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Import New Photos

Lesson 2 from: Beginner Workflows in Lightroom

Tim Grey

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Lesson Info

2. Import New Photos

Lesson Info

Import New Photos

Let's go ahead and import some new images. I've got all of these existing photos. In theory, this is every photo that I've ever captured ever. I imported them all at once. You might have noticed up at the top, right? That light room was building previews for those images will talk about those previews in a moment. But now that's just my first import ever. Probably the only time that I need that ad option moving forward. What's going to happen? I'm gonna go out. I'm gonna capture new images. I'm gonna take the card out of my camera. Why do I take the card out of my camera instead of plugging the camera into the computer directly? Easy for me. If I plug my camera into the computer, I am going to trip over that cable at some point and knock my camera down onto the floor. Also, in most cases, the cameras not going to be the fastest way to transfer images. And so I would take the card out, put it into my card reader, and now I'm ready to import. But this is a slight variation on that import...

that we saw initially and we have a few more options available. So let's take a look at that once again, down at the bottom of the left panel again in the library module. Because I'm organizing my photos right now. If I click that import button that will once again bring up my dialogue for choosing what I want to import, this would in theory be when I have a card that I've inserted into my card reader for my purposes today just to make a little bit easier on me. I just have a folder on my desktop called New Photos that represents the new pictures that I've just captured in Seattle. And so I set that as my source. Now you'll notice that I have the option to include sub folders here when I've inserted a card into a card reader. Lightman's gonna recognize that, and normally then it would give me the option to automatically reject that card so that at the end of this process, I don't have to go into my operating system and safely remove the device. I can just unplug the card from the card reader, so I have that folder set, but I want to make sure up at the top center. Remember, we were using the ad option initially when we were adding all of our existing images. Ad is for photos that are already where they belong. But if I've just captured images and they're on my card, my media card are they where they belong? It No. If I add those photos to my light room catalogue, I am going to have a very bad day when I discover what I've done wrong. Because that card is then going back into my camera and I will reformat it to erase it so that I can start capturing additional images. And when I come into light room, it says, Hey, wait a minute, where's that media card with all those pictures that you had me add to the catalogue? So we don't want to add those images of the catalogue because they are not yet where they belong, there still on my card. So instead, what do we want to do with them? Well, in theory, we want to move them from our card to our hard drive because then we want the card to be empty so that we can start taking additional photos However, I'm not that trusting if we're moving cards of images rather from the card to my hard drive. What if something goes wrong in the middle of that process? Maybe the computer will figure it all out, and I won't have any problems. But I'm not interested in taking that chance. In fact, I'd be pretty happy if this move option didn't even exist. I want the copy option. I'm gonna copy the images from my card to my hard drive, and we'll talk about the specific location in a moment. Notice that I also do have a copy as DMG setting. You might be familiar with the Adobe D N G or digital negative format. You can sort of think of this format as an alternative to a raw capture format if using raw capture in your camera and it is publicly documented so it's not proprietary, and in theory it gives you the ability to access your DMG files later. Even if there were no more support for proprietary raw captures, it's not something that I worry about too much there a variety of pros and cons in terms of whether or not you might convert to PNG. My feeling is my cameras capturing and raw. I want to keep that raw, and so I just use the standard copy option. So I'm copying images from my card to wear well. There's sort of a a two step process here in terms of how I define where I want those images to go. So first off, I need to specify my primary location. Where's my primary location? In my particular example, right here, right now. That's the photos folder on my desktop for me, personally, under normal circumstances, that's a four terabyte external hard drive that I use on Lee for my pictures, and with 330,000 pictures, it's pretty much full, so it's time to get a bigger drive. But I have that one location where I'm keeping all of my images. That's what I'm going to specify up here at the top, right? So if I click up at the top right here in the import, I can choose other destination, and in my case, I'll go to the desktop and I'll choose photos. So again, this is just where I'm storing photos right now. Your location might be different. Maybe it's in your pictures folder on your internal hard drive. Maybe you two were using an external hard drive just for pictures. Maybe you're using an external hard drive. That's both pictures and other data. So you have a photos folder on that external hard drive. I'm not concerned about where you've chosen to put those photos. I just encourage you to try