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Up and Running with Lightroom 5
Illustration by John Hersey

Importing photos from a camera


From:

Up and Running with Lightroom 5

with Jan Kabili

Video: Importing photos from a camera

When you finish a shoot, you can have Lightroom both copy the photos from your camera's memory card to a drive and import those photos into Lightroom. This process is slightly different from the process for importing from a drive, that I've already shown you. So let's see how it's done from a camera's memory card. I'm working in my default Lightroom catalog to which I've already imported older photos in a fairly well-organized folder system that I prepared outside of Lightroom. And you can see that folder system here in my folders panel in the Library module. Because I've got this folder system set up, I can just slot new photos from my camera into this system wherever they belong.
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  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 22s
  2. 30m 31s
    1. Understanding catalogs
      4m 21s
    2. Organizing your photos before importing
      3m 10s
    3. Deciding where to store your photos
      4m 28s
    4. Importing photos from a drive
      8m 14s
    5. Importing photos from a camera
      10m 18s
  3. 1h 15m
    1. Library module workspace
      7m 21s
    2. Viewing and sorting photos
      6m 16s
    3. Selecting photos
      7m 9s
    4. Reviewing and rating photos
      8m 41s
    5. Organizing with collections
      6m 27s
    6. Using Smart Collections
      6m 21s
    7. Keywording
      4m 51s
    8. Finding photos by keyword
      5m 40s
    9. Finding photos with the Metadata filter
      4m 53s
    10. Moving files and folders
      7m 16s
    11. Renaming photos
      4m 18s
    12. Working with Smart Previews when traveling
      6m 6s
  4. 54m 18s
    1. Develop module workspace
      6m 14s
    2. Cropping and straightening
      4m 25s
    3. Fixing perspective with Upright
      7m 19s
    4. Setting white balance
      4m 41s
    5. Using the histogram to evaluate tones
      4m 5s
    6. Adjusting tone and color in the Basic panel
      8m 45s
    7. Fine-tuning colors in the HSL panel
      3m 35s
    8. Converting to black and white
      3m 56s
    9. Using virtual copies
      3m 43s
    10. Reducing digital noise
      3m 24s
    11. Sharpening
      4m 11s
  5. 26m 21s
    1. Targeting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 45s
    2. Spotlighting and vignetting with the Radial filter
      6m 0s
    3. Gradual editing with the Graduated filter
      4m 5s
    4. Removing dust spots with Spot Removal circles
      6m 12s
    5. Removing content with Spot Removal brushstrokes
      3m 19s
  6. 30m 40s
    1. Exporting photos
      9m 22s
    2. Setting up a connection to Facebook
      6m 22s
    3. Sharing photos to Facebook
      5m 44s
    4. Printing photos
      9m 12s
  7. 26s
    1. Next steps
      26s

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Up and Running with Lightroom 5
3h 42m Beginner Jun 11, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has become a popular program for photographers of all experience levels. In this course, photographer and teacher Jan Kabili provides an approachable introduction to all its capabilities. The course begins with a look at how to import photos from a camera and from a hard drive, describing how the Lightroom catalog works along the way.

Then you'll learn key ways to manage your photos in Lightroom, from reviewing photos after a shoot to working with Smart Previews when your photos are offline. This part of the course covers making collections, adding keywords, and much more.

Next, the course introduces the Lightroom Develop module and its features for improving a photo's appearance, including adjusting tone and color, cropping and fixing perspective, converting to black and white, reducing noise, and sharpening. It explores how to make local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush, Radial Filter, Graduated Filter, and Spot Removal tools. The course ends with a look at the most commonly used Lightroom features for sharing photos: exporting, printing, and sharing online.

