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Let's take a look at how we can start to import our photographs and our video files into Lightroom. In order to do this, we want to access what's called the Import dialog. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you're in the Library Module, as I am here, you can either click on this Import button, you'll find it in the lower left-hand corner, or you can navigate to the File pulldown menu and choose Import Photos and Video. This will open up our Import dialog. Now this Import dialog is kind of interesting and it's interesting for a couple of reasons, in a sense, the interface or the layout mirrors Lightroom.
You will notice we have panels on the left and the right and then we have kind of a work area here in the middle. The thing that you want to think about with this Import dialog is that the flow is left to right, top to bottom. In other words, if we look at the top, we can select the source, what images are we going to import. Then how do we want to import those files? Do we want to copy them, move them, add them? And then finally where are we going to copy these files to? Let's take a look at how we could do this.
On the left-hand side, you can see I have this Source panel. We can open and close this and select different sources. Here what I am going to choose is my Desktop>Exercise Files, the Exercise Files for this course. Now once I've done that, it shows me it's coming from this location and I've dialed in these settings and I am kind of good to go to the next step so to speak. Well, moving from the left to the right, I now have four different options. If I choose Copy as DNG, what this will do is it will convert all of these files to this DNG format, put them in a new location, add them to the catalog.
If I choose Copy, it will maintain their file format, keep them as they are. JPEG will stay a JPEG, move them to a new location, add them to the catalog. It will create a duplicate version of all those files. Now if I choose Move, what will happen is it will simply relocate these files. A JPEG will stay a JPEG or whatever file format it is. It will just simply put those files in a new spot. Then the final option is at the Add. Now Add is the option I want to use here and here's why.
I already have my photographs organized. There is a main folder Exercise Files, a subfolder, Photos, and then some subfolders inside of that. The reason why I want to choose Add is because I don't want to change my folder structure. Now this would be like if you already have your images organized on a hard drive and you don't want to mix it all up or change it all up, you just want Lightroom to recognize those files, you just want Lightroom to know those files are there. You want Lightroom to be able to access those files.
So in that case, we are just going to choose Add. Now keep in mind, I'll show you some of the other options later, but for here, as far as getting familiar with this interface, Add is going to be our best selection for this setup where we already have images which are organized. Next, in the middle, you can see that we can choose different photographs to import. I can go ahead and choose Uncheck All. Now I am not going to import any image. I could then scroll to a photograph that I want to import, say, this one here and then click on the checkbox. So now I am only going to import one photograph.
It also shows me that in the bottom left hand corner. Now if I am trying to select this image to import, it's kind of hard to see, right, because it's so small. Well, there are two distinct views that we can have here in this dialogue. You can access these views by way of a shortcut or by a nice little icon. If we click the larger icon, it gives us what's called the Loupe View or if we click on the smaller grid, it gives us a Grid View. You can change that by pressing G or E key.
Let's choose another image like this oak tree here. The E key takes me to the Loupe View or this bigger view, G key takes us back to the Grid View. Now you can also select multiple images. So, for example, one image selected, hold down the Shift key and then select another, all of these are now highlighted or selected. If I want to import all of them, well, I'll click on the checkbox, they are now all checked off. If I don't want to import any of these, click on the checkbox, now they're all unchecked.
So again, it makes it really easy to choose which images you want to bring in. Now in this case, of course, I want to bring in everything, so I am going to click Check All so that I can bring in all of these photographs. Well, now that I have made these choices, I've determined which images I am going to bring in, I have viewed them, larger or smaller, I am ready to move to my final option over here which is where I am going to import these. Where are these files going to live? Now if we open up this File Handling dialog, we have what's called a Render Preview.
Now this Render Preview is actually kind of important. It's so important that what I want to do is stop this movie here and then in the next movie talk a little bit about our Render Preview options, so we can make sure to choose the correct option and then we'll pick up where we left off and continue importing in the movie after that.
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