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When you've finished a shoot or when the card in your camera is full and you want to get photos off that memory card and into your computer, Elements can do that job for you. The Photo Downloader, which is part of Elements Organizer, can not only get photos off your camera's memory card, at the same time it will import information about those photos into Elements Organizer, combining a two-step process into one. The first step is to take the card out of your camera, attach a memory card reader to your computer, and insert the camera's card into the card reader.
When you do that, you sometimes see an AutoPlay window like this, on Windows. On a Mac, iPhoto may open automatically and try to import your photos. I recommend that you close windows and applications like that and let Elements do the job for you instead. So I'm going to close AutoPlay here, and I'm going to go back to my Elements Organizer. In the Organizer, I'll click the Import button and I'll choose to import From Camera or Card Reader. That opens the Photo Downloader that's part of Elements Organizer.
The first stop here is the Source field. Here I'm going to tell the downloader which device I want it to get photos from. I'll click the menu, and I'm going to choose Camera or Card Reader. Sometimes you'll see your camera listed by name here, and that's fine too. If you don't see anything that looks familiar, try refreshing the list. I'll go with Camera or Card Reader. Immediately, the downloader reads the memory card and tells me how many files it has and the total file size. So that's acceptable to put on this computer.
Next, I'll go down to the Location field. Here I'm going to tell the downloader where to put the photos that it's going to take off the memory card and put inside my computer. I'll click the Browse button. I'm going to put the photos inside my Pictures folder and inside another folder I have there, called my photos. So I'll select the my photos folder, and I'll click the Select Folder button. You can see the path to that folder right here in the Location field. If I want the photos to go one level deeper into a subfolder, I can use the Next field here.
If I click this arrow, I could have the downloader automatically make subfolders for me on the basis of either today's date or the date on which the photos on this card were shot. I prefer my subfolders to contain more information than just date. So instead of that, I'm going to go with Custom Name, and then in the next field, I'll select this text and I'll type over it with the name of a subfolder for all these photos. I'll type 2011 and the month and the day. And these are folders of my kids, so I'll type children.
In the next field I could choose to rename the files as they come off the camera card, but I think it's a good idea to leave the files with their original names. The reason is, if you change the names at this point and then you forget that you've offloaded that particular card and bring it in again, you'll end up with duplicates of the files. So I'm going to leave this at Do not rename files, and I can skip the rest of these naming fields. Finally, I think it's important to leave this field set to After Copying, Do Not Delete Originals.
I prefer to leave the originals on the card until I'm absolutely sure that I've got them all safely inside of my computer. Then I'll put that card back in my camera and reformat the card in the camera, which will delete the originals from the card at that point. I'll leave Automatic Download unchecked, because I like to see this dialog box every time that I'm taking photos off of a memory card, rather than have that happen automatically. And then I'll click Get Media. The downloader starts doing two things; downloading the photos off the memory card and onto my computer to the location that I specified in the Downloader window, and importing those photos into Elements--in other words, making a record of each photo in Elements.
And that record contains information about the photo, it includes the small photo thumbnails that you see here in the Organizer, and it includes a link to the photos where I've put them out in that subfolder that I just made in the Downloader window. You can see that over in the My Folders area, there now is a new folder that I just created, and that folder contains all of the photos that you see here. Right now the Organizer is just showing what was brought in on the last import; to see all the other photos in this catalog too, I'll come over here and click the Back button.
And then if I scroll down, you can see that this catalog contains all of these photos, plus photos that I just brought in. I think that using the photo downloader that comes with Elements to both download your photos from a camera memory card and at the same time import information about those photos into the Organizer is a great time saver. So I recommend that you use this method on your own photos, if you're not already doing so.
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