right now I have this one called HSL open. I'm gonna click down here on slit toning and notice when I do, the one called HSL automatically collapsed down. So when I switch between these, I can only see one section at a time. I never see, by scrolling down, more than one. To me that's really nice because it makes it so it avoids clutter. Well, how can I do that? If I right click again up here... I didn't wanna hide basic. If I right click on the name of one of these panels, there's a choice here called Solo Mode and that's what I'm using. If Solo Mode is turned off, then you'll find the little triangles next to each one of these options is solid. Whereas when you're in Solo Mode, it's kinda speckled. Now the default is when I open one panel, let's just leave the others open. Now I can have a whole bunch of 'em. But I prefer to be in Solo Mode 'cause I find it's much easier to concentrate on the one section I'm using. Now even when you're in Solo Mode, you can still have more than one panel open. You just need to do some extra work to get to that point. How do you do it? Hold Shift. If you don't have Shift held down when you switch from one panel to another, the previous panel you're using will collapse. But if you hold down Shift, it means let's add this panel so I can see two of 'em. Or I can add a third one, now I can see three of them. But if I don't hold Shift, the moment I click on the name of a panel, all the others get collapsed. That's something I like to use when I'm in the development module on the right side of my screen. Other things we can customize. Well the side panels on your screen, there's a panel on every side of your screen. I find when I'm in the develop module, this panel on the left side is something I usually only need to use for a moment, then I'd like it to go away so my picture can take up more space. Maybe I just need to quickly apply a preset and then I'm done. Or maybe I need to look at the history of what was done to this picture and I wanna go back a few steps, that kinda thing. But I don't wanna come over here and have to click this triangle every time, instead I'd rather it be like this. Watch. If I hover over towards the left side of my screen and I get to where that little black bar is, it just automatically shows up. I didn't click. Then when I move away from it, it automatically disappears. So I move to the bar, it shows up. I move away, it disappears. Therefore, it's much more convenient. How do I do that? Right click on that triangle. In here the default setting is manual, that means you'd have to manually click every single time you get to that. I usually have it set to manual for the right side of the develop module because it's almost never that I'm in the develop module where I want that to hide 'cause that's how you adjust your pictures. But on the left side, this is something I only use for a few seconds, so I have it to auto-hide and show. Then what about the third setting, when would I use that? Down here at the bottom of my screen, we have the filmstrip and there's also other settings very close to the bottom of the screen. If I have that set to auto-show and hide, it's very common that I'm gonna come down here and try to adjust something like turn soft proofing on or click on one of these icons, I just move a little too far and that thing would pop open. So that one I have set usually to auto-hide. Because when I use it, I don't want it to automatically show up. Because if I just move near these icons, I might accidentally trigger it. If I wanna use the filmstrip, I'll click on that triangle, I'll use it to switch to a different picture. But then the moment I move away, I want it to go away. I might do the same thing at the top of my screen, just use auto-hide, then I have more space for my picture. If I ever need to change modules, I just move my mouse up there. Sorry, I moved my thing up here. Actually I'd have that set to auto-hide and show because it's so often you need to change modules. But for the one at the bottom it's too easy for me to accidentally trigger it, so that one I usually set to auto-hide. Now when you do that, you can always override things. If I'm gonna need to use this side panel for a while, I can click manually on that triangle. Just for that moment in time, it's goin' now be stuck open. If I click on the triangle again, it means go back to the way you were before. Anyway, we got the panels where we can customize those quite a bit which I think makes Lightroom much more user-friendly. You can customize it to exactly the way you like to work. Alright, then we have our view of our images. In here you'll notice I have the file format of my picture in the upper-left. It says JPG to let me know this is a JPEG file and therefore I can tell the difference between a JPEG file, a RAW file, and other types. I then have a file name across here. Below that I have the width and height of the picture in pixels so I can tell if I have a small image or a big one. At the bottom I have where I can rate my pictures by clicking on these little dots or I can click here and add a label, which is also a color. You also have these little rotate icons. Yours probably looks different than this and that's because that's completely customizable. Let's take a look at where you go to control it. If I go up here to the View menu, there is a choice right here called View Options. If I choose View Options, this comes up and you have two choices. You have Grid View and Loupe View. It should automatically send you to the proper section depending on how you're viewing your image. Loupe View is what you get if you hit the Spacebar or you click on this icon right here to view a single image large. Grid View is what you get when you viewin' the grid. All the settings that are in here control what you see surrounding your picture. Right here, this is why I see the file extension in the upper-left of my image 'cause I find it useful to know that. This is why I see the file name. If you don't care what the crop dimensions are, you might wanna come in here and get something else. Maybe you want the capture date. Well if so, we can get it there. Maybe instead you want something else. In here, maybe you need to be able