to have a single location so that you're not thinking about wait. Where? Which folder? Which drive? Where do I need to go first? It's just my photo storage location and then start looking for a folder will define that folder shortly. But for now, I'm just going to specify my primary storage location for my images. So take a closer look at file handling. You might notice that there are some additional options that we did not see when we were adding. That's why I saved it for now. So we can talk about some of these options at this point, so previews weaken build previews will light room again. It's not really browsing are hard drive per se. It's using a central catalogue, and as part of that catalogue, it's building previews. The really cool part about that is that. Remember that external hard drive I'm using to store all of my photos? I don't need to have it with me toe. Look at my pictures. Because of those previews, I could leave the hard drive at home and still bring up my light room catalogue and look at my images, thumbnails and full screen previews. That's a wonderful thing. In fact, I could even add metadata to those images. I can add. Keywords and star ratings will talk about some of those things shortly, but I can work in light room organizing my photos. I can't do everything without that hard drive connected, but I could do a lot of things, and that's really one of the big advantages of working with light room. It's one of the big advantages of having a light room catalog. I know this concept of a catalogue, which is separate from my photos, but I've got to manage both of them and keep them both healthy and happy. It could be a little bit confusing, but there's some really significant benefits to your workflow that that catalogue provides. So I encourage you start to understand that concept and recognize the benefits, and you'll quickly be happy about those benefits, and you won't worry so much about the potential confusion. More importantly, you'll start to understand light room better so that you don't even have the confusion in the first place. So if light room is building previews, how do we go about telling it what kind of previews We should have it build? Do we even care? We sort of care, I would say, My first thing is I do not ever use. We can see we have the minimal and we have embedded and sidecar as options. I only want the standard option most of the time, but I definitely do not want those 1st 2 options because as soon as I look at the full image, not a thumbnail but the full image inside of light room, I need that standard preview. Otherwise, I'm not going to be able to see a high quality version of my image. And so I definitely want standard. You might have noticed when I imported those initial images that I had a little progress meter showing me that it was building standard previews and it took a few minutes were to generate all those previous. That's fine, because I can still work in light room while it's building those previews. I could even interrupt the process if I need to and build the previews later. But I generally let that process run through, but we also have a one toe, one option. These are full resolution previews. The standard previews how bigger they will. You can actually change the size in the preferences, but they're basically the size of your monitor display. The idea is that the standard preview can be shown full screen at good quality. But what about zooming in with standard Previous you zoom in. It's not a full resolution image. It's not gonna look all that good. So what if you need to evaluate sharpness or check for noise or chromatic aberrations or other problems, you're gonna wanna be able to zoom in well when we zoom in, light room will automatically generate a full resolution a to 1 preview for the image if the images available. What if I have that hard drive disconnected? Well, if you tend to zoom in on a lot of photos and you tend to work with that hard drive disconnected, for example, then you might want those Oneto one previews. And if you have lots and lots of hard drive space available, generating 1 to 1 previews for all of your image is actually can help improve overall performance in light room. It just takes up a lot of hard drive space. Well, I don't have a lot of hard rock space on my laptop, and so I generally don't build 1 to 1 previous. Also, I don't generally need to zoom in on most of my images because I already know they're sharp, right, And I already know there are no blemishes, and I already know everything is technically perfect about them. No, of course not. But I take a lot of pictures, and I don't need to zoom in on every single one to make sure it's sharp. First time in over evaluate the overall images. The overall composition good, which one looks the best. Sometimes they look obviously not in focus, even when I'm looking at a tiny little thumbnail, and so I don't necessarily need to zoom in on every image. Usually I'm just zooming in on the image that I think is really good to make sure it's as good as I was hoping it would be. So for me personally, the standard previews generally work out really nicely. But again, it just depends on your behavior a little bit. If you have a lot of hard drive space available, the 1 to 1 previews could be very helpful in terms of performance. But if you never zoom in on your photos or you rarely zoom in, then it's not going to provide that much of a benefit. So I use standard. You might consider Oneto one notice that we also have smart previews as an option. I mentioned that we can work with our photos in some basic ways, even if the original image is not available even if I've disconnected my external hard drive. But I'm