Adobe® Lightroom® CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Importing Images & Customizing Lightroom®

All right, so first, let's just remind you of what we covered yesterday in case today is the first day that you're tuning in. Know that we have a total of 20 days that we'll be having sessions on and each morning, I'll remind you what we covered in the previous sessions, just in case you missed one of the sessions and you wanna see where are we within our 20-day journey. So yesterday, we did an overview and a tour. I tried to give you the big picture of how to think about Lightroom, what makes Lightroom different than other programs, and do how you have to think differently when using it. And then we toured the interface, just to give you a general feeling for how to get around in the program. And therefore, when we get into other sessions, like today, it's not completely new to you. So today, we're going to talk about importing your images and about customizing Lightroom. Because before we can do anything to it, when you first launch it, Lightroom is pretty much empty. We need to get ...

our images inside of it and in the process, there area bunch of settings involved. So we need to look at those and then we'll look at customizing Lightroom to make it a little bit friendly to how you like to work. So we're just gonna jump right into Lightroom, spend as much time as we can there. Here I'm in Lightroom, and my copy happens to already have some pictures in it. If you've never launches Lightroom before, when you get it open, it won't have anything in there. In order to import pictures, there are a bunch of different choices we could use. The most common one is in the lower left of your screen, down here, is an Import button. And that Import button will send you the main Import screen. There are other ways of getting to that same screen. If you go to the File menu, there's gonna be a choice there called Import Photos and Video. It sends you to the exact same area. Or if you're on your hard drive and you have a folder sitting there that you're viewing, you can actually drag that folder on top of the Lightroom icon, if you can find it on your screen, and it would do that same thing. All three methods would send you to the Import dialog. Now know that that Import button, though, in the lower left corner of your screen will only show up while you're in the Library module. So in the upper right of your screen, if you're in one of these other modules, you need to switch to Library and each side of your screen has a panel that can be hidden or visible. And if that panel on the left side is hidden, so will be the Import button. So if you don't see this panel on the left side of your screen when you're in the Library, go to the edge of your screen. That's where you'll find a little triangle. And that triangle allows you to collapse or expand that side of your screen. So if you don't see the Import button, you're either not in the Library, or when you're in the Library, that left side panel is collapsed. So I'm gonna click the Import button, and when I do, this comes up, and we're gonna explore this for a bit of time. The main thing is on the left side is where we tell Lightroom where our images reside. This might be on an SD card that you just pulled out of your camera, this might be on an external hard drive where you have your archives of images that you've shot over the years. This could be in all sorts of different locations. It could also be on multiple hard drives. It's just if it's more than one hard drive, we'll have to do more than one import process. We'll have to do one hard drive first, then the other. So on the left side, that's our source. At the top middle is what it should do to the images when it imports them. Should it leave them where they are originally, or should it move them somewhere else? And we'll talk about that. And then on the right side are all the settings involved with importing. And at the very bottom is the important part, which is if you're moving your pictures, where should they be moved to? Where are they gonna end up when you're done? Now, the Lightroom will not force you to move your pictures. You can leave them right where they are, right now. If you've already chosen where you want them to be, they're already residing there, Lightroom won't force you to change it. So let's first look at what should we do to get our image archive into Lightroom. So if you already have a drive that has a bunch of different shoots of photographs on it, how do we get them to show up in Lightroom? So on the left side of my screen is where I have my list of hard drives. There's a triangle next to each hard drive. I could expand or collapse it to see what's on that drive. And what I would do is navigate to whatever drive contains the photos you've been capturing. And if you store those photos in a subfolder, maybe it's just called Photos, then you wanna find that particular folder and click on it. If you end up coming in here to one of these folders and clicking on it, you're gonna start seeing the images over on the right side of your screen. This area in the middle, you have little checkboxes above each image. If those checkboxes are turned on, it means you will import those particular photos. If there were some photos you did not want to import, you're welcome to scroll through those thumbnails and turn off the checkbox for any pictures that you don't want to have in Lightroom. But most of the time, for me, I keep my photos separate from everything else on my computer that are not related to my photography, and therefore, I don't really need to look at these little checkboxes. The main time that we'll use those is if I left the same card in my camera for multiple days and multiple shoots and I don't wanna move all those pictures into a single folder, I wanna separate 'em based on either the different days that I was shooting or the different subject matter I was shooting, then we might need to use those, but for now, we're trying to get in our archives, images you've already shot and we're going to leave those checkboxes on, then. Now, on the left side of my screen where I choose the folder I'm about to import, there is a checkbox near the top that is called Include Subfolders. You gotta be careful with that one. But it can be very useful. What I can do is, if I have a hard drive where all it contains is my photographs, and that's it, there might be dozens and dozens of folders within there of all the different shoots that I've done over the years, I could just click on the base folder of that particular hard drive and then turn on that checkbox called Include Subfolders and now, it's gonna import literally the entire hard drive full of images. Or I could dial down to a specific folder, if I'm in a hurry, and I only want to work on that one particular shoot. 'Cause I don't wanna wait for it to be done importing all my photos. And if I were to click on a different folder, I would see only that particular contents. So if you're trying to get your archives in, you could click on the name of the hard drive that contains them and just make sure that the folder you've clicked on contains only photographs. It doesn't contain all your email archives and everything else that might also have photographs in it. You can decide then if you want your Include Subfolders to be turned on. Now, if it's your archives you're importing, then I'm assuming you have them stored where you'd like them to be in general and you don't wanna change it. And if that's the case, then here at the top, you wanna choose Add. Add means leave the photos where they are right now. Don't move them at all. Then over on the right side of my screen, if we have the choice of Add, there'll be no destination to choose over here. Sometimes at the bottom, it'll have a destination, that means where will those photos end up. But since we're only adding them, they're gonna stay in the location they're currently in. There's gonna be no movement at all. So the area down here that tells me usually where they're gonna end up will be hidden. It's just not there. That only shows up if I have the choice called Move, Copy, or one of the other choices here at the top. Let's take a look at a few of the settings over here on the right side of my screen. When you import an image in Lightroom, it stores previews of those images. And because it stores those previews, that's what allows you to be able to view your photographs, even when the hard drive that contains the originals is not attached to your computer. That means I can leave my huge hard drive that contains my archives back in my office. I grab my laptop, I can go on a flight and for five, six hours on a flight, I can be viewing all my pictures, I can be setting up slide shows and everything else like that because it has preview files. And those preview files are created the moment you import your pictures. And this popup menu right here called Build Previews determines how large those preview files will be. If I choose minimal, then it's gonna try to import my pictures as fast as possible by only grabbing the absolute smallest preview file that might already be attached to the picture. When you take a picture with your camera, it creates a preview file that is attached to the image and it would end up using that. The import process would go by relatively quickly. But then I'd have some limitations if I disconnected the hard drive and actually tried to view those images. Those previews might be so small that I can't view my images where it fits my screen or when it fits the screen, it's very low quality. There's another choice here called Embedded & Sidecar. Takes a little bit more time, but the quality of the preview image will be a little bit higher. So I would either one of these two settings only when I'm in a hurry. And I might be in a hurry when I'm importing my archives. If I have 10 or 20 years of photographs that are gonna come in here, I might not wanna sit here for multiple days and wait for it to happen. I might just want it to finish quickly. So what I usually use, if I'm importing some archives, and I want it to be done quickly, is I set this to Embedded & Sidecar. If, on the other hand, when you're importing from an SD card, like right out of your camera, I might change the settings that are used there, but we'll talk about that when we actually discuss