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The most direct way to get photos out of your digital camera and into Elements Organizer is to use the Photo Downloader that comes with Elements, along with your camera or memory card reader. When you plug your camera or your card reader into your computer, you may see an autoplay alert like this on Windows, or maybe an application like iPhoto on a Mac. For simplicity's sake, I suggest you close all of that, and then go into the Organizer. When you're bringing photos into your Organizer, you'll probably be in the default display, the Thumbnail View, so I'm going to switch over to that.
To get photos off my memory card, I'll go to the File menu here in the Organizer, I'll choose Get Photos and Videos, and I'll slide over to From Camera or Card Reader. That opens the Organizer's Photo Downloader to this view; the Standard View. This is the view that I will use when I want to bring in all of the photos from a memory card. It has just a few fields to go through. But if I want to bring in just some photos from my card, then I'll go down here and I will click Advanced Dialog. It's unfortunate that it's named Advanced, because it really has just the same fields as the Standard dialog box, plus a few extras.
I am going to click there so you can see this other view of the downloader. To start, I will go up to the source field, and I will choose the device from which I want to get photos; in this case my Nikon. If you don't see your camera or card reader here, then click Refresh List. In just a moment, I'll see a thumbnail of every photo on my memory card. I really like this, because I can go through and select just the photos that I want to bring in, leaving the duds behind. I'll go down and click Uncheck All, and then I'll put a check mark under just the photos that I want to bring off the memory card.
I am going to get a few more that I took on another day as well, and I'll put a check mark under a few more photos here. Then I'll go over to the column on the right, and I'm going to fill out just the same fields that I would have filled out in the Standard View of the Photo Downloader. First, I'll choose the location to which I want the photos copied from my memory card. I'll click Browse, and I'm going to go into My Pictures folder. I'd like the photos to be copied into my 2011 photos folder, so I'll select that, and I'll click Select Folder.
If you like your photos further organized into more subfolders, you can have the Downloader make those subfolders for you automatically. By default, the Downloader makes subfolders by the date photos were shot; year first, then month, then day. I am going to stick with that default, but there are a few more options here to choose from. I think it's important to leave this field set to Do not rename files. I don't recommend renaming photos while importing them, because if you forget whether you've imported from a particular memory card and you insert it again, if you leave the names the same, Elements will recognize the photos as duplicates, and it won't reimport them.
Since I am just going to fill out the basic fields, the ones that I would have seen in the Standard dialog, I'm going to skip through all these options, and come down to this important field where the Downloader is asking what to do with the photos on the card after it copies them into my computer. I think it's important to leave this set to After Copying, Do Not Delete Originals. It's safer to wait until you're sure that all the photos are in your computer to delete them off your memory card. So I do that later using the controls in my camera. So those are all the basic settings.
Now, I'll come down and click Get Media. The Downloader goes about copying the photos from my memory card into my computer. This is really a two-step process. Now that the copying is done, this message tells me that the Organizer is now going to bring information about the copied files into my Organizer catalog, and it's asking whether I want to see just those new files when that process is finished. I'll click Yes, and the Organizer again reminds me that I'm only looking at the files I just imported. I'll click OK.
So here I can see a thumbnail inside Elements Organizer of the photos that I copied off the memory card and included in the Organizer. Bringing these photos into Elements didn't move them from the folder to which I downloaded them a minute ago; it just created a record of each photo in this Elements catalog. At this point, I would usually add some keyword tags, perhaps organize some of my new photos into albums, all of which I'll show you later in the course. For now, I'm just going to click Show All, and that takes me back to see all the photos in this catalog, including those I just brought in.
If you like to see not only the date the photos were taken, but also the file names under each photo, be sure to go up to the View menu, and make sure that Details and Show File Names is checked. It seems like everyone I meet has a different way of bringing photos from their camera into their computer. I really like using this Photo Downloader with Elements Organizer, because it not only copies photos from your card or your camera into your computer, but at the same time, it indexes all those photos in your Elements Organizer.
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