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In this course, Chris Orwig investigates the Lightroom properties as a digital asset management (DAM) system—specifically, its catalogs, which track the location, metadata, and keyword tags associated with your images. The course shows how to import images into a catalog and keep them current with synchronized folders, maintain good backup practices, and recover and restore a catalog. Chris also provides his recommendations on hard drive options, and explains the process and benefits to raw processing when working with catalogs.
One of the most important steps in your Lightroom workflow is importing your photographs into Lightroom. And here what I am going to do is just to show you a few techniques for importing your pictures. This isn't going to be exhaustive as I've covered this in other places, but what I do want to do is show you three different techniques for triggering the Import dialog. I also want to talk about a few of the settings inside of that dialog. Well, if you have a folder of images as I do here, the Exercise Files folder, you can simply click and drag and drop. When you do that it will trigger the Import dialog.
Here you can see I have that open. I'll go ahead and click Cancel to show you another technique. Now, I'm going to go to Full Screen View just so we have a larger view of Lightroom. To do that, you can press the F key. Another way to trigger the Import dialog is to click on the Import button, the left-hand corner of the Library module, and again, we could select our folder that we want to import. The other technique that we can use is to go to the File pulldown menu. Navigate to File, and then choose Import Photos and Video or use the shortcut Shift+Command+I on a Mac; Shift+ Ctrl+I on Windows. All right! Well, either way, use one of those three techniques in order to trigger the Import dialog.
Next, what I want you to do is to navigate to the folder of images; in this case, the Exercise Files folder. The reason why I want to do this here as we're talking about catalogs is because this stuff up top is really important. What we choose here really determines where our images go. So often what happens is people import their photographs into Lightroom, and then they just can't find them. Well, if you ever can't find your pictures, it's because one of the settings that you've chosen here. Now, what are these settings? Well, the setting by default that's selected is Add.
This is a great option if you already have pictures which are organized into a folder, and you just want Lightroom to know that those exist. Another option is Move. Why would you choose that? You might choose that if you want to move images from one hard drive to another. Another option is to Copy those files, which will create duplicate of these files. You could then copy those perhaps to a new location. You could also choose to Copy as DNG. This would take all of the files, convert them to the DNG format, and then copy them to a new spot.
So again, which option you choose here really depends upon what you want to do. In my case, my images, they're already organized, already have folders and subfolders. So here I'm going to choose Add. If I were importing, say, from a Compact Flash Card, well, in a situation like that, well, then we'd use Copy as DNG or Copy. So we could copy the pictures off of the Compact Flash Card and then save those on a hard drive. The next choice has to do with where we're going to save these files over here. In this case, it's just saving them to the catalog.
It isn't going to physically move these at all because we've selected Add. Now here we can choose some File Handling Settings. Typically, Standard works well, and you can also apply some Metadata upon import. I'm not going to cover all of these details, because again those have been covered other places. Yet, here though, you can see what we're doing is simply adding these photographs to our catalog. In other words, Lightroom will now know that these pictures exist. In order to import the photographs, we simply click the Import button. This will then import our photographs into our catalog, so that we can begin to work with them.
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