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Join photographer and author Chris Orwig in Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, as he explores the interface of this popular image-management program and shows how to use its Library module to organize and manage a photo library. The course covers importing both still images and video; shooting in tethered-capture mode; organizing and rating images with flags, stars, labels, and location tags; and working with collections. The course also details how to export, email, and share photos, and introduces the Lightroom 4 video-editing features, as well as its ability to work together with the full editing power of Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
We're going to go through the process of importing our photographs and video files from a CompactFlash card. One of the things that you want to do before you actually begin to import your files from a CF card is set up an important preference. I want to remind you of this. If you go to your Lightroom pulldown menu and then select Preferences, in the General tab, the first time there, there's an Import option, which is to show the Import dialog when a memory card is detected. So, make sure that that checkbox is turned on. Once you have that turned on, the next up, of course, is to simply connect your CF card reader into your CF card and what that will do as it will automatically open up this Import dialog.
Now here on the left you can see that what's happening is its going to import the photographs from this CF card. You want to make sure to turn on Eject after import that will then eject that, so you could import a different card afterwards. And then you want to look at the photographs. Here we have 40 pictures that I captured recently and in particular what I want to do here is I want to select just a few images to import. Sometimes you import all of your photographs and that's typically what you do, other times you may decide you know what, this image isn't very good because of exposure or of the subject matter and so you can uncheck an image and not choose to import that particular photo.
What you can do as well is you can evaluate your pictures in an interesting way. There are three photographs here of a photography student named Becky that I am interested in importing. And these pictures were captured at a recent Brooks Graduation at the photography school where I teach. We were all dressed up in our caps and our gowns and I was the last person in the row of faculty. Right behind me were the students and so I captured a few pictures of them. Well, I want to evaluate these pictures because I was shooting into the sun and I want to see if these might work to import.
One of the ways you can evaluate these pictures is simply by clicking on one and double-clicking, that will take the photograph to the Loupe View. You can navigate between the Loupe and the Grid either by shortcut or by using these little icons down here on the left. So, again, this is the icon for Grid, this is the icon for Loupe. The shortcut keys are the G for Grid, E for Loupe. All right! Well, once I am viewing a picture I could then use my arrow keys. Press the right arrow key to see another photograph, press the right arrow key to see another one and I can evaluate these photographs I can also zoom-in on the picture.
Notice that when you hover over it, your cursor changes. Well, that's a little bit too far right. Well, I can change my zoom right here so I can see if I have good detail in the eyes. Yeah, I do. This image is sharp and it will work for importing. Now, in this view, this Loupe View, let's zoom-out for a second, it's not quite so big. There's a checkbox down below, which is Included in Import. You can check this here. You can also do the same thing in the Grid View. So, let's check that on. Go to the Grid View and you can see we have the similar checkbox.
Well, as I mentioned, I said I just want to import a few images. So what I am going to do in this case is Uncheck All and then click on one image, hold down the Shift key, click on another and then click on that checkbox. All three are now checked or ready to be imported, because while I was shooting into the sun I kind of like that and I think there's some fun things we could do with these photographs once we get them into Lightroom. Next, we need to determine how we want to copy these files off of that CompactFlash card. Let's move up top.
You'll notice out of the four options only two are lit up. These are grayed out, we can't use these options. What are our two options? We can choose to copy these photos. This will copy them from the CF card to a hard drive, and add them to the catalog. Okay, that's a really valid and good way to bring files into Lightroom. This would maintain the same file extension; they would stay as .CR2 files or whatever type of files you're capturing. Another option, which is the one I use in my workflow, is to Copy as DNG.
This will convert this from this .CR2 Canon RAW file to a DNG file. I use the DNG format for a few reasons. One is archival confidence, it gives me confidence, so I'll be able to use them in the future. There is what's called Lossless Compression, in other words the files are a little bit smaller without losing any data. I like that; smaller file size is always a good thing. And then the third reason is that there's something, which is called Fast Load DNG. It allows you to work up to almost eight times faster with these images and view those in the Develop Module, and I'm all about that for speed purposes.