something other than importing your archives. Right now, we're thinking about your archives, meaning photos that already exist. Other settings that are over here to think about is just below the Build Previews is a checkbox called build Smart Previews. A Smart Preview will allow you to actually adjust your pictures when the hard drive that contains the originals is not attached to your computer. Which is actually pretty amazing, 'cause with any other program, you would need to have the hard drive with those originals with you, but with Smart Previews, I can be in a taxicab, just open my laptop, no need to think about where those images are stored. As long as we have Smart Previews, I can view the images and I can adjust them. Smart Previews, though, take up space, so I'm probably not gonna do that for my archives. If I'm importing multiple years' worth of old photographs that I've taken, that's gonna make the process of importing slower and it's gonna make the amount of space it takes to store all those previews much larger. Instead, the time that I use Build Smart Previews is when I've just finished shooting something, I'm taking the card out of my camera, I'm importing them into Lightroom and I know I'm gonna need to adjust those images in the next few days, then I might consider turning that on. Below that, we have a choice called Don't Import Suspected Duplicates. That checkbox is very useful because oftentimes what happens is you go out shooting, you come back to your computer, you grab the card out of your camera, put it in your laptop when you're in the field, and you import those photos 'cause you wanna see what you ended up shooting. Once you're done, you take the card back out of your computer, you put it back in your camera, and you forget to format it, so that the images that you've already imported into Lightroom are still on that card, it's not a bad way to work, because you can think of it as your backup. If your computer's hard drive died, you'd still have it on that card. I try to always keep my images in a minimum of two places. That's one way of doing so, leaving it on the card until I've had a chance to back up what's on my machine. But if I go out and I continue to shoot, and then I come back with a second shootful of images, I put the card into my laptop, then I wanna make sure that checkbox is turned on. Otherwise, when I import that, the contents of that card, we're gonna end up with two copies of the files. We've already imported one set, and I'm telling it to import them again, and Lightroom doesn't know why you want two sets, but it will do it because some people would want two sets. There's just some people use images in odd ways and Lightroom doesn't want to get in your way of doing that. But most of the time, I have Don't Import Suspected Duplicates turned on, and by doing so, it doesn't matter if I've already shot on that card and half the images are already in Lightroom, when I put it in here, it's only gonna import the new images. If I do that, you'll find the thumbnails that would show up here will be different in that they can be grayed out and things to tell you that, hey, these are already in there. But let's take a look what else we have here. We have another choice below that, it's called Make a Second Copy To, and that's designed for if you wanna create a backup file. If, when you're in the field shooting, you pull out your laptop to get your images in, and you have an external hard drive, I carry little external hard drives, I happen to have one here, this is a 480 gigabyte external hard drive. It's really small in general, and this is what's called an SSD drive, that stands for solid state digital. And that means there's no spinning disk in it, like a normal hard drive, and so it's a little bit more robust. And also, SSD drives are very fast. And so I really like working with these guys. I carry two of these when I'm in the field, shooting, and so if I attach both of them at the same time to my laptop, then I could use this checkbox that tells me to make a second copy and I could have a copy not only to one drive, but to the other one at the same time. Therefore, I'd have it in two locations. You're gonna find that that particular checkbox is not available sometimes, and the time when it's not available, like right now it's not for me, is when at the top of your screen, you're not copying anything to begin with. Instead, you're telling it to just Add the photos where they already reside, and that's what we use when we're importing our archives. But if I was telling it to Copy my images, like copy it off of an SD card or a CF card that might be in your camera, then that checkbox would be available. And if I checked it, it would just ask me what is the name of the other drive I want to copy to. And there's a little popup you can get to when that's available. Below that is a checkbox called Add to Collection. We haven't talked about Collections yet, but we will in one of our sessions. If you happen to use Collections to organize your projects and you wanna Add these images to an existing Collection, you could turn on that checkbox and then you would find a list of your Collections here. You could tell it where to include those. Just know that choosing Add to Collection does not change where the images are on your hard drive. It's just gonna add them to that Collection, but it doesn't control where they're ending up. Just a kind of a convenience feature there. Most of the time I have that turned off because as you'll see in one of the other sessions, I use folders to keep track of the progress of my images and I don't need to usually add them to Collections right when importing, but you might have a different workflow, where you want to. So that is the File Handling section. When it comes to your archives, I would probably use Embedded & Sidecar for your preview. You probably don't want Smart Previews because the end result for your file size, when it comes to your Lightroom catalog, would be taking up a lot of space and the importing process will be slowed down by that. Just wanna get the archives in very quickly. Then below that, we have this area called Apply During Import and this is where, if you happen to have some developed presets, and I know we're just on the second day of the class so we haven't got into the Develop module, but that's where you would optimize your pictures. When you adjust a picture, you can Save the Settings being used as a Preset and you could, right here, Apply one of those Presets. I don't do that very often, but a few instances when it might be useful is if a client hires you and they want you to shoot black and white. Well, your camera, if it's a digital camera, shoots in color, period, that's all it can do. And if you tell it to shoot black and white, with a JPEG file, it can do it, 'cause those images are processed in the camera, but with the raw file, it's still gonna be shooting in color. That's all, a raw file just captures whatever your camera sensor captured and your camera sensor's color. There's no black and white component to it. But if the client's asking me to shoot black and white, right here, I could go to a Develop setting and here, have a black and white one so that now, when it imports my pictures, they're already pre-adjusted with that Preset applied that made them black and white. So if the client's looking over my shoulder, they never have to see the color images. They'll see the black and whites. Or it could be if you're known for a particular style. You're known for a dreamy, soft contrast kind of look. Well, maybe you've figured out how to do that with the Adjustment sliders that are found within Lightroom, and you save a Preset, and right here, you can apply it when you're importing. So again, if a client is sitting there watching you do some work, right when the images come in, they already have that look they expect from you. But, day to day basis, I usually have that set to None. It's just a nice, convenient feature. Yeah, question? Ben, if you're importing a raw file, and you use one of those Presets, you can still go back later on and, access the raw file? Yeah. Presets doesn't change the raw file, right? Well, yes, as we talked about in the first session, and as we'll talk about in other sessions, with Lightroom in general, it never changes your original file. Your original file is always sitting there, pristine and untouched, so any changes we make that might change the visual look of the image so it looks like it's black and white is not a permanent change. It just stores that setting in your Lightroom catalog file. So it remembers that when you view this particular image, it should appear to be black and white, but the original file is always untouched and the original from a digital camera if it's a raw file, at least, is always in color. And so we have no problem here applying a Preset. It's nothing that's permanent. If you ever went into the Develop module afterwards, which is where you adjust your pictures, there would be a Reset button at the very bottom and Reset means, bring me back to as if I've never touched this picture. And you'd be bring back to right what the camera captured. So yeah, there's no concern here with applying a Preset and being stuck with it. Yes? I have two questions on Import. Number one, if you're importing from a hard drive on which you modified the photos in Lightroom before, when you Import those photos, would the keywords and so forth that you included, be included? Well, it depends. Some of the things that you do in Lightroom are stored only in the catalog file. And those things would be lost. That's like if you do things like create a virtual copy. A virtual copy, that information is not stored with the file itself, it's only in the catalog that Lightroom was using. Other things like, let's say you adjusted your picture, that could be stored in your catalog file or there's an option to store it with your images. And if you have it stored with your images, then it would be included here when I import. But if I have these images already in Lightroom, I almost never would go to the Import dialog box to get them into another catalog file. I would instead go to the File menu in Lightroom and there's a choice called Import From Another Catalog and I'd be using that command instead. But for now, let's stick to the basic importing of images as opposed