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Another unique way to import photographs and video files into Lightroom is to create what's called a Watched folder. This can allow you to automatically bring in images and video files into Lightroom. Let's take a look at how we can do this. First what I want to do is minimize the Lightroom interface, so that we can see the Desktop. All right! So I am just making this smaller, so that we can look at the Desktop, and here on the Desktop, I have my Exercise Files, I also have this picture of an amazing photographer and friend Erik Almas and we'll use that as our demo file here.
Well, what I want to do next is create a folder. So, on my Desktop on the Mac operating system, I am going to right-click and then choose New Folder. And this folder I am going to name just go ahead and call this watched. Now you can name this folder whatever you want, but just for this demo kind a make sense to name it that, because this is going to be our watched folder and that will keep things simple. All right! Well, back to Lightroom. In Lightroom, what we want to do is go to our File pulldown menu, then select Auto Import, next choose, Auto Import Settings.
This will open up the Auto Import Settings dialog. In this dialog, the first step, of course, is to define the watched folder. Where do we want to import from? So let's go ahead and choose that. I'll click on Choose and I'll go to my desktop and select that folder and then hit Choose. So now it's going to pull images from this particular location. Now where do I want to save these files to? Where is it going to move these files to? Well, I need to determine this. So here I'll click Choose and what I am going to do is go to my Desktop in Exercise Files and I am going to go to Photos over here and then People.
I want this image or these images that are in this folder to end up in this location here, and again, you can choose whatever location makes most sense to your own workflow. So here I'll click Choose. Next, do we want to rename this file in any way? No, just keep the filename as is. Next, do we want to apply any developed settings? Well, we have all of our presets we could choose or any metadata. Sure I'll have a copyright and then keywords, perhaps if there is some keywords we want to add or we can always determine size of the preview.
Now in this case, what you typically would do with a watched folder is have images that you're just the kind of throw over into that folder every once in a while and you just want them to be part of Lightroom without even having to really think about it. Without even having to go through all of that imports stuff. This will take care of it all for you. Because of that, typically the information and the settings that you're going to apply, are going to typically be pretty generic and that's what I've done here. All right! Well, these are going to go into a folder which is called Auto Imported Photos.
That's going to be helpful, because I may need to reorganize things, because again I am just going to kind of thorough images into that folder, I don't really know what they're going to be. Once they're in Lightroom, we'll deal with them more later. So let's go ahead and click OK. We've now defined or setup all of those settings. The next step would be to enable them. We can go back to File and choose Auto Import and now Enable Auto Import is now lit up. We can click on that and so this watched folder is now live. It's turned on so to speak.
Well let's watch or see how this works. Here we'll select an image, just one for example, and drag it into that folder. Now what will happen is once it's in that folder, that's going then queue up this importing process and you can see it brought that image over into Lightroom, and here in Lightroom, let's expand this a little bit, so we can actually see the photograph that was brought in, we can see we now have this picture inside of the Library Module in this folder Auto Import. Now what's great about this is once this is inside of here, I could then move this around.
In other words, let's say that what I want to do is bring this image into a specific folder or another location. Well to do that it might be helpful to go to the Grid View, and in the Grid View, I can see a thumbnail and I can just drag this to another spot; I am going to move this to another locations. Sure, that's exactly what I want to do and then it takes it out of my Auto Import folder and puts it into a more specific spot. The great thing about this is you can use this watched folder concept to just really bring stuff into Lightroom quickly into kind of a generic spot, and then once you're in Lightroom, you can kind of tweak it, move it around to wherever it needs to be.
Of course, you can dial this in, in a way that really makes sense to your workflow whatever that happens to be, and as you can see, this just adds some flexibility and also some speed when you want to bring photographs into Lightroom.
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