Topics include:
  • Importing photos
  • Viewing, sorting, and selecting photos
  • Reviewing and rating photos
  • Finding photos with keywords and filters
  • Cropping and straightening photos
  • Fixing perspective with Upright
  • Adjusting color and tone
  • Targeting edits with the Adjustment Brush
  • Sharing photos on Facebook
  • Exporting and printing photos
Subjects:
Photography Raw Processing
Software:
Lightroom
Author:
Jan Kabili

Importing photos from a camera

When you finish a shoot, you can have Lightroom both copy the photos from your camera's memory card to a drive and import those photos into Lightroom. This process is slightly different from the process for importing from a drive, that I've already shown you. So let's see how it's done from a camera's memory card. I'm working in my default Lightroom catalog to which I've already imported older photos in a fairly well-organized folder system that I prepared outside of Lightroom. And you can see that folder system here in my folders panel in the Library module. Because I've got this folder system set up, I can just slot new photos from my camera into this system wherever they belong.

I'll be importing photos from a 2012 shoot. So I'll import them into the 2012 folder and I'll put them into a new sub-folder. Now, let's say I'm working with these particular photos and that's when I decide I want to import some more photos from my cameras memory card. But what I'd like to do is come right back to this folder, that I'm working in, when the import is done. In order to make that happen, there's a Lightroom preference that I need to change. So on a Mac I'll go up to the Lightroom menu. On a PC that's the Edit menu. And if you don't see your menu bar, hold the Shift key as you press F a couple of times.

From this menu I'll choose Preferences, and in the General tab of my Preferences dialogue box, I'm going to uncheck the second option here in the import options section. By default, that preference was going to cause Lightroom to show only the imported photos when it finished importing them. And that isn't what I want. I want to go back to the folder of photos I was working on instead. So now I'll Close my preferences and I have a memory card reader that I've plugged into my computer. And I'm going to take the card from my camera and put it in that memory card reader.

When you do that, sometimes Lightroom's import window opens automatically. But sometimes, another program may open on your computer and try to do the importing for you. For example on a Mac, you may see iPhoto open. If that happens, just close that other program and here in Lightroom's library, click the Import button. This import window is the same window that we used when we were talking about importing from a drive. And as we did there, we'll just work through this window from left to right starting at the top of the column on the left.

Here you can see that Lightroom has recognized the memory card from my camera. That card happens not to have the name, so it says, no name here. But yours may be something different. If you have more than one device plugged in to your computer, you may see multiple devices here. And you may have to choose from among them to get to the memory card for your camera. Notice that here there's a checkbox that says Eject after Import. I'd like to leave that checked because that saves me the step of having to manually eject my memory card from the computer after the import is done.

The main difference between importing photos from a camera's memory card and importing photos from a drive into Lightroom is this line at the top of the import dialog box. When we're importing from a camera or its memory card, we need Lightroom to copy the photos off the card. And so the only options available here have the word Copy in them. Either Copy, or Copy.sdng. The Move and Add options aren't available. There are good reasons to convert raw files, from their proprietary raw format to the DNG format. But when I want to convert photos to the DNG format. I'll usually wait to do that later light room because it will just slow down import process to just do it here.

Then I will come down to this section where I'll select which photos I want to import. I'll often import all of the photos from my memory card, but here there are quite a few, so in the interest of time, I'm just going to import a few of them. So, I'll come down to the bottom of the window, and I'll click Uncheck All. And then I'm going to click on the first photo, I'll hold the Shift key and click on another photo to select the range of photos in between. And then I'll click the check mark on any of those selected photos to identify those as the photos that I want to copy from the card and import into Lightroom.

Now, let's move to the column on the right, where I'll set the destination to which I want to copy those photos. Here you can see the default path, which is to save photos to the Pictures folder on my computer. I keep my Lightroom photos on an external drive that I call my working drive. So instead of that, I'm going to click the To menu here and choose Other Destination. And in my operating system's Dialog Box, I'll navigate to my working drive. And there's my Lightroom Photos folder. I'll click on the 2012 sub-folder and then I'll click Choose. Now I'm going to scroll down so we can see the destination panel. Here, you can see where Lightroom is going to put these files. Inside of my working drive, my Lightroom photos folder and my 2012 folder. But by default it's going to try to create these sub-folders by date and this isn't the folder organization system that I use. And I actually think it's a bit confusing.