to see the lens settings, the F-Stop that somebody was shot at so you can tell what the possible depth-of-field would be. The focal length of the lens, anything like that. The ISO rating so you can see if it's really high, you might have to do noise reduction. That kinda stuff. Now I can see these on an iPhone, ISO-20 is not unusual. Or if you just want cleanliness, you can turn off this checkbox and it won't show that information. What do you want below your image? Here, show the rating footer. Do you wanna see that or not? Do you wanna have the color label in there or just the rating? Maybe you just wanna clean that up. You don't use ratings, why see that info? All sorts of information we can change here, it's just a matter of spending time figuring out the best for you. But if you ever find information you just don't find to be useful, this is where I go to change it up to something else. If I go to Loupe View, often times I would find it would default to havin' all sorts of junk up here where it'd have the file name, it'd have exposure information, it'd have a number and all that. I just hated it. That's when I go here to Loupe View. If I turn on show info overlay, then you're gonna find that kinda stuff there which I personally don't like. If you wanna get rid of it, it's just one checkbox. Or if you just find what's there isn't so useful, then right here is where you can change it. What do I wanna see? I don't want any big text in there. What else do I want? Crop dimensions, how many megapixels the picture is maybe? Whatever it is, it's a personal choice. For me, it's turning it off for Loupe View. Alright now we have our panels customized so we can hide various things. We have them automatically showing and hiding if needed. We've customized our identity plate on the left and our module picker on the right. We're startin' to get Lightroom dialed in a little bit. Let's look at our preferences. There's just a few things I wanna point you at. If I go to Preferences, you have a bunch of tabs across the top. One of those tabs is called Interface. This controls the overall look of Lightroom. Now a couple of things in here, 'cause I don't think I need to spend time to go through every single one because some of them are rather obvious or are just not commonly needed to change but a few things. Here, show photos in navigator on mouse-over. You might not know what the heck that means, so lemme show you what that means. It was show photos in navigator on mouse-over. I like that turned on and here's why. If I'm ever in the develop module and I go down here to the bottom of my screen, I see this thing. This is called the filmstrip. I can grab the edge here of where that area ends and the photo begins, when I get it visible here, to control its size. Really big, really small. Sometimes I like it to be really small so I can see a large number of images. But the size of these is sometimes a little too small to tell the difference between maybe this photo and the other. When I'm in the develop module on the left side of my screen, if I open that thing up. Right here's the navigator and that's kind of a medium-sized picture. If I go down here now to the filmstrip and I hover over these, do you see it updating and changing the picture that's in there? Well that's what that preference controlled. That preference if it was turned off, when I'm hovering over these other pictures, that up there would stay on the same picture we're lookin' at here. But I find it nice to be able to hover over what's here in the filmstrip and get a bigger preview. What preference did I change? Preferences under Interface, what's it called? Show photos in navigator on mouse-over. It wouldn't be very obvious what the heck that means unless you had somebody show you when you might like to see them. Other things in here that are kinda fun. There's a choice here called Panels and you'll see an option here called End Marks. Mine has a setting called small flourish. Well here's how you can really customize Lightroom. Look on the left side of my screen. I have this panel over here. I happen to be, what, in the develop module and do you see this little graphic that's here? Right there, that's the small flourish. If I change the End Marks' setting to none, that goes away. That little graphic will appear at the bottom of every one of these side panels. So if I go to the side panel on the right when I'm in develop module, I see it right there. If I go to the library module, it would also appear at the bottom. You're like, big deal who the heck need a flourish? What if that was your logo or what if that was a reminder of the projects you need to do this week? Or what if it reminded you of keyboard shortcuts that you wanna learn, wouldn't that be cool? Well watch, I can change it. I'm gonna go here to library shortcuts. Now if I close this up, I might need to expand it horizontally a little bit so you can see the full width. But check it out, it's reminding me of keyboard shortcuts that I should most likely learn to get better at using the library module. That's kinda cool. Heck, you could put a picture in there of some guy doin' this. It looks like he's holding up the panel that's there. There's all sorts of things you can put there. But if you purchase this course, you'll be able to go to your preferences and change this to those keyboard shortcuts. You'll also be able to go in there and get reminders of my file naming conventions. These are the various folder names I use when I'm working in Lightroom. This way I can be more consistent with them 'cause it will constantly remind me of them. How can I get a graphic in there? I go to my preferences, I click on interface. That was the setting right here called End Marks and there's small flourish. That's the only one comes with Lightroom. But check it out, go to Panel End Marks folder. That's gonna navigate me to a folder on my hard drive, right here. All I gotta do is drag JPEG files or PNG files into this folder. Then they'll be available in that menu. So if you wanna get your own graphic in there or you wanna create your own little keyboard shortcut guide, just save it out, put it in this folder. Then it will appear within that preference in