to thinking of ones that are already in there. The other question was on this Smart Previews. If you later decided to create a Smart Preview, would you have to go back to the Import dialog to do that? No, once I'm done being here in the Import screen, I'll show you that, you can create or discard Smart Previews at any time. This is just a convenience feature because you're importing your pictures, it's adding you a few other settings that might do more than one process at a time. But we can easily create or discard them later on. And I'll show you how. All right, then, let's take a look. Let's get some images to Import over here. And we'll look at the rest of the options. There they are, okay, on the right side, then, we were looking, here's our Develop Settings. Most of the time, that's set to None. Below that, we have Metadata. This is where it can automatically add some text to your images, it could add, for instance, your copyright notice to your images. It's nice to do that right when you import your pictures because you can do it afterwards, as well, but if you forget, and then you ever share that picture with someone else, the picture won't be tagged with your contact information and it won't be tagged as copyrighted and that's something I like to have for every picture I ever take, so if I ever share it with someone else, they can look in that file at the what's called metadata, and they can see the copyright information. And this is where I'll end up adding that. In order to do that, you click on this little menu and you create a Preset. Here you can create a new Preset or edit an existing one and we can take a brief look at that. I'm gonna choose New. And when I do, this comes up. And there's all sorts of information that you can add to your images. If you notice, there's a lot of information in here, but you can collapse down the vast majority of this and ignore it. For some people, they'll be glad to have all those categories. The main thing we wanna come in here and do is, if we collapse all this down, is right here, where it says IPTC Copyright. So I can ignore most of this other stuff. And all I wanna do is come in here and put in my copyright that I'd like, I'm gonna do, on a Mac, it's option G, to get the copyright symbol. On Windows, you guys always know it, it's Alt? 0169. 0169, hold down the Alt key, is it? And then type 0169, it'll give you the copyright symbol. Important to note that's on the keypad, not on the numbers at the top of the keyboard. Okay, thank you for noting that. So if you have a keypad on the side, you have to use that instead of the number keys at the top. Or just go copy and paste it from another document that it's already in, 'cause you're only gonna need to create this template once and you might not remember those. So I'm gonna enter some information here on the little popup menu just below this that says Copyright Status. If I set it to Copyrighted, then if this image is ever opened in Photoshop, up at the very top of the file, where it gives you the file name in Photoshop, there'll be a little bitty copyright symbol, which is one indication that it has copyright information attached and, then if you wanna have a webpage that people could go to to find out how to license your images and that type of thing, you could type it in right here. So I might go in here and put in my web address. And then if I had a special page, I could do a forward slash and do something like that so that then people would at least know where to go. And it might have information about licensing your pictures. That way, this information will be attached to our pictures when we export them from Lightroom and give them to someone else. If that person is sophisticated enough to know how to look up the copyright info, in Photoshop, you could open an image and there's a area called Get Info, it would show you this, or in Lightroom, it'll be on the right side of your screen in an area called the Metadata panel. But they'd be able to look it up if they wanted to license your image. Once you end up putting in that information, at the very top, you can give this a name. And I'm just gonna give it name that would be memorable to let me know what's going on. So there's my Preset Name. In the lower right, we have a button called Create. That's gonna create my Preset. Now, I might already have one with this name, so I'm gonna add to the end, CL, for Creative Live, because that'll at least make the name unique. Then I could create, and now, over here on the right side, there it says Metadata. And right here, I can switch between my templates. I thought I already had one with that name, 'cause that's what I usually put on my images already. But there it is. This setting here is sticky, meaning it'll stay on whatever setting you used last. And so you just need to set it once and it should stay that way the next times you import images. The only time I would change that is if I'm importing someone else's photos. I mean, if for some reason I have photos taken by a different photographer, I don't want my copyright information attached and so I would probably turn that off to None in that case. Finally, below that, we have an area called Keywords. And we'll have an entire session, in fact, we have two of them, about keywords upcoming. But keywords are search terms that would make it so I could find these images by doing a text-based search. So I could click on this and if all the photographs I'm about to import were all taken in the same location, then I could type in the name of the location here and then after importing them, I would be able to do a text search and find them based on that. But make sure that whatever you type in here, if you type anything, applies to every photo that you're importing. Otherwise, you're gonna apply keywords in a different area of Lightroom. So in this case, we're mainly talking about importing your archives, your past photographs, and so I doubt there's any keywords that would apply to every single one of 'em. So I would leave that blank. Then in the lower right, we have the Import button. If you were to click it, it would start to import these pictures, and in the upper right of your screen would be a little progress bar. I'm sorry, upper left of your screen. Little progress bar, and when that progress bar finished, you'd be able to view all those images and they would all be in Lightroom. Now, because we chose an option up here called Add, remember, they are stored in the same location that they originally were, we didn't move them at all. We just made Lightroom aware of where those photos are and the process of importing simply created a preview of all those images and made Lightroom remember where all the photos were. That doesn't mean we can throw those originals away. Lightroom needs them. Now let's look at these settings, though, and think about what would I do if I'm not importing my archives? Instead, I just finished a shoot, I got little SD card from my camera, or maybe it's a CF card, whatever format it is, I've put it in there, and I wanna get the photos off of that card so I can clear the card and continue shooting with it. And what I'd like to do is get them onto some sort of hard drive. Well, if that's the casee, when you insert a memory card into your computer with default settings, Lightroom should bring up this dialog, this window, automatically. And it should automatically navigate to that card, so you don't have to manually find it on the left side of your screen. There is a Preference in Lightroom to turn that off, though. So if it doesn't happen when you put a card in your computer, go into Lightroom's Preferences and look for the checkbox that says to bring up the import dialog. If this was on a SD card and I want to get it on a little external hard drive, then in the top center of my screen, I would choose Copy. Copy means it's gonna leave them on the original location, which would be the SD card, and then, it's gonna make a copy and it's gonna put it wherever I tell it to. And so let's figure out where it's gonna copy it to. On the right side of my screen, we've already talked about these settings. So I'm gonna collapse that section down. We've already talked about this section down here called Apply During Import. That's where we could have our Develop Preset and our copyright information, so let's collapse that down. And let's look at that, what's unique using the setting called Copy. We get these two sections over here. They only show up when we tell it to Copy images. The most important part is the lower of the two sections. And that determines where those files are gonna end up. You're telling it to copy them, you wanna put them somewhere else, this is where you tell it where they're gonna reside. So I have a hard drive right here that I like to put all my images on. In fact, it's a backup of my main drive that's at home. And I might organize things by years or however you'd like to organize them. But I can click on whichever folder I want to copy my files to. You'll see this little arrow here, indicating that that's where you're gonna tell them to go. But when I tell it to copy them to a folder, I don't usually just put them in the base level of a folder that's already existing. I want it to create a brand-new folder within it, a folder that represents this particular photoshoot. So here, there's a checkbox that says Into Subfolder. I click on it, and right over here, it'll ask me to name a brand-new folder that will be created. And so, these particular images, I'm just gonna put one in a new folder called New Shoot. And I'll talk about what I actually name my folders. Here, I'm just picking anything to type in there. Below that, there's a choice that says Organize Into one folder, or I can do it by date, where it would create subfolders for each day that was in there. I'm gonna say Into one folder because you know how sometimes one certain cameras, it might suddenly make folders for you in there, and this will consolidate the images. So if they happen to be in more than one folder, they're gonna be put into a single one. So, Into Subfolder, here's where you type in the name of the subfolder, and below that, is where you choose where it's gonna reside. If you actually look and you scroll through here far enough, you should see the name of that newly-created folder, right here, it'll be in light gray and italic because