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In this course, author and digital imaging expert Tim Grey teaches you how to use the Library module in Adobe Lightroom 4 to manage your images, ensuring that you'll always be able to find any image you need, when you need it. Learn how to make full use of the Import feature, sort and organize your images, add keywords and otherwise identify key images, filter and search images, create backups, and much more. Plus, get lots of tips on configuring the Lightroom interface to suit the way you work, making everything you do faster and easier.
Once I've captured new images, I'm eager to get those images into Lightroom. And not just because I'm eager to review the images, but also because I want to create a backup of those images and I want to start getting the images organized as soon as possible. Let's take a look at how you can import new photographs from you digital media card into Lightroom. To get started in the Library Module, I'll put the Import button at the bottom of the left panel, which will bring up the Import dialog. Because I already inserted a digital media card into a card reader, Lightroom recognizes that that card is there and that it has new images.
If for any reason, the card you've inserted is not recognized, you can click at the top left to choose a particular device or to navigate to a particular source for your images. You can also use the file structure tree here to navigate down to the particular location where your images are stored. But in this case, Lightroom found the card reader for me automatically and the images are ready to import. When downloading images directly from your camera or from a card inserted into a card reader, I strongly encourage you to use the Copy operation. We don't want to move images from a digital media card, because, then we might lose them in the process, and that could obviously be problematic. And we don't want to add images from a digital media card, because that card is removable and those images might be erased at some point in the future and so they would no longer be accessible to Lightroom.
You also have the option to copy as a PNG if you wanted to convert your RAW captures, for example, into the digital negative format. But I am perfectly happy leaving the RAW captures as they are and so I'll simply use the Copy operation. You can also specify which images are currently visible here. Right now, I have the all photos option selected. I could also choose New Photos, which would only show me images that are new to Lightroom. In other words, it will exclude duplicates. None of these images are duplicates and so all of the images are still displayed.
I can also use the Destination Folders option that will divide my images up into specific sections based on the Destination Folders. But at the moment, my settings have all of the images going into the same location. So that's not causing any change in the display either. In any event, I generally always use the All Photos option. I can also specify which of the images I actually want to import into Lightroom. I can check all of the images or uncheck all of the images. Only the images with the check will actually be imported.
In theory, I could actually deselect some of the images, so they are not imported, but I prefer to import everything. Mostly because I'm eager to get my images into Lightroom. And I can always delete images later after I get a chance to review them in more detail. So I'll leave all of the images selected and ready to be imported. I can now turn my attention to the right panel. This is where I can choose the destination, as well as some of the processing for my images. I'll start off by clicking at the top right, so I can choose a destination for these images.
I'm going to copy them into the My Pictures folder, but specifically, I'm going to put these images into a subfolder within my Tim Grey Photos folder. So I'm actually going to navigate to that top level destination. I'll click other destination. So, inside the My Pictures folder, I'll click the Tim Grey Photos folder, and then click Select Folder. That will set the Tim Grey Photos folder, my primary storage location, as the default destination for my images. In general, this location should be the top level of your primary storage location for photos.
That might be an exclusive hard drive inside your computer. It might be an external hard drive or it might be some other destination. In this case for example, I set up a specific folder somewhere on my computer's hard drive. Of course, these images need to go in a specific folder that relates to content of those images or whatever the nature of the images might be, but I'll deal with that just a little bit later. Under File Handling, I'll set my Render Previews to the Standard option. The Minimal option as well as the Embedded and Sidecar option don't provide large enough previews to make browsing very effective.
It slows things down a little bit, so I use Standard. I don't feel there's a need for the one to one option unless I really think that I'm going to be zooming in on every single photo to evaluate sharpness, for example. But usually, I only evaluate my favorite images. So I find the images I like and then I zoom in on those to make sure they're sharp for example. So I'll leave that set to Standard. I don't want to import suspected duplicates, so I'll leave that check box turned on. In this case, there aren't any duplicates. But since I'm viewing the All Photos option, if any of these photos had been duplicates, they would be dimmed down and the check box would be turned off.
One of the features that I really encourage you to take advantage of in the import process is to create a backup while you're copying the images to your hard drive. To do so, you can simply turn on the make a second copy to check box. And then, click the link and navigate to a location where you want to store the backup images. In this case, I don't have an addition external hard drive attached, so I'm just going to copy to the desktop just for illustrative purpose. But the idea is that you can copy the images to two separate hard drive at the same time. So you have your master images that you'll actually be working with, but you also have a backup copy of those captures just in case anything goes wrong. We can also rename our images while they're being downloaded. If you want to rename your photos, simply turn on the Rename Files check box and then specify a template.
There are a variety of option available here, you can even create your own template. But I generally use the Custom Name and Sequence Number option. I'll set the Custom Name to something descriptive for these images. We'll call these Graz, Austria for example, because these photos were captured while walking around Graz, Austria. I'll leave the start number set to one because these are the first images I'm importing as part of this photoshoot. The file name extension, I'll leave as is. I'm not really concerned as to whether the file name extension is lower case or upper case. I'll leave them exactly as they are.
I can then scroll down, and in the Apply During Import section, I can specify if I want to apply any develop settings. This will change the appearance of all of the photos based on a preset that I select. I generally don't like to change the appearance of the photos as I'm importing them, so I'll leave that set to None. I'll choose the Tim Grey Copyright and Contact Info preset for metadata, that will add my copyright information to all of the images being imported. And for keywords, I can assign some keywords that relate to every single image that's being imported at the moment.
Those would certainly include things like the name of a city, since these were all captured in Graz, as well as Australia and I could include Europe, for example, and I could include other keywords that relate to all of the images. In theory, for example, I could use winter as a keyword since all of these images were captured in wintertime. But since it doesn't exactly look like winter, I don't think I'll add that keyword. The point is to be very careful to only use keywords that actually apply to all of the images currently being imported. Finally, I can specify the specific destination location. Now, in theory, I could have specified a new folder in the other destination that I selected up above.
But the reason that I didn't do that is that I want to import all photos into that same location. I just want to put them into a subfolder based on the photos themselves, and this way, I don't have to navigate to a specific folder up at the top here, every single time I import photos. Instead, I'll leave that set to, in this case, the Tim Grey's Photos folder and then I'll turn on the check box for into subfolder. I'll go ahead and type a folder name for all of these images. We'll call this Graz, Austria. These images happen to have been captured during January 2012. So I'll include that as part of the folder name. In terms of the organization of the images within subfolders, I want to organize those photos into a single folder.
I personally don't like to have individual photos based on date underneath the primary subfolder I created, and so, I'll leave that option set to, into one folder. I could also use By Date, that would create individual subfolders based on the year and specific date for the images that were captured. But in this case, I'll use the Into One Folder option. You'll notice, by the way, that the Graz, Austria folder is shown in italics. I'm getting a preview here of the actual folder structure that's going to be used for the images being imported.
The fact that this folder is shown in italics is an indication that the folder does not yet exist. It's going to be created as part of this import process. With all of those settings established, I'm ready to actually import my images, so I'll go ahead and click the Import button. And Lightroom will start copying my images, creating a backup copy in the process. Also, renaming all of the photos and adding keywords, as well as my copyright and contact metadata to the images. So, quite a lot is being done for me automatically by Lightroom with a relatively simple import process.
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