limited. I cannot, for example, work in the develop module. I cannot export a copy of that image for those tasks. I would need tohave my hard drive, my original photos available to light room unless I build smart. Previous So smart previews are a reduced resolution D. N g. Room, that adobe DMG format DMG file format version of your images that get stored along with your standard previews in a separate file, but in a similar way. And so we can then use those smart previews toe apply adjustments in the develop module, and when your photos get reconnected, everything gets synchronized and we're all happy. Everything works great. I can even export photos based on those DMG files because there's still a high enough resolution for most purposes, at least for online purposes, for example, and so even for small prints. And so I can share my images just based on the smart previous. So if you tend to work a lot with your images offline. If you're traveling a lot without your external hard drive, for example, then the smart previews might be helpful. They do consume a fair amount of hard drive space. They're gonna be stored internally with your light room catalog. And so being full residue will not full resolution but nearly full resolution, relatively high resolution being a DMG file. They do get compressed a little bit mawr with lossless compression compared to your original raw captures, but still they're relatively large files, especially compared to your standard, previous or even your to 1 previous, so it will consume a fair amount of hard drive space, but it provides a benefit as well. It's just a question of Do you need that benefit for me in my particular workflow? I don't tend to need to use those smart previews, so I generally that option turned off. Don't import suspected duplicates. This could be a real saver. So, hypothetically speaking, for example, I capture some photos. I download those photos. I forget to reform at my card in the camera, and I capture additional photos when I come to download those last set of additional images. The latest captures. I still have the photos that were already downloaded still on the cards. I'm gonna duplicate those. If I turn on this check box, don't import suspected duplicates. Light room will evaluate the photos, and it's not just looking at the file name. It's actually looking at some of the meditate. It's being pretty smart about what, deciding whether or not it is in fact, a duplicate of an existing photo. And then it will not import those duplicates. This could be a real saver in terms of having a messy catalogue. If you inadvertently try to import the same photos twice, so I just like to leave That turned on. I have literally never seen a false positive. I've never seen a situation, at least in my experience, where I have that turned on. It thought of a photo was a duplicate when in fact it was not a duplicate. And so I leave that check box turned on. If there are some duplicates, I'll go ahead and turn off the check box for one of the images here, just at the top left of the display and you can see that it gets darkens down. That's not exactly what it will look like, but it's pretty similar to what it looks like when you have a duplicate, it will be darkens down to indicate that that image is not being imported. So it's a good idea to scroll through and check for any of those. And if there are any duplicates that are not being imported just to double check Oh, yes, I remember I already imported those or wait, what are you talking about? Light room? And I have to call him and tell him that we found a false positive for this feature that he's never seen, so I haven't had any problems with it. Every single time I've had duplicates and light room saved me from making a mistake. I was very grateful. I've never found a situation where I said Wait a minute. Like room. You're wrong. So I leave that check box turned on. I also leave this next check box turn on because I'm paranoid. And remember, when I download my photos from my media card, the plan is to put it back in the camera, reformat it so I can take new pictures. Then those pictures are going, so I better hope that they copied properly. Now, of course, I'm gonna review the images at least quickly in light room before I go reformatting the card. But I also want to have an additional backup, and I can do that right during the import process. And that's one of things I actually love about using light rooms. Import feature for essentially everything is that I'm able to accomplish a lot in one process. I don't have to download, make a backup, go rename the photos, then import them into light room. I can do all of these tasks in one process of importing into my cattle. So who in turn, on that check box? And you can see that I have a folder on the desktop called Backup. Well, it's not there now. We'll go ahead and create it right now, as long as we're looking at it so I can choose. I can click on that summary of the location and then create a new location and click Choose. And now you see that I have a reflection of that location for my backup again. Right now, I'm just faking it. I am simulating a workflow. I would never store my photos and my backup of those photos on the exact same hard drive. I just didn't want to clutter up my desktop here with multiple hard drives. But when I'm actually downloading, I'm traveling. And in the evening, I'm gonna come back to the hotel and download my photos. I'm gonna hook up to external hard drives, photos and photos back up, and I will download to those two separate physical devices so that if one hard drive fails, no problem. I've got my photos on the other device. So little paranoia could be very helpful