it's not actually created yet. The moment you start importing your pictures, it's going to be created, but it's just previewing that's where it would go. Then above that, we have File Renaming. And that's a great thing, because your camera does not put great names on your files. What's it gonna do, like, I-M-G underscore some number or some other weird naming convention that has nothing to do with what you're shooting. I try to make it so every single file on my photos drive has a unique file name. The problem is, if you leave your camera's file name in there, your camera eventually hits a certain high number where it resets back to the number one for the next shot. And so, if you leave your original file names in there and you don't change them when you import, then you're gonna end up with a lot of files that are duplicate file names. Lightroom can handle that just fine, but the problem is, if I then email a file to somebody else, and months later, they come back and say, hey, file name, and they give me the file name, really needs some changes, can you do that? And then send it back to me. Well, I try to search for that file name and I come up with a dozen different results because there are multiple files with that name. Because of that, I wanna make it so every single photo of mine has a unique file name so if a client ever refers to the file name, there's only one file they could be talking about. So let's look at how we could easily do that. In this section called Rename Files, there is a little popup menu called Template. We only need to set this up once. It'll take you just a few minutes to do so, but once you do, it'll save you a lot of time afterwards. I'm gonna click on this little right, on the right edge, this popup, and here I can choose from various templates. And if I want to create my own, I go to the bottom to the choice called Edit. Remember, I'm clicking right here where it says Template, and this area called File Renaming, if you're trying to find it, will only show up if you are not using the choice called Add. Add means leave things how they are, where they are. I'm using Copy up here. Just so you know, if that happens to be grayed out. So I'm gonna go in here, I'm gonna choose Edit, and that brings up this dialog. At the very top, where you see these little blue areas, this is the formula for how we're gonna create a file name. And if you wanna create one from scratch, you can click and drag across this and hit the Delete key to clear it out, so you can kind of build your own. And then below that, it gives me the various things I could use to create a formula for a file name. Let's take a look at what some of those choices are. If I come in here, I could choose Filename and hit the Insert button. And then it will use the original file name as part of our new naming convention. Maybe we have the original file name and then after it, there's a dash, and then it's the name of the project we're working on. But for me, that original file name is too generic to incorporate, I just don't need to. So what I'm gonna do instead, is I'm gonna start my file name with the date, therefore, things can be sorted chronologically. And so down here, where it says Additional, we have Date, and there's various formats in there. I'm gonna customize my format because I don't like the ones that are in here. I'm gonna choose the year with four letters, or four numbers, I should say, and I'll hit the Insert button. So it puts it up here. Then I'll click just after it. And I like to have a visual separation between the year and the month. I find if they're all jammed together, it feels like a serial number or some other meaningless number and it's harder to decipher. So right after the year, I'm just gonna click up here in that field near the top, and I'm gonna type an underscore. Computer operating systems don't generally like the forward and backward slash that you usually use when typing dates. Oftentimes, that's how they indicate subfolders and things, if you were to indicate it as text, and it can make your operating system on occasion, a little bit confused, so I try to avoid the normal forward slash that people use when doing dates. But the underscore here, computers have no problem dealing with. So that's why I use it. Next I come back down here to where, that popup menu for Date, and I'm gonna choose a two-digit month. And it automatically, when I chose that, popup menu popped it in here into my formula. Then I'm gonna do the space bar and then I wanna be able to type in the name of the subject matter I was shooting. And so, down at the very bottom, we have some choices. I'm gonna choose Shoot Name, and I'm gonna hit Insert. Shoot Name is a special field. What it means is at the time I rename my files, if you look at the right side of my screen, there's a little field here called Shoot Name, see that? And so when we're renaming our files, we'll actually type right there the name of the shoot we're importing. We'll type in, you know, San Francisco, California, if that's where I was shooting, or the name of the client, or whatever it is, and whatever I type in here for Shoot Name, will be incorporated in the file name. Right there. Then after that, I'm gonna hit the space bar again. And I'm going to then have it number my pictures. I can do that with a couple of different choices in here, but I'm gonna choose this one called Sequence. And I'm gonna come in here and think, what's the most pictures I'd ever shoot in a single shooting session? I'm just gonna for for the high number of digits, because I don't think I'm ever going to shoot more than 99,000 pictures in a shoot. And if I do that, I'm planning ahead, where even if I do, I mean, that might sound like a ridiculous amount, but what if you're doing a timelapse? Where your camera's taking a picture every three seconds? And you let it run all night? Well, you might end up with a bunch of pictures. And if I just make sure that that's enough digits long, then we'll always end up with unique file names. So it gives me a preview of what one of my file names would look like, right up here where it says Example. And so now you can see that the date here, it's giving me that four-digit year, underscore, two-digit month, then it's gonna be whatever I type in for my Shoot Name, and then it's gonna number it. And so that's what I'm gonna use. Now, if you use certain kinds of computer systems that are limited in what kind of characters they can handle, you'd have to think of that right now. Certain computer systems do not like spaces in file names, and that's why a lot of people use underscores wherever they would have a space. Because if you're gonna have these images imported into, I don't know if it's Linux or some of the other operating systems that might not like it, but there are a few that wouldn't. And so you need to be a little bit cautious there, if you send your files to unusual kinds of computers. So anyway, I've set this up. Now, at the very top, I'm gonna click on this popup menu and that's where I'm going to find a choice near the bottom called Save Current Settings as New Preset. And if I set my new settings as a new preset, then I can give this a name. Now, I already have one of these created, because this is my real Lightroom catalog, the one I use day to day, so I would have done this at some point, so I'm not actually gonna save mine, 'cause I already have one. But I'll show you where it would show up if you did save it. I would click the Done button, and then right over here, on the right side of the Import dialog, where it says Rename Files, if you have the Rename Files checkbox turned on, then right here is where we can choose it. So you only need to make that once. Then you'll probably use the same setting almost all the time that you import. When you use of those templates, if your template included a Shoot Name, then right here is where you type it in. So that means if I just came back from San Francisco and that's where these pictures were taken, right here, I would say San Francisco, C-A, if I wanted. What's nice is, on the right side, there's a little dropdown, this little arrow, this will have ones that you've used recently. So if you want to use the same one again, you can do that because it could be that I'm in, let's say, Iceland, and I'm there for a week. And on the first night, I imported my first set of pictures, but now I'm gonna add to that same folder of images and the file naming, I want it to still use the beginning, same kind of naming, right here will be the last few of them that you used, and therefore, you don't have to remember in order to keep it consistent. There's also right here a Start Number. Usually, you'd have it set to one, which means when it numbers your files, it should start with the number one. But again, if I was having a multi-day shoot in a particular area, let's say I'm in Iceland, and the first day, I shot 1500 pictures, then right here, I could type in 1501 to say, start these images, the second day's worth of shooting, just to continue on that numbering. Then finally, it wants to know the file extension that's on the end. The raw or JPEG kind of file extension. Do you prefer uppercase or lowercase, or leave as is? That's a personal preference. It doesn't matter for most uses. But it's just nice to be consistent, and you can choose it there. Now, what I personally usually do is I use my template here that we made, I type in the name of either the location I was shooting or the subject matter, and then down here, it gives me a sample of what the file name will be, and what I do is, I just copy this, Command + C, Control + C, in Windows, and down here where it asks me for the name of my subfolder I'm gonna put things in, I paste it in right there. And usually, this will have the name of whatever subfolder you last used, meaning it will remember what you had typed in there last, and what would have been at the beginning of that would have been the month, or the year and month. So most of the time, whatever's already in this field, all I need to do is select the text part of it, because it's still the same month, still the same year that I'm importing, and I choose Paste so that I still have the month and year sitting there at the beginning, and only when the month changes do I have to select this one number and up it by one. Now, if you shoot a tremendous amount, you