Now, I should say that both options are great. So again, choose the one that matches your own workflow. In my workflow I've adopted this DNG format and I've really been content with and I think it works extremely well. All right! Well, after you've made that decision the next up of course is to move over to the right. Let's take a look at our options there. On the right hand side, let's work from the top down, we have File Handling. Now, we know a little bit about this. Choosing a preview in this case, Standard will work well. We don't want to import any suspected duplicates otherwise it'll just turn into a big mess.
So, make sure you have that turned on. Then you have this option to make a second copy to another location. This is kind of fascinating right, because on Import it actually allows you to backup your files to a different spot. You could have two different hard drives that you're copying these files to. Ideally, you want to have your images in at least two ideally three locations. This is one way to start that process to make sure you're duplicating or replicating your files. All right! Well, that's good. What about file renaming? Well, in this case I know the student's name, so I want to rename these files to her name here and so you can use different custom naming conventions.
I am going to use Custom Name - Sequence and then we can add her name here. I am going to go ahead and just type that out and you can see that I have a Start Number and it gives me a sample down below. Now, I can change that perhaps a lower case b there and it'll update that below there as well, which is kind nice. It gives you the ability to see how this will be. Now with the Extension you can choose to leave as is or you can go to lower case if you prefer that, and again, with the DNG format I just recommend that you stay consistent. So, let's go ahead and choose that just to demo how we can make that extension change.
All right! Next step, Apply During Import. Well, I don't want to apply Develop Setting, I'll work on the images later myself. Metadata, I do want to choose this Metadata template, (c) Chris Orwig. We created that one in one of the previous movies. Next, what about a couple of Keywords? Sure! It was a Brooks Graduation, so brooks and then comma and graduation. There you have it. Well, add those two words. You separate your keywords by a comma. The next panel we want to open is Destination.
Now, Destination is really important because what's going to happen is by default when you're working it's going to try to save your files to your Pictures folder. Now, this isn't a very good place to store your files because it's just too buried. I can't tell you. How many people I know who work with Lightroom and say I can't find my photographs, I don't know where they went and the reason is because they didn't choose a destination here in this final step. So, what I am going to do is choose a destination. I want to go to my Desktop. I want to save these in my Exercise Files folder>Photos and then in the People folder and I want to create a subfolder and you have this checkbox here that you can use in order to do that.
So in this case, I am going to go to People and when I turn on this checkbox option, you'll notice that what happens is it actually creates a little subfolder down here. It shows me, it's going to save these files into this folder location. All right! Well, let's review this and let's review this just because importing at least in my opinion so important. You want to get this right otherwise you'll pay for it later. Here's the review. We start off by connecting the CF card, it picks it up. On the left hand side we check off Eject After Import.
Next, we select all of the images or deselect certain ones we don't want. We choose which files we want to import. We also may consider zooming-in on the files by going to the loop view mode, so we can really evaluate a picture to see if it looks good and we can change that zoom in order to really evaluate the detail that we captured or didn't capture for that matter. Next, what we want to do is determine how we want to copy these files on. We can convert to DNG and copy them to a new location, add to a catalog or we can choose Copy.
Moving to the right hand side we have some File Handling options in regards to previews. You don't want duplicates perhaps another backup copy. File Renaming, well, we can choose a custom template any of these here and then add in our own custom text or whatever we want to do for custom renaming. Applying during import. Well, in this case we can choose to add perhaps a Metadata preset or some keywords, and again, all of these are just options, you don't have to follow exactly what I am doing here but I am trying to give you an idea on some of the settings you may want to consider.
Finally, perhaps one of the most important steps is really defining a destination, making sure you're saving files to the correct location. All right! Well, after you've dialed in all of these settings, you're now ready to import. In order to do that, you simply click the Import button. This will convert these files to this digital negative format and also import them. And what's going to happen is it's going to create this subfolder for us, which is really great and bring those files into Lightroom. And inside of the Library module what we can do is we can go to that Loupe View mode.
You recognize these icons, there's exactly the same as the Import dialog. The Loupe View we can navigate to by clicking on this icon here. So, we'll select an image and then go to that Loupe View, so we can view these images a little bit bigger so we can evaluate them. We also want to double-check our folders. Here's the folder structure. Did it save these files to the correct location? Yes, it did and yes I know where that location is. So, we are now good to go and we have successfully imported our photographs or video files from a CompactFlash card.
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