So, what I'm going to do instead, is scroll up to the top of the Destination panel. And here I'm going to change organize by Date to organize Into one folder, and that would be my 2012 folder, as you can see down here. And then, inside that folder, I'm going to make my own sub-folder for these photos. I'll check Into Subfolder, and then I'll enter the name of the sub-folder. So my system is to start with the date of the shoot, and then add a word or two about the location and the subject. And now if we scroll down, you can see that Lightroom is going to make a sub-folder with exactly that name, and put my photos there. Back up at the top of the column on the right.

I have the same file handling options that we saw when we were talking about importing from a drive. I'll leave Render Preview set to Standard. I don't need Smart Previews at this point, but when I import from a camera's memory card. I often do check Don't Import Suspected Duplicates, because I may have forgotten that I'd already imported some of these photos off of this particular card. Notice when I did that, that the first 2 photos over went to gray. And that's because I must have already imported them into this catalog. So they won't be imported again.

I'm also going to check Make a Second Copy To. Because this is my opportunity to get a second christine copy of all of the original files that I'm importing in another location to use as my safeguard. So I'll check Make a Second Copy To, and then I'm going to click this arrow. And I'll navigate to the drive and the folder. To which I want to make this second copy of these files. Now that's a copy that I usually don't touch, I just put it away for safe keeping. In the next panel, the File Renaming panel, there are many templates that you can use to rename your files upon import. If I check Rename Files and then click on the Template menu you can see some of your options here.

So for example, you might choose Custom Name and Sequence and then type your own intial prefix for all your photos. Which will be followed automatically by a sequence number. Or you might choose Date and File Name. And then you can type in the date and the photos file name will follow automatically. But, I actually prefer not to rename my files upon import. I find it easier to keep track of them. Particularly at the beginning of the process if I leave their names as they are on the card. So I'm going to Uncheck Rename files and later I can always rename my files in the library module. Just as when we were importing photos from a drive, any thing I set up in the Apply During Import panel will apply to all the photos that I'm importing. So here I only make choices that would apply to all of these photos. I usually don't change the develop settings upon import, and sometimes there are no keywords that I can enter that would apply to all the photos. For example, if I have multiple shoots on a card. But here, there are some keywords that I can think of that would apply to all of these checked photos.

For example, if I click in the Keywords field, I might type Paris. And you can see that Lightroom is trying to autofill that for me. If I want to add a second keyword, I'll type a comma and I'll add a second keyword, or it can even be two words like Eiffel Tower. And then I'll press Enter or Return and those keywords will be applied to all the photos that I'm importing. Of course I can add more keywords later in the library module as we'll see. And finally, when I am importing from a camera's memory card, I'll often use the Metadata field here to apply my copyright and contact information to all the photos upon import.

To do that, I'll click the Metadata menu, and I'll choose New. And here in the meta data preset window, I'll type a name for a preset, I'll call this kabili 2012, and then I'll come down to the Copyright field. Here, I'll enter the Copyright symbol by pressing the Option key and the G key on a Mac, on a PC, I would hold the Alt key as I type 0169 on the numeric keypad. And then I'll type my name and the year, and I'll change the Copyright status to Copyrighted.

Then I'm going to scroll down and I'll type my name in the creator field. And there is more information I could add too, but I will keep it simple and click create. And now I have a Metadata preset that I could apply to other photos I am importing in the future by just choosing that preset from this menu. Now, I am going to click the Import button. And that closes the import window and takes me back to Lightroom's library module where we can see a progress bar keeping track of the import. And notice, that Lightroom has kept me in the same folder that I was working in when I started the import process. And that's because I changed that preference at the beginning of this movie.

Lightroom is still building the previews for my imported photos but they're all here. So if I want to see them I can click on the Catalog panel and then click on Previous Import. And there are the photos that I've just imported. So that's how to both copy photos from your camera's memory card and import those photos into your light room catalog all at once. There is another option, which is to offload photos from your camera outside of Lightroom. And then import them to Lightroom using the Import from Drive Method that I covered earlier. But, the way that I've showed you here, lets you do it all in one efficient work flow.

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