might also wanna add to the end of that, the day. And that's up to you. For me, though, I find the month is enough. So remember, this section called File Renaming, and the section called Destination will not be there when you choose the choice up here called Add. Because that means you don't wanna change things. You wanna leave the files where they already are, using their existing file names. But if you choose Copy or Move, then you're gonna find these choices 'cause it need to know where should that file end up, and in the process, would you like to rename it? All right, I'm gonna hit the Import button. Let's see what happens, here goes. In the upper left is where you're gonna see, it says Copy and import photos. And if you're copying and importing an entire hard drive full of images, because you're getting your archives, you know, a couple years' worth of photographs, this can take a long time. So it might be that you do that before you go to bed. And then when you wake up in the morning, it might be done, or do it before a weekend starts when you're gonna go away, when you're doing your archives. And once that's done with those two different progress bars, one was making previews, the other one was just importing, then you'll have your images in Lightroom and on the left side of your screen, you will have your Folder list, and if you were to navigate in your Folder list to where you told it to import those pictures, then you're going to find that newly-created folder. Mine is right here, which doesn't make sense, because I put it in 2015 folder and the folder was called 2016, but it's right there. And I can view those images. You just have to remember where you put them. If for some reason you just totally blanked out, you were in a hurry, you hit the Import button, and it finished and you're like, oh man, where'd I put 'em? And you have no idea whatsoever where it was, 'cause you just ignored that area. Then on the left side of your screen is a special choice. It's called Catalog, if you open it, one of the choices is Previous Import. And then it's the last files I imported, if I click here, I should see them. It doesn't tell me where they are on my hard drive, though. It just shows me the pictures. If I want to then see where they are on my hard drive, I can right-click on one of the pictures. There's a whole bunch of choices in here, but one of them is this, Go to Folder in Library. That means navigate the folders area on the left side of my screen until you get to where these pictures actually are. So if I choose Go to Folder in Library, watch the left side of my screen. You see, it expanded it, and it highlighted the folder that it's actually in. Now, we'll talk a little bit more in the Import dialog about the Preview options that were there. And we'll talk about a few other things of what you can do after those images are previewed. But before I do that, do we have any questions about the stuff we've gone over thus far, just in case. And when you choose the Renaming on Import, on Copy, is it renaming it on your hard drive, or just renaming it in Lightroom? It is renaming it on your hard drive. So that the part in here that is called Destination and the part that's called File Renaming, both of those are doing things on your hard drive. Whatever it is you put in there does affect the actual images themselves. Not the originals, meaning if they're on an SD card, like from your camera, those remain the same. It's just the copied versions, the end result, of where they're going get renamed. Other questions? Yeah? Are those photos imported into Lightroom, can I do it without importing? Can I do what? Can I use Lightroom to copy my photos to a hard drive from my SD card without importing them into Lightroom? No, Lightroom is designed in this case for just importing. If you want to copy it from your SD card to a hard drive, you would do it using your operating system. And you're welcome to do that, if you just don't feel like having Lightroom running, and then afterwards, when you want to get them in Lightroom, you would hit the Import button and then at the top of your screen, you would choose Add, meaning they're already copied to where I want 'em. You'd choose Add, just realize, if you use Add, you won't be able to have it rename your files during the import process. You could always have it do it afterwards. There is a way to rename a whole folder of images. Just not at the moment you're importing with the setting called Add. Add means, use what we already have. Don't change it, all right? When you're importing, you always have Copy, right? At the top? It depends. Instead of Add? If I'm importing my archives, meaning, photos I've taken over the last 10 years of time, they're probably already on a hard drive, and they're probably already in folders that have the names that I want. And so in that case, I choose Add. Add means, don't touch, don't change anything about where they're stored or what they're called. Just let 'em show up in Lightroom. That's what Add means. So if the pictures are already where you want them, the folder's already named the way you want, then you choose Add, and that means, don't move 'em, leave 'em where they are. And it's only if you want to change where those images are located, and most of the time when that happens, it's either when I have the memory card from my camera in my computer or I've been traveling and I've been using this hard drive when I'm traveling, and I wanted to copy 'em from this hard drive onto my big hard drive at home. Then, since it needs to move the files, that's when we use the choice called Copy, all right? So if they're already where you want them, use Add. If you wanna move them, then use Copy, okay? That's how I think about it. All right, let's look at a few other issues when it comes to importing. One thing I didn't get too deep on is over on the right side, under I believe it was File Handling, this part called Build Previews. So far, I said you'd use one of these two settings when you're importing your archives, just to make the process fast and to make it so your catalog file doesn't get to be too big, initially. Now, if I'm copying from a card that I just pulled out of my camera, or it's a recent shoot that I just took a few days ago, and I'm know I'm gonna be working with these files, then there are two other settings here you might want to consider using. There's a choice called Standard. Standard makes what I would call a medium-sized preview, one about the same size as your screen. And then we have a choice called 1:1, which means a full-sized preview, the same size as your original photograph. Now, the lower you get in this menu, the more space these previews take up, and the more time it takes to generate them. So it's gonna slow down the process and it's gonna make your hard drive have less space available on it if you go for higher settings, but let's think about when are these different choices useful? Well, when I'm in Lightroom looking at my files like this. The top two choices in that menu are primarily good when you're viewing your images like I am right now, which means that I'm looking at 'em as thumbnails, they're small. So with all my archives, I imported those with the minimum settings, and that made it so I'll be able to look at thumbnails of my archives. But if I were try to zoom in on this picture, there are many different ways of zooming in, but one of which is clicking on this icon here, this shows you the grid of thumbnails, this shows you just one image, now this is where a Standard preview would be useful. And if I didn't have it generate Standard-sized previews, the moment I clicked on that icon to view this image large like this, it would take a moment for it to show up. It would either look blurry or pixelated, and a little progress ring would show up, or it would just say loading. And then it would look for the original file and if it finds the original file, it would create this size preview, which is known as a Standard preview. But then, if I were to click on my picture to zoom up, and check the critical focus, do you see it saying loading right now, that's because it doesn't already have a 1:1 preview generated. So what does that mean? Well, if I'm looking at this grid like this, that's when minimal or what's the other word, is it sidecar, previews, that's what it's gonna be useful for. But the moment I come in here and I try to view the image larger, you're gonna see loading, as it tries to show you that. And it needs the original picture on my hard drive to do that, then if I click, this is when it is loading a 1:1 preview. And if I had generated a 1:1 preview at the time I was importing my picture, there wouldn't have been a delay there. You wouldn't have seen the word loading because it would have already had that preview and it would have been fast, so what does that mean? When I click Import, and look at this popup menu, when I'm importing my archives, I have 200,000 pictures there. The amount of time it would take for it to generate a Standard or 1:1 Preview would be considerable. And I just want the pictures to show up in Lightroom. So that's when I'm gonna choose one of these two settings, usually this one. But if I just finished a shoot, or it's a recent shoot, and I know I'm gonna start working with those images, that's when I decide, do I want a Standard preview where I could view them where they fill my screen? Or am I gonna need to check critical focus on every image right away? And if so, if I know I'm gonna need to do that, I'm gonna choose 1:1. It'll take longer to import, but heck, I can go get coffee or go to lunch and at least when I come back, I can quickly check focus on every image. Does that make some sense? It's your personal choice here, but what I would do for your archives, I'd use this setting, and for future shoots, like when you've just come out of the field, I use Standard. And if I know, like I just did portraits, I'm gonna have to deliver these things this afternoon kind of thing, that's when I might consider 1: 'cause I'm gonna have to check focus right away and all that. So it's a personal choice on what your needs are there. Now if you did not create any of those previews, or you may have only chosen the minimal ones, and now you're done importing, and you want to have previews, you're about to get on a plane and fly away. If all you have is