Lightroom. There we have it. Let's see, other things I think you can change. If I open one of these and you see the text, I think you can make it a little bit larger as well. Other preferences. We'll talk about things like file naming or the file handling when we talk about sending things over to Photoshop, but this determines... This one here called the external editing. What file formats used if you send something to Photoshop and all those kinds of settings. Just so you know, there are other settings that are useful to know about in here. I just wanted to let you know of a few. Alright, so I think we're getting pretty custom. You got any questions over there, Jim? I do have a couple of questions. What have you got? One of our students would like to know does the logo need to be a PNG for the identity plate? Or what type of file format will it accept? Usually for logos PNG, which is generically pronounced ping, file format will do best. I believe you can also use JPEG. But JPEG usually looks terrible with logos. That's why almost all photographers' logos look bad because photographers know that JPEG makes their photos look great, but they don't usually deal with graphics. JPEGs make graphics look terrible, photos look great. But PNG file format makes graphics look good. If your graphic has mainly solid colors in it, then I'd use that file format. It also allows for transparency. So if you remove the background on your logo, so you see a checkerboard in Photoshop, that gets saved along with it so that it'll be transparent in those areas. Great. This one from Sam. Is it possible to rearrange any Lightroom panels? Examples: Swap, develop, left and right panels for lefties. Then I'm not sure if you mentioned it yet, but could you talk a little bit about some best practices if you have a secondary monitor. What you might do in your workflow. First you cannot swap the panels. They're stuck on the left or right side of your screen when you're doing that. So we don't have an option there. If you end up having a second monitor, which I usually have, so it'll take me a moment to look and actually find it. There is a setting. It's either under the view menu or under the window menu. It's right here called secondary display. So if you have two screens set up, you can choose what would you like to have on that second monitor? I find that when I have that set up, usually I actually use an iPad. There is an app you can get. I think it's called Duet and it allows me to have my iPad act like a second display. If I have that, I usually have grid displayed on there and therefore on that second display, especially if it's a touch panel like an ipad, I just tap on a different photo within grid mode to switch between it. But this is where you control those options., under the window menu and then secondary display. But I personally don't usually have a second monitor hooked up, so I don't know that I can give you best practices 'cause I just don't have enough practice to really have come up with that. Let's talk a little bit about just what we've covered in this session and just a few other details. When we created an import preset, I just wanna give you a little bit about the why we did a few of the choices that we did. If I go to the library module and I hit import, you remember that we ended up renaming our files if I end up looking at the large version of this. That right over here under file renaming. I was very careful with kinda how I did it. I ended up putting the date in it and a shoot name; then the number from the original camera. But ideally what is I want it so every single file that I have in Lightroom has a unique filename. Why? Because I've had too many times when a client asks me to email them a set of images and I send them off a dozen pictures that are from various folders. They're not all just from one and they need to pick an image. They come back and say I like image and then they give me the filename. Sometimes that happens when there's months between the original communication and when they actually respond and all I have when they send me info is the name of a file. If that was the original name that came from my camera, that number only gets up to a certain amount and then it resets back to the number one. So if I use the file names from my original camera, then I'm gonna have duplicate filenames. Now Lightroom is fine having duplicate filenames. That's no problem. It's just when my client comes back and says I want image this and I go to Lightroom to search for it. I can easily do that. When you're in library module at the top of your screen, you should have this thing called the filter bar. If that's not there, right here is where you can show or hide it. Then I could search based on text and type in the filename and I would find the file. But what if 10 files showed up? How do I know which one the client wants to refer to? Or if later on I wanna start exporting my pictures to again give to a client? But I export two images from two different folders, but they end up with exactly the same filename because the camera reset its filing. I'm trying to export it. I'm going to deliver it to a client and now two of them are going to the same folder with the exact same filenames. It's gonna have to modify one of them in order to do that. It just becomes more confusing as I go along. Also, if someone gives me a filename, I don't wanna have to search for it in Lightroom. If I make it so my filename matches the folder name. So I have year, month, shoot name, and that's also exactly how the files are named. Then any time a client or anyone else or even me, finds an image and all I have to go on is the filename, I know exactly where to find it in my folder list because I know the folder's gonna be named with the same general concept. So that's why I do my unique filenames and I try to come up with something where I'll never have two files with the exact same name. Then in my folder list I happen to organize mine by year. I should show you what you should do at the beginning of each year. What I do is I create a reminder in my calendar. On the last day of the year, I say put in a reminder and it says update, copyright and destination. Let me show you what I do