when it comes to protecting your images. We also haven't add to catalog option, and that primarily relates to the use of light room mobile. I'm not gonna go in detail in the light room mobile here, but Lycra Mobile enables you to synchronize your photos from light room onto your IPhone, your IPad, your android mobile device so that, you know, even with a small laptop on an airplane, sometimes it's not enough space if you're flying in coach like Ideo to actually work in a reasonable way. But an IPad, for example, works very nicely, and I could go through an assigned star ratings to my images. I can apply basic adjustments to my images, so it gives me one MAWR option for my workflow. And when we synchronize from our main catalogue to our mobile devices, that's done via collections. And so if I say, well, him flying back home and I want to go through all of these Seattle photos on the trip home, I could add all of them to a collection and sort through the images on my mobile device. So I'm gonna leave. That turned off for now. I'm also going to leave off the option to rename but note weaken. Rename our images. So if you want your images to have a more meaningful file name. So, for example, if you're trying to make a living as a photographer and you have to send images out to clients, I might, for example, want to use the naming structure like Oh, I don't know. Tim Grey is an amazing photographer, and you should totally hire him to take some pictures for you. Dash You know something like that. Or maybe use a date based structure, location based subject based. If it's a wedding photography, obviously, then you might use the client's name so you can use some sort of naming structure. For now. We'll just leave that as it is, and keep the existing camera File Names apply during import will just quickly mention this. I can apply developed settings. I'll show you presets shortly. We can also apply those presets during the import process. So when I'm talking about presets, just keep in mind. You could apply a change in appearance to every single picture as it's being imported. So if your style is all black and white photography, you could use a basic preset for black and white and convert every single image of black and white right during the import process. So you have a preview that looks black and like to you pretty cool. We can add metadata. So if I wanted to, for example, add copyright information so that nobody will ever steal any of my pictures or contact information So people know where to send me money for my pictures, and I could just add my information, I put my name, for example, and copyrighted, and tim grey dot com is the website address and you know what have you And then I'll just go ahead and call this Tim Gray for now. Naturally, I would normally add contact information, some additional details, but for now, we'll call that good enough, and then I'll click the preset option, and I'm going to save a new preset. We'll just call it Tim Gray and create and create again and OK, did we already created with a noon and we'll just call that, too. And now I have a preset here that I can use to assign metadata to my images. So during the import process, copyright information, contact information. If you're feeling like you need a little, you know, pick me up at a five star rating as part of that previous. So every images starts out with a five star rating. You know, if you really, really good about your photos. Okay, maybe not that one, because that should be subjective. But the information that applies to every image that you capture could be added as a preset. Some keywords might as well at a few key words at this point. For example, Seattle. I see coffee. I see Space Needle. I see Ferris Wheel. I see Fisherman's Terminal and Pike Place Market Can I had all of those is key words right now new because the keywords I add during import are applying to every single image that I'm importing. So I need to be careful here, and Onley add keywords that apply to everything. So, in this case, for example, maybe something like Seattle and Washington, maybe I could come up with King County. Whatever other descriptors I would like to use as keywords. We'll talk more about keywords shortly and then into sub folder. Wait a minute destination. Why do we need a destination section. If we've already defined the destination for our pictures will remember up above at the top, right? We specified our primary storage location for our pictures, in this case, my photos folder on my desktop. But that's not where I really want my pictures. I want them in a folder with a meaningful name, something that means something to me. And so I'll turn on the into sub folder check box and then enter name. So what shall I use for the name? Well, for me, I think of this is my Seattle trip, and so I'm going to call it Seattle. These happen to be from last year, so we'll call it 2015. So that's my Seattle 2015 trip. And so when I'm looking for a picture of the Space Needle, I'm probably going to go looking for a folder called Seattle. So that's for me. If you live in Seattle, then it might not be as a smart to use Seattle, because that's gonna probably a lot of photos. You might have to find something else. Maybe you would call it Space Needle, for example, if you were primarily photographing the Space Needle that day. But the point is once again to use a folder structure that makes sense to you when it comes to going to find those images later. And we'll talk about that finding process a little bit later today. So I've given it a name down below notice. It's offering to organize by date. No, thank you. I want to merge all of the images if they were in multiple folders into