minimal previews, then all you're gonna be able to view are these thumbnail images and when you press the space bar like this, this might look sub-quality, it might not look very good because it's only gonna have whatever preview your camera generated. If I know when I'm traveling, I'm not gonna have these images with me, but I'm gonna need to check focus, I'm gonna need to come in there and go zoom all the way up and see if it's sharp. Well, then I need to make sure that I have 1:1 previews before I disconnect the hard drive that contains the originals, because otherwise, when I try to zoom up on the image to 100% view, it won't be able to, because it can't look back to the original to get all the data out of it. So here's how you make your previews after importing. You select the images, here I'll type Command + A, Control + A in Windows, to Select All, you go to the Library menu and that's where you find a choice called Previews. And if you look in here, here's Build Standard-Sized Previews. Those are the ones where you just fill, fit in the screen kind of previews. Here's Build 1:1 Previews, that means full-sized, so I could check focus. You don't have to have 1:1 previews. You can always zoom up and wait for it create one, as needed. But the original pictures will have to be on the hard drive attached to your computer. If I were to choose this right now, which I'll do right now, it's gonna generate those previews, you see up here, it's doing it, progress bar. And when it's done, I can disconnect the hard drive that contains the originals and even when I'm on a plane flying somewhere and those images are back at home, I could still zoom up to 100% view because it created these previews. Now, it's gonna take a while, 'cause it's gotta open each picture and make that preview. Then let's say I'm done with a shoot, I'm done processing it, I've delivered all the images to the client, now those 1:1 previews that might be in there are just clogging up my hard drive, taking up a lot of space and I probably don't need 'em 'cause I'm done with the project. If that's the case, go to the Library menu, choose Previews, and what do we have here? But let's Discard 1:1 Previews to save space on my hard drive. You could do that, if you wanted to. So here's Build Standard-Sized Previews, and you might do that for your archives, eventually, so that you can look at them not just as thumbnails, but you can look at 'em and fit in window view. But you might do it when it's convenient to you, which might not be the moment you're importing. It might be before you leave on a trip or something. And down here is where we have the choice of Build or Discard Smart Previews. And Smart Previews are the things that allow you to adjust your pictures even when the originals are not present on your computer, you can still adjust them. All right, so remember, importing. There are three ways to get to the dialog. One is to go to the File menu, and we have the choice of Import Photos and Video. That would bring us to that screen we were on a minute ago. Or if you're in the Library module, on the left side of your screen at the bottom is where you find the Import button, which is where I usually go. If the Import button isn't there, it's just because that left panel is collapsed. There's a little triangle on the left edge of your screen, and you might have to click it to get that left panel to show up to see your Import button. There are two other ways to get it to show up. The third is, you could click on a folder within your operating system and drag it on top of the Lightroom icon. At least, on a Macintosh, I just drag it down to my dock at the bottom of my screen, and I drop it right onto Lightroom and that causes the Import dialog to open, and it even navigates to that folder for me on the left side of the screen. And the fourth method would be to insert an SD or CF card from your camera into your computer when Lightroom is running. It's under Preferences. It'll take me a minute to look for it, 'cause it's not a setting I need to get to all the time, but there is a setting right here under your general Preferences called Show import dialog when a memory card is detected. As long as that's turned on, then when you put a card in your computer, it should automatically bring up the Import dialog, should automatically navigate to the folder. Then the only thing you need to do when Import comes up is decide at the top center what to do with those files. If they're already in the location where you want them to stay, you choose Add. If you want to have them relocated somewhere else, like going from my SD card to my computer's hard drive, or I'm coming home from a shoot, all my images are on this little external drive, I want them to go onto my main hard drive in the office, then I choose Copy. Move is similar to Copy, but then it would delete them off of the original location. I usually don't do that just because I wanna have them in as many locations as possible in case one of these locations dies. So most of the time, it's Copy. And I personally don't use this choice over here called Copy as DNG, we'll discuss DNG in a later episode. I use that, if at all, when I'm completely done with my images. It just takes extra time. But for those people that know what DNG is, and want to use it all the time, they put it in here as an option. So for me personally, I always use either Add or Copy. Add means it's already where it should be, Copy means I need to move it. On the right side of the screen, for previews, Embedded & Sidecar, if I'm importing a huge number of images from my archives, so it goes quick. Standard is my standard setting for most days. And 1:1 if I know I'm gonna need to check critical focus right away after importing these. Then they'd be ready for that. Then I go down to File Renaming, type in the Shoot Name right there, I'm using my template, I copy that, and down here, for Destination, here's my folder name, I paste it in on the end of th folder name so that they're consistent. Then make sure you've clicked on the right folder to put 'em in so they don't go to wherever you did it last, they go to where you really need them to go. And those are the general settings I use when importing and the general mindset for that. Remember then, with Previews, you can select your images and at any time you can go to the Library menu and choose Previews, and here's where you can generate or discard previews after you've imported. So if you use the choice that gave you minimal previews and now you want higher quality ones, here you can build Standard-Sized or 1:1 Previews. There is a Preference that defines what a Standard-Sized Preview is. If you see that Preference, most of the time, I'd have it set to Auto. Auto looks at what size is your screen and decides, let's make a preview about that big. Just know that just because you imported your pictures doesn't mean you can throw away the originals. You can see all the images in Lightroom, even when that hard drive is not attached. If you have Smart Previews attached to 'em, you can even adjust them. But the moment you try to print, or the moment you try to export the image to give to somebody else, it needs to go on the hard drive and look for the originals. And so, don't delete 'em, don't think, oh, they're in Lightroom, no, they're not in Lightroom. Lightroom just has previews of the files that are sitting on your hard drive. They still need to sit on that hard drive. 'Cause some people, I learned, import into Lightroom, and then, well, they're right there in Lightroom. I'll just delete 'em off the hard drive. Well, now all you can do is see them. And if all you have is minimal previews, you can see 'em as thumbnails. And if all you have is a Standard Preview, you can view it filling the screen, but no more. And only if you had a 1:1 Preview would you have all the full-size information, but you need those original files. So just because they're in Lightroom doesn't mean it doesn't need the originals. All right. Now, let's switch and talk about customizing Lightroom. There's a bunch of different things we can do to customize Lightroom. And so, let's take a brief look. The first area is in the upper left of my screen. Right here, it has this area, where mine says Lightroom CC. And that makes it feel like any other program where it just has the name somewhere within there. But we can make this look as if it's customized software, for just us. I'm gonna come to this area and if I hold down the right mouse button when I'm on it, if you're on a Mac with on one mouse button, that would be holding down the Control key and clicking. Control + clicking is the same as a two-button mouse, where you use the right mouse button. There's a choice here called Edit what's known as the Identity Plate. If I choose that, then I should get a new window. And I can create different Identity Plates, up here, where there's a popup menu, and I'm gonna choose Personalized. 