to accomplish that. I'm gonna hit the import button here and you'll remember how we had these various presets that were here. If you look at any of these that say copy to and it goes to my photo archive. My photo archive is what I call my main hard drive that contains every single photo I've ever shot. If I use that and you look on the right side over here, it should, it'll take me a moment to see it. It's pointing it to this folder called 2018. What happens when 2018 ends and next year begins? I usually just on that day, I create a brand new folder on that hard drive called 2019. In this case, one of those doesn't currently exist. I'm going to switch to this one instead just to show you how it's done. After you manually create a folder called 2019 on your hard drive, it would appear in this list. I would click on it, then I would come right down here to the preset item just chosen and I would simply choose update preset. It gives me the name of the preset. I'd let go. Therefore I would've updated it to the new folder. I would also at the same time come up here to where it says apply during import. Right there is my 2018. What happens when 2019 rolls around? I go right over here to this side, I would say edit presets. I would go to the name of the preset I use; there's the one we made and I would just update this 2019. Up here at the top, I could then say let's update that current preset, change the settings that are in there. You could also rename your presets, I believe. In here I don't see the option to save/restore. Let's update it first, then we come over here and there's rename. I'll rename it then and I'll make it 2019. You get the idea that you can do this. So I don't wanna save, let's don't save. Once a year, that's what I gotta do. In here update what folder it's gonna go into. It's goin' into a new year's folder and I need to update my preset that's there. I believe that my presets down here will update so that if it was on the previous years, it will switch because I updated the name. I didn't create a brand new preset. Those are a few things you might want to consider if the new year rolls around. One other tip is if you ever import photos that are not your own, then be careful if you happen to use key wording. We'll talk about key wording in a different episode, but all I would say is in general, I'd try not to import too many pictures that come from other people without inspecting those images first. Because if they have key words on them, your key word list is going to be populated with whatever that photo is tagged with. If that photo happened to come from a stock photo website, let's say, then it can sometimes have hundreds of key words and it can be somewhat absurd. I'll just let you know that before I ever import photos somebody else gave me, I usually keep this program called Bridge around. Bridge comes with Photoshop. If you own that product, you can download it from Adobe's site. I will point Bridge at the folder of images that I'm considering to import. On the right side of the screen where it says key words, I'll see if there's a big long list over here. If there is, I'll strip 'em out of that image. You can select them and delete them here. I would do that before I import those images into Lightroom just to keep my key word list nice and clean. But that you'll get into a little bit more when we get into actually making our images searchable. I think we got pretty good here. We now how to make our import presets. We know how to customize Lightroom and we have an overall idea how to think about Lightroom from yesterday. Let's think about where we're headin' after this. We're gonna talk about understanding Lightroom catalogs and file management. What's that gonna really entitle? Well some people were asking during the questions today should they have one Lightroom catalog file or one for each shoot? I'll give you a more detailed answer to that tomorrow. The answer's different for each person, so you really need to think through it. We'll get into exactly what is stored inside a Lightroom catalog file. What if I want to change the name of it? How do I find where it's located? What's in it overall, each file that's there? You'll really start to understand how to think about how Lightroom is storing the information it works with. We'll also talk a bit about file management where how can we organize our files in a way that might be quite different than what you're used to, but we'll make it so it becomes just radically more useful where I can then visit folders from images I shot 10 years earlier and feel like I'm reacquainted with that folder of images very quickly without having to look at every image that's there to see what state is it in. I think you're really gonna enjoy tomorrow. Before tomorrow rolls around though, what I'd love you to do is go to our special Facebook group. If you visit the website that's listed at the bottom of my screen right now, you can ask to be added to the Facebook group. I'll go approve people right when we're done recording here and also near the end of the day so you'll get added soon. In there I do a new post for each one of these lessons. Then you can comment on the lesson and you can communicate with other people that are watching the class. It's a really nice way to get more outta the class. That's something that's free. You don't have to buy the class to become a member of the group. Also in the future, this is where once a week I post free tips to that group. So even when this class is over with, it's still useful to be in the group because you get a free Photoshop or Lightroom tip each week that's announced there. This is day two of Lightroom Classic: the Complete Guide. We have 20 days total to go through. This is just the second. You're gonna end up learning a lot more about Lightroom and by the end, I want you to like Lightroom as much as I do because I look forward to every time I get in front of the program because I can streamline it so much. But it's mainly you gotta spend a little bit of time. It's a little hump of creating those presets and things where once you've gone through it, processing your images will become so streamlined that you'll absolutely love being in Lightroom.