a single folder. I just want the Seattle photos to be in my Seattle folder if I want to sort by date later. I could do that in light room only. Show me pictures from Tuesday. We only show me pictures from 2015 or only show me pictures from May of 2015. I have a lot of options for filtering, so there's no sense in my mind of breaking down these images into additional folders that are creating for me additional clutter and are not necessarily being especially helpful to me. When I have other ways to accomplish the same goal, you'll notice by the way down below, when I have this into sub folder, option turned on down below in my folders list of my destination down here. You can see that I have Seattle 2015. The folder that I've defined is showing up down here, but notice that it is in italics. The name of the folder is in italics, and we also have a little plus symbol and you might notice it's kind of dimmed down a little bit. That's your indication that this folder does not yet exist, but light room is about to create it for you. That's a lot of stuff, isn't it? Seems like a lost stuff might even seem overwhelming. But I assure you the second time you do this, it's pretty easy because most of these settings air sticky meaning. Most of these settings are gonna be left exactly the way you left them. So if you're downloading additional photos from the same trip, by and large, most of this information will be here. The destination will be the same. Your metadata preset the backup location, all these things the keywords will disappear, which might seem like a bad idea. Wait. I have more pictures from Seattle now. I want those same keywords. But they disappeared. Yes, that seems like a not so good thing. Except then you go to New York City and start capturing images and light room remembered. Seattle is the key word, and now you've assigned the wrong keyword to some later images, so you can always copy and paste. If you added a lot of key words or to start typing them again, there's the auto complete feature, But all of those things, all of those settings, Once you've gone through them a couple of times, it really becomes pretty quick and easy to define all of these different options. And again, I Hopefully, this makes it clear in terms of underscoring that point that there is a lot happening during import were adding the images to light room catalogue were copying them to an appropriate location. Defining a folder structure in the process were adding some keywords. Maybe we might be renaming the images, building those previews. There's a lot going on all in one process, and once you're familiar with these settings, you don't need to spend 10 minutes going through all the various options. You just confirmed that everything is as you like it, and then we can click that import button down at the bottom right of the import dialog, and those images will now be copied. So you'll see that over on the folders list. We now will have shortly. If I get there, it is our Seattle folder. You can see I'm now building previews up at the tops of I go to the Seattle 2015 folder here. All those images that have been copied onto my hard drive. I'm gonna actually go out to that location. So here's my photos folder, and you can see that I have a Seattle folder that had been created. And let's close this window. Here is my backup minor little gripe on my part. I'm not normally one to complain, but I wish that the backup that light room creates represented the exact same folder structure that I defined instead the backup. It reflects the folder structure of imported on and the date. If I go inside of that folder, though, we'll see the images are all still there. If I had renamed them is part of the import process, they will be renamed here. So just a minor little issue where the backup isn't an exact match for the master copy of the images. As a result of that, I generally create an additional backup of my photos. Drive on to a second copy. Essentially of that photos, Dr.

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Ratings and Reviews

Pamela Richardson

I enjoyed Tim's friendly and professional style of presentation. I appreciated that he was methodical in his approach, and was very clear in his explanations of every step that he was taking. It is quite clear that he has extensive experience in teaching. He presented at a good pace so that I was able to make notes and absorb the information. I have used Photoshop since August 2015, but I have steered clear of Lightroom. I had been afraid to use Lightroom because I was confused about the process of switching back and forth among Bridge, Lightroom and Photoshop. I have been doing extensive photo editing using other software since 2002, but am new to the Adobe products. After watching Tim's class, I have gained enough confidence to start using Lightroom, because I now understand that it is very powerful, can be used to process raw files, and has excellent tools for creating both panoramas and HDR photos (that are still raw which is great!), and more. I learned a great deal from this course, and would highly recommend it! I am very grateful to Creative Live for providing Photoshop Week 2016, and also grateful to the many amazingly talented and knowledgeable presenters for graciously sharing their knowledge and experience.


This is a great class to help get you started. Tim is a great presenter. Would love Creative Live to have Tim back to teach.


Thank you so much for your straight forward and comprehensive lessons. I am new to LR and have been waiting to import my photos until I watched this lesson. Now, I feel like I can move ahead with confidence.

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