'Cause I don't want generic. And mine remembered my settings that I usually use and so it just automatically created this. Yours won't have it look quite the same when you do that. But let's look at what my Identity Plate looks like. I have my name over here. And then I've chosen over here what color and font is being used. And here's how that's done. First on the right side, here is where you choose what color and font is used for the various modules in Lightroom. You click on this menu to choose the font that you like. And here, you choose the style of that font, like bold, italic, underline. The number here is the size. So if I made it really small, really big. And then there's two little squares that are the colors. The first square is the color of the module you're using, and the other one is the color of the other modules that you're not currently using. If you click on it, you get a color picker where you can just drag around this big circle here, choose the general color, and then down at the bottom, there's a slider bar to choose how bright it is. And yours might look different when you click on that because there are different choices here at the top. Like, if you really like acting like your kid or whatever, you can have like crayons and all that kind of stuff. But somehow up here, you can change those colors. So on the left side, though, this is what controls what's in the upper left of your screen. And you have two different ways you can do it. You can do it as text or as a graphic, because if you have a logo you paid a graphic designer to make, you could load it in up there, as long as you Save it, usually, as a ping file, P-N-G, and if you have Photoshop, you can do that by using Save for Web is one of the menu choices. It might also be able to deal with JPEGs, but PNG is usually what's used because you can have a transparent background on 'em. So here I'm gonna say, use a stylized text, and I'm just gonna select whatever's in here and type in what I'd like. And then you have to select that text again, and then you can stylize it. You can choose the typeface you'd like, the size, and the color. And if I come in here, you can see that I can even have it multicolored, like that. Because you must select the text by dragging across it before you change these setting at the bottom, and therefore, I could have different setting for every single letter. If you wanna do it with a graphic, there's a little box here to click on, it says, Use a graphical identity plate. And then you can go on your hard drive and you can drag a file to this area, or possibly from even the Lightroom, but there's also a button called Locate File. And if I click on that, I could come in here and try to find an image. I don't have an image pre-existing for me to set up to grab, but you could, and your logo could appear here. I personally use stylized text, like this. And I just want to get my color to be relatively consistent on both sides. So it was in the upper left where you find your Identity Plate. To get to this screen, I held down the right mouse button on top of that, whatever was already there, and I chose Edit Identity Plate, that brought this up. I then changed this popup menu right here to tell it I didn't want to use the standard Lightroom one, I wanted one that was Personalized. And that's when I could customize this information at the bottom. Then there's a popup menu just to the right of that, and this is where you can choose Save As, to give it a name so that you could switch between these, if you wanted to. I'll choose Save As, I'll call this one CreativeLive, click on Save, and now at any time in the future, I could switch between various ones that are in here. You know, I have one that says Vintage America, 'cause that's often the subject matter I'm shooting. Or I could go back to my CreativeLive and therefore, I can switch between them as much I want, depending on my mood for that day. Click OK. The Identity Plate is not just used for that upper left corner of Lightroom. The Identity Plate is also used in many different areas of Lightroom. For instance, if you create a slide show, you could make your slide show begin with your Identity Plate. So the very first slide, instead of being a picture, is a black screen with whatever's in the upper left corner of Lightroom, right in the middle, so that it's like an introduction to your slide show. Or you could have it when you make a print where let's say in the Identity Plate, I put my signature, well then when I print, I can tell it to use that Identity Plate and put that right below and to the right of the picture and it looks like my print is signed. But there are many different areas within Lightroom where you'll find the word Identity Plate used. So you might first think of it in the upper left corner here when you choose Edit Identity Plate, but know that you will be able to use that in many different areas of Lightroom, and that's why I have things like my signature, which won't even appear in here because it's black, and black on a black background just doesn't make sense. But my signature is gray when it's applied on a print or it's on a white sheet of paper. I have a square star which won't make any sense because it won't look good there because I can apply it on top of my pictures and it actually crops my picture with an interesting border. There's all sort of things you can use these Identity Plates for, so know that you're gonna find it in other areas of Lightroom. So on occasion, you might make more of them. So some of the ones you have available up here might not make sense for that particular purpose. Yes? That's not a watermark? No, that is not a watermark. A watermark is only put on top of a picture. We show you how to make watermarks in the session when we talk about printing, which I believe if I remember correctly, is the last day of this week in the videos, and then we'll show you how to make a watermark. Watermarks are just applied on top of your picture and it's slightly different, similar concept, though. All right, let's look at other ways to customize Lightroom. Well, you know how you have all these various modules that are up here in the upper right? Where you can switch between them. Well, let's say you don't use them all. Let's say you don't print, you don't even own a printer. You send out to have prints made, well, so then you might never click on the word Print over here, yet still you have to see it every single day. Well, why not move your mouse to that area where all these modules are and press the right mouse button. Remember, on a Mac, with one button on your mouse, that's holding down the Control key and clicking. That's how you get a right mouse button. And in here, you can turn off the checkboxes for any modules that you don't use. For instance, for me, I never make Books. My wife does, if I want a book, I talk her into it. I'll go buy her a bottle of wine and say, honey? And she'll make me a Book. But I don't need to see the Book module, 'cause I'll talk my wife Karen into doing it. I do Print, so I want that in there. And I do on occasion do Slide Shows. But I don't use the Web and the Book modules. They're just things that I don't find to be useful for me. So why not hide the ones that you don't use? You can still always get to them. In the Window menu, it lists all the modules right here. So even if one's hidden, you can still get to it. It's just not gonna clutter up your view all day. Couple other things for customizing Lightroom. When you go to the sides of your screen, each side has a panel you can expand or collapse. Well, if you right-click on that little triangle, you can change the way that little triangle behaves. If it's set to Manual, then you have to manually click the triangle to expand or collapse it. Every time, you have to manually click. But there are some other settings that can be useful. For instance, when I'm in the Develop module, it's rare that I need to get to this panel on the left side of my screen. I don't want it cluttering it up very often, so I'm gonna go over there and I'm gonna choose Auto Hide. What's that gonna do, well, Auto Hide is gonna make it so I have to move to the left side of my screen and click the arrow to get that to show up. But then, when I'm done using it, just move my mouse outside of it, and it'll go away. So that means you have to manually click to access it, but the moment you move away, it goes away. And that's really nice, I think. And I might end up using that for maybe the Module Picker at the top of my screen, because I type the letter G to go to the Grid, meaning in the Library, and D for Develop, so I rarely need to use this, and it just makes my picture take up less space. So I come up here and I say, Auto Hide. So now, if I ever need to use the Module Picker, 'cause I don't know the keyboard shortcut to go to a particular module, I click on that arrow, I switch to the module I need, and then I drag away and it's gone. And therefore, my picture can dominate the screen. Then when I'm in the Develop module, at the bottom of my screen is something called the Film Strip, which is a quick way of switching between various images. Usually I need to use it for a moment, and then I want it out of the way. So at the bottom of my screen in the Develop module, I right-click and there's a choice called Auto Hide & Show. By using that, I never have to click on that little arrow at the bottom, never have to click it. Instead, I just move into the area where the arrow is, that whole horizontal bar at the bottom and it automatically shows up so I can use it to switch between images. Then I can move away from it and it automatically disappears. So that was Manual, if you want to manually control it, Auto Hide, if you have to click to make it show up, move away to make it disappear, and then Auto Hide & Show for things that should just show up when you need 'em, and disappear the second you're done. The other choice that's in here, which I personally don't use, is called Sync with Opposite Panel, and that would be like if I click on the triangle on the right side, it would automatically control the left side, too. And I just don't find that to be useful for me, personally. Just a couple other things about customizing. And that is, when I'm in a section of Lightroom, in my case, the Develop module, that means up here at the top of my screen, I'll keep this visible so you can always tell where I am. With the Develop module, there's all sorts of sections here that you can expand to adjust your pictures and if you have them all expanded, it can feel overwhelming. There's so many choices, it's crazy. And it can be hard to find the settings that you want, because you gotta scroll really far to get to them. So if I come to one of these triangles, and I hold down the Option key and click on it, that's Alt in Windows, watch what happened to the triangle. I'll do it again, you see how before it was solid? And after I do it, it's speckled? That's what's know as Solo mode. And in Solo mode, it means only one of these sections can be opened at a time. So if I click on the word Tone Curve here, watch what happens to the section that was already opened. It automatically collapses. Then if I go down here to Split Toning, it automatically collapses the other section I was using. And now I find it's not overwhelming. Now I can just say, oh, I wanted to do a Basic adjustment. And afterwards, what else did I need, maybe some Effects. And it's never this huge list. If you need more than one open at a time, it can be done. You would have to hold down the Shift key when you choose another one of 'em. So if I hold down Shift right now, I can get both Effects and Lens Corrections open at the same time. But I doubt you'll remember that, but. I do like Solo mode, especially for the Develop module, all