Class Description


  • Develop the confidence to use your imagination and create images you'll be proud to share with your clients
  • Thoughtfully use the Lightroom suite to streamline your workflow and add flair to your images
  • Organize your entire photo collection


Adobe® Lightroom® Classic CC can streamline your workflow, add drama to your images, and organize your entire photo collection -- but only if you know all the hidden features. Lightroom CC is one of the best non-destructive editing tools out there, designed to handle tasks from importing off an SD card and organizing to editing, printing, and exporting for social media. But the extent of the photo editing tools likely means that, if you are self-taught or just opening Lightroom CC for the first time, you're missing out on some key features.

As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, the Lightroom Classic photography plans also include Photoshop and cloud storage, creating a complete image editing toolkit for photographers.

When you purchase this course you’ll gain access to an enduring resource to build your skills. You will also receive a workbook that acts as a reference guide, Lightroom presets, and Lightroom keywords, all included with the class.

Join well-known software instructor Ben Willmore to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently, leaving more time to spend capturing amazing images. In this 20 lesson course, Ben covers everything from importing to troubleshooting and everything in between. As a boot camp, this course is set up so professional photographers can spend about an hour or so each weekday to learn the ins and outs of Lightroom in just four weeks.


This class is designed for Lightroom newbies as well as self-taught Lightroom users ready to uncover the hidden features and Photoshop experts ready to try Adobe's non-destructive RAW editor and organizer. As a recent class, the workshop also explains Lightroom's latest new features.

Adobe Lightroom Classic CC 2018


Ben Willmore is a member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame who has taught over 100,000 Adobe® Photoshop® users on all seven continents. His bestselling books, DVDs, and hit seminars have established Ben as one of America’s favorite Adobe Photoshop instructors, and he is often the top-selling speaker at design and photography conferences throughout the world. He writes for numerous digital imaging publications, including Photoshop User magazine, and his award-winning books have helped helped hundreds of thousands of design and photography professionals make the transition from blindly following step-by-step techniques to “Ah-ha! I finally GET Photoshop!”

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Week 1 Workbook

Week 1 Homework

Week 2 Workbook

Week 2 Homework

Week 3 Workbook

Week 3 Homework

Week 4 Workbook

Week 4 Homework

Week 4 Catalog

Develop Presets

Develop Presets Pre 7.3

Lightroom Endmarks

Develop Presets Guide

Lightroom Keywords Guide

Lightroom Keywords Sampler

Lightroom Endmarks Guide

Ben's Smart Collections

Lightroom Classic Q&A (very large 3+ gb zip file)

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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Just wow! Ben is such an amazing instructor - he is able to explain everything very succinctly and in just enough detail that your eyes don't start glazing over. I've used Photoshop for over 20 years and have been afraid (and didn't really want to learn yet another program) of using Lightroom, until I've heard how awesome it is from my fellow photographer friends. This course is extremely comprehensive and if you're a more experienced user, you can skip some of the lessons and just watch the ones you want - but even experienced users might get at least a few nuggets of information that they didn't know in every lesson. Highly recommend! And thank you, Ben. P.S. You're wife and her yoga poses are amazing. I just got into yoga a few months ago and can only hope to be half as good as she is! :o)


I was taking a lightroom course from another provider and decided to give Creative live a shot as I wasn't happy with the other class. This class blows that one out of the water! I love the detailed instructions, he goes at a good pace and I love the transcription (I didn't even know that was there until I scrolled down). I would definitely recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn lightroom. Thank you Ben for giving this great class!


I have been searching for something to help me with my images. I am fairly confident with my ability to take nice photos but sometimes they need help. I might actually enjoy editing now!