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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the more common ways to import photos into Lightroom is by way of a media card. In this particular case, I have some photographs that I captured this morning down at the beach. One of the things that I love about lynda.com is it's located not too far away from a really good surfing spot. So I jumped out in the water with my camera in housing, and here you can see I have some photos from this morning. What I want to do is I want to bring these photos into my overall Lightroom catalog, so I can start to work on them. Now, one of the things that you want to do is you want to set up your preferences to automatically show the Import dialog when you connect a media card.
You can do that by navigating to your Preferences, Lightroom and then Preferences. On a PC, navigate to the Edit pulldown menu and choose Preferences, then by selecting in the General tab, Show import dialog when your memory card is detected. Because I have that option on, when I inserted the memory card and connected it, it opened up this dialog. Now, by default, it's going to show you all of the photos. It's also going to give you the option either to copy to a new location or to copy as DNG.
You can't move or add these files, because they are on a media card. So, we need to create another version of the file. Now that's actually really helpful. It's a little bit of a safety net. In other words, if we make any mistakes, those files will always at least be on that CompactFlash card until we delete or format or clear that card. Now, what are we going to do here in regards to our options? Well, in my overall workflow, the way that I handle files is I copy as a DNG, convert them to this new location. Now, one of the reasons I do this is because it's lossless compression.
It makes my files anywhere between 10% and 40% smaller. In other words, it makes my overall workflow a ton faster. Also, I like the DNG format, because it's open source and it gives me a little bit more confidence in regards to being able to access these files in the future. So again, you'll want to make your own decision in regards to this format, but in my own workflow, I convert everything to DNG. All right, while I'm currently selecting all photos, now I can of course right-click or Ctrl+Click to deselect one of the photos, or click on the little check box in order to include that.
We can increase or decrease our thumbnail size, if we want a smaller view. One of the things that's also kind of interesting is how we sort the images. A lot of times what you'll do is say okay, let's uncheck everything, because some of these photos just aren't very good. But what I want to do is import these two photos where I just swam under water and shot up towards the sun. Yet if I had a whole list of images, a big long slew of them, it would be kind of confusing to find the ones that you've selected. So, what you can do in regards to your sorting is choose Checked State.
That will then put all of the checked images near the top. Again, it's a nice way to group the files you actually want to import, rather than having to scroll through them all and try to determine what's a keeper or not. Now, we can, of course, turn off this option and choose File Name or Capture Time. Typically, in most workflows, Capture Time makes sense because it follows how you're actually shooting. It kind of helps you remember the overall flow of a particular shoot. All right. Well, let's move over to our options on the far right-hand side. Now we're going to save these files to our hard drive.
Yet we need to define this a little bit more closely. So, let's go into File Handling. We're going to Render Previews as that Standard size preview. We've already talked about that. We don't want to import suspected duplicates. It's really important. Leave that one checked on. I also want to make a second copy to a backup drive. Here I have this backup drive connected. I can click on this option. It will open up the hard drive. I can choose the folder where I want to save these files to. Then simply click Choose. It will then update that and show me hey, it's saving it to this hard drive I have named sashimi_2 and into a folder I've titled backup. All right, good! One of the things that you're going to find with your panels is as you start to open them, you're going to have to do quite a bit of scrolling, right, just like in Lightroom.
Well, if you prefer not to scroll, here's what you can do. Just like in Lightroom, you can take these panels to what's called Solo mode. You can access Solo mode, one of the two ways, either right-click and choose Solo mode from this contextual menu here, or you can hold down the Option key if you're on a Mac, that's the Alt key if you're on a PC, and click on the Triangle icon. In that way, it will only allow you to have one panel open at a time. I find this makes a little bit more sense, because otherwise all of this scrolling gets a little bit confusing, at least for me.
So, I prefer Solo mode here. Well, next option, File Renaming. This would be helpful if I needed to rename the files in order for them to fit more closely into my overall workflow. A lot of times what people will do is rename files and create custom templates with different criteria for renaming those files. Now, in my particular case, I leave the files as-is. So, I'm going to go ahead and skip these steps here. Apply During Import, we've seen this before. We can apply specific Develop Settings if we find those to be helpful, or we can apply some metadata.
We've already talked about creating a preset. So, I have that nice preset of my copyright. I'll add that. In regards to Keywords, I'm going to choose a location, Ventura, and surf and underwater. All right, so now I have some keywords, which apply to all of these images. Next, Destination, where do I actually want to save these files? Now, there are a couple of different options. You can save them all into one folder, or if you want to do something different you can organize them by date.
Now when you choose Organize By Date, you can see that it's giving me the folder, in this case, 2010, and then the subfolder of that particular date when these files were captured. Now, in my particular case, I'm not going to organize these by date, but into one folder. Now how you organize your files really is preference. There's no right or wrong. If I were integrating these into my actual library on my actual computer in my studio, well, I would organize them by date. But here, because this is a training title, it will make more sense to put them in one folder.
What I want to do with that folder is I want to save that to that Drobo drive, exercise_files. I'll go ahead and select the general photos there. I'm going to put this in a folder called underwater. What it's going to do for me is it's going to create a folder inside of this folder here called underwater, where I'll be able to save those images to that particular location. So again, I've dialed in the location for these files. We can see it's going to put them in a subfolder. Organize all the files there.
Keep their names as-is. Let's say that we want to bring in all photos. I'm going to go ahead and change my options here and choose Check All, so I can bring in all of these images. All right. Well, now that I've dialed in all of my settings, what's typically going to happen is that when you import your photos from a media card, you're going to import in the same way. In other words, in my own workflow, I always import them into my main photos folder on my Drobo S drive. So, in those particular situations, the Import Presets become really important.
So, you'll want to experiment with these presets and figure out what your workflow actually is in regards to importing and really create some presets that make sense for saving files or copying files or converting to DNG or adding different metadata and all of those different things, so that you can then take advantage of them as you continue to import from your CF card. As a quick side note, the presets are also really helpful for me when I'm doing a commercial shoot and I have a few assistants. If I have a digital tech assistant, what I'll do is I'll set this up so that I have a preset, so that I'm predefining how the files are going to be brought into the computer, where they're going to be saved, on what hard drive and whatnot, so that the digital assistant doesn't have to make any critical decisions.
In other words, they can just view this as a collapsed view mode, and they can choose a preset which is relevant for that particular shoot. So I set that all up beforehand. Last little tip here is that if you want to navigate between this collapsed and expanded view, well, you can press the Tab key. Tab key makes it larger. Then the Tab key also will compact that and make that view a little bit smaller. All right. Well, once we've decided on those settings, all that we need to do is go ahead and click Import.
What we'll see is that it's going to give us progress in regards to converting those files to the Digital Negative format, importing them, and then eventually, rendering the previews. Now, we'll take a little bit more time to convert to Digital Negative, and to render a little bit of a larger preview. Yet, I say it's worth the wait. I would rather have all of my waiting time happen in the beginning, right now, rather than having that happen as I progress throughout Lightroom. In other words, I could either click on an image, wait, wait, wait, click on another image, wait, wait, or I can have all of the rendering, all of the previews generated in the initial process as it's happening here.
Then the rest of my workflow can be really fast. All right. Well that wraps up our conversation about importing from a CompactFlash card.
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