the choices that are there, you'll find though, that there are certain sections of Lightroom where you just never use the settings that are there. Let's say you absolutely never use the choices that are found under this part called Camera Calibration. Well, there is a way, and it'll take me a moment to remember how, where you can disable those. You can actually hide them, in fact, I'm gonna do it back in my grid, meaning the Library module, because in here, I rarely use the section in here that's called Quick Develop or Comments. I just don't need them very often. So in order to hide those, I assumed I could right-click to get it, and it sounds like at least on a PC that you have. It's not happening on my screen when I Control + Click. I expected it to. You should click not on the word or arrow, just in space where this section is. Like in here. So what it is, is it doesn't work if you right-click on the arrow, it doesn't work if you right-click on the text, you have to right-click in the empty space where there is no text, thank you. As I've said before, I expected it to be right-click. It had worked for me before with right-click, but I just didn't realize that I had to be at that empty spot. I just happened to always be in that empty spot before. Thank you. So here, you find a list, and I don't use Comments very often and I also don't use Quick Develop very often, so that now when I look at this list, those sections are simply hidden. And I can do that in other areas. If I go to the Develop module, and I right-click, I can turn off Camera Calibration, for instance. Or if there's something else that you just absolutely never use. You don't know what the Tone Curve is, and it annoys to see it all the time, hide it. All right, so that's what I wanted to cover when it comes to customizing. I should just point you at a couple little things that will come up when it comes to importing. Do you remember when we imported our images, we renamed them? If you forgot, or you already have images on your hard drive, your importing your archives, you go back and you go, oh man, here's a folder full of images that have just the file names from my camera. I'm kind of embarrassed, like he told me to always rename 'em, or something. You can do it afterwards. If you run into a folder that needs to be renamed, select all the images, you can go to, I believe it might be the Library or the Photo menu, it's one of the two. It's Library, right here, Rename Photos. And that means rename 'em after they're already imported, you select 'em all, hit Rename, and this is the same list of Presets that we had when we were importing. Remember how we created our own formula for doing it? And right here is where you type in that Shoot Name for whatever it was, in this case, I'll just call it California. And what number it should start numbering them with. If I click OK, it's renaming all these files. So you don't have to worry if your archives are a mess and you're like, oh they all have the original names. Just slowly go back in your archives, click on a folder, and if you see generic names, Select All, and go to the Library menu, that's where you find Rename Photos. Just be careful, it does think of what order they're in. So you probably want to go to the View menu and there's a choice called Sort, set it to Capture Time, meaning the moment you took the picture is how it's sorting them. Because this could be in a manual sorting order or some other weird order, and suddenly you have 'em renamed where photo one might be the 30th picture you took, and photo two might be the 12th picture, they're out of order then. So just consider that before you rename. And if later on, you need to Move your pictures, you can just click on your pictures, let's say I want to move this entire folder. I noticed that, man, I put it in the wrong folder. You see, it's 2016 I shot that, I put it in the 2015 folder. But you can just click on it right here in the Folder list and drag it where you want it to go. Let go, and right now, it's moving those files for me. So, this is just like having your hard drive here. Any change you make to this area called the Folders is happening on your hard drive, too. So when I drag that folder for 2015 into 2016, it moved them on my hard drive. And you can do the same thing with files. If I notice that, oh man, there's really two shoots in here. It's not just San Francisco, these last ones here were from somewhere else, well, you could create a new folder in here, if you simply right-click, there's a choice called Create Folder Inside. I could make a new folder that's empty, and then I could select as many pictures as I want, and just drag them to that folder. And it would move them on my hard drive to that folder. So if you import your archives and you notice that they're a mess, you can go into your Folder list and drag between folders, either an entire folder can be moved or just some images, and if you want to rename a folder, just right-click on it. There's a choice called Rename. If you type in a new name, it will do it on your hard drive. Whatever's in the Folder list just matches your hard drive. But the main thing is, don't do it outside of Lightroom. Don't go to your hard drive and move them and rename them. 'Cause then Lightroom will be confused, it won't know you did that, and it won't know where to find those images, okay. All right. So, if you think about what we've just done. We just learned how to import our pictures. We learned about what the Preview sizes mean, and all that. It's a bunch of information, but most of the time, you set up the Import dialog box with your general preference and most all the settings are sticky, meaning it'll remember the last settings you used. And so, set it up once, spend the time to look through all the options. And didn't show it to you, but in the bottom center, you can even Save all those settings as a Preset. There's a little popup where you can click and say, Save as Preset. Therefore, if you ever messed with the settings, you can get back to what you like very easily. Finally, if you want to find me online, here's how you can find me at various social media. And of course, my website. So this has just been one more session of Lightroom CC Photo Editing. We're only a few days in. We're starting to get some of the basics down, but we got a lot more to go, 20 days total. I think you're gonna learn a tremendous amount.

Welcome to CreativeLive’s comprehensive Lightroom® workshop! Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently - and have more time to spend doing the stuff that matters. In this series of lessons, you’ll learn how to:

  • Import and organize your images
  • Optimize your photos and workflow
  • Make your images searchable within the program
  • Exporting, printing, and troubleshooting

When you purchase this course you’ll gain access to both an enduring resource to build your skills and a community with which to share the fruits of your work. Ben will provide a workbook that acts as a reference guide.

Don't have Photoshop yet? Get it now so you can follow along with the course!

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.2 - 2015.3



  • Creative Live is a godsend and, in my opinion, Ben Willmore is one of their best instructors - if not the best. He is as natural and thoughtful a teacher as he must be a learner. He knows a lot! He is clear about what his students want and need to know, from basic to advanced concepts, and he is constantly aware that he has students watching who are of different knowledge levels. He never takes off, leaving the less experienced behind - instead he moves forward at a good pace while referring back to create mental links during the progression; good for all levels. I work with Lightroom already and so have both experience and questions about how to work more efficiently and creatively. This bootcamp is definitely helping me. I've watched others of Ben's classes, and they always help. Thank you, Ben and Creative Live.
  • Thanks again Ben, for your fabulous teaching and your ability to actually teach and not just show and tell...As other people have commented you have a gift to teach in the way that you do. I have purchased many of your courses and was not going to purchase this, thinking I have all your prior courses...alas, you are just too good!!! I had to buy it in the end and thanks again for all the goodies, so worth the money: Really looking forward to June for your Photoshop class. Once again, I have taken many of your photoshop courses but you keep adding such great info that I cannot resist...see you in June!! Keep up the fabulous work, byw, I love all the yoga poses, what fun you both have with this idea...
  • I have had the privilege of participating in this excellent class from the front row seat in the Creative Live San Francisco studios. After only a few of the 20 sessions, I quickly appreciated the many features and benefits of using LightRoom to organize and edit all of my images. If you're like me, you've had access to LR for a while, and have opened it and fumbled through the myriad of complex menus a few times, then have gone back to using Photoshop. After these classes with Ben Willmore, (and they're not even done yet), I have tackled the job of re-organizing and keywording tens of thousands of images that reside on various backup drives, many of which I've never even had time to look at. I now have a path forward to enjoying what is in my archives rather than letting them gather dust. I have made HDR images, panoramas, slide shows and Blurb books with ease based on the techniques learned in class. Throughout the class, we lobbed many questions at Ben, and every single time he knew the answer in an instant, or could give us a work-around or several ways to do what we're trying to accomplish in LR. His deep knowledge of LR (and PS) simply cannot be matched, and he's a natural trainer. The days have flown by, and after each day I can't wait to get home and start working on my images. Regardless of your type of photography - professional, avid amateur, or hobbyist - if you shoot and edit a lot of images, LR can be a huge benefit in your workflow. Even if you think you already sort of know how LR works, there is still plenty of useful info in this course that will help you to extract maximum benefit from Lightroom. For me it has been nothing short of transformative!