Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting photos from a camera or card, part of Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training.
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You can use Photoshop Elements rather than your camera manufacturer's software to get your digital photos out of your camera and into your computer. If you use Elements to do that, at the same time Elements will index or keep track of your photos in an Organizer catalog. There are two ways to import photos from a camera. You can do it directly from the camera into the computer, or you could use an inexpensive USB photo memory card reader. I preferred using the memory card reader and here's why.
If you download directly from the camera, there is always a slight chance that you might damage the photo originals, should your camera battery happen to die in the middle of transferring from the camera to the computer. If you do want to import from a camera to your computer in Elements Organizer go to the File menu, choose Get Photos And Videos, and then choose From Camera Or Card Reader, and then you can pickup along with this lesson. But I'm not going to do it that way. I'm going to move out of this menu and instead I have taken the photo memory card out of my camera and put it into a USB card reader.
Now I'm going to plug that USB card reader into a USB Port on my computer. When Windows recognizes my USB card reader. It opens this Windows dialog box, the Autoplay dialog box, asking me to choose what to do with these pictures. By the way if I didn't have Windows Autoplay Setup on my computer, this dialog box wouldn't pop up. In that case I could go to the file menu at the top of the Elements Organizer and choose Get Photos and Videos from Camera or Card Reader, but since the Autoplay dialog did pop-up, as it probably will on your computer, I'm going to choose Organize and Edit > Using Adobe Elements Organizer 8.0.
I'll click that choice. That opens the Photo Downloader that's part of Elements Organizer. The Photo Downloader comes in two flavors. This is the basic dialog box. There's also a more advanced dialog, which you can access from this button down here. I'll show you that in a moment, but first let's walk through the fields here in the basic Photo Downloader. The Get Photos from the field right here identifies the source of the photos. The Photo Downloader recognizes that I have a card reader plugged in, so it automatically names the drive and my card reader as the source of the photos that I'm importing.
In the Location field here, I can choose where I want the Downloader to put the photos that it's taking off my card reader. I'm going to leave that set to its default, which are a couple of subfolders inside my Windows Pictures folder. But I could create my own destination subfolders wherever I want them on the computer by clicking the Browse button and navigating to a different part of the computer. I could also name my own destination subfolders in the Create Subfolders field. I could leave that set to the default, which is the date that the pictures were shot, labeled by year, and then month, and then day.
That information comes from the metadata that most digital cameras automatically add to photo files. Alternatively, I could click the Arrow to the right of this menu and I could choose to name the subfolders where the pictures are stored with today's date, or with a different variation on the shot date, or I could give those subfolders custom names. I'm going to choose Custom Name here, and then I'm going to enter a subject matter name since these photos are pictures of an old car. I'll just type Car here.
In the next field, I can choose whether or not to rename the photo files, as I bring them in. I prefer not to rename my files when I import them from a camera or from a card reader. The reason is that if I did rename the files as I brought them in and then I forgot that I had already imported them from that particular card, and I try to import them again, I would run the risk of getting two copies of the files on my computer. But if I leave the names of the photos that I'm importing as they are on my photo memory card then Elements won't mistakenly download a second copy of my files.
Now, if you decide to change the file names when you import some photos, I suggest that you also keep this box checked, Preserve Current File Name in XMP. That will cause Elements to remember under-the-hood the original filenames of your photos, as they were when they came out of your camera or card reader. So, in this example if I did rename my files, Elements would still remember that the name of this particular photo is DSC0129.jpg. The next field asks whether I want to delete the original photos from the photo memory card or the camera after they are copied into my computer.
I always leave this set to its default, which is what you see here. After copying, do not delete originals. It would be really ashamed to delete the originals before I was absolutely sure that all the photos were safely inside my computer. I prefer to get the import done and then put the card back into my camera and use the camera's menus to delete the photos from the memory card, after I'm sure that I have the photos safely in my computer. I also never check Automatic Download right here.
That would start the Elements Photo Downloader bringing in photos automatically without asking me to fill out all the fields I just showed you. And I like to do things manually, just in case I want to make a different choice. Now at this point, I normally would click the Get Photos button, but don't do that yet, because I want to show you what's available here in the Advanced dialog box, in case you choose to use that option. So, I'll click the Advanced dialog box. You can see that there are a lot more options here in the advanced version of the Photo Downloader.
I don't use most of these options, but there's one in particular that I really like, and that may cause you to want to use the advanced version of this dialog box, rather than the basic version, once you get used to the Photo Downloader. That feature is that the Advanced dialog box displays a thumbnail of each of the photos on the card, so that I can decide whether I want to import that particular photo or not. I'll start by going to the bottom of the dialog box and clicking Uncheck All, because each of the photos currently has a little checkmark on it, meaning that it will be imported by default.
So I'm going to uncheck all of the photos and then I'll come in and put a checkmark on just the photos that I want to import. So, let's say I want this one and this one, and this one, and this one, and then I can scroll down and I'll put a checkmark next to some others as well. What this allows me to do is leave any duds behind, but I want to be really careful if I do that, because any photos that I don't import will not be included in Elements Organizer, and if I erase or reformat the card in my camera, as I'm going to tell you to do at the end of this process, I'll lose those unchecked photos forever.
So, I'm going to scroll back up to the top so that you can see can see that I do have some photos that are unchecked. Another useful feature in the Advanced version of the Photo Downloader that you don't get in the basic version is this feature over here, Apply Metadata. Metadata means information about the photos, like the date on which the photos were taken, and the Camera Settings used. In this area of the Advanced dialog of the Photo Downloader, I can add metadata so that in addition to the basic metadata, I could add copyright information.
So, I could come down into this Copyright field, click there and I might type my name, and the year in which I took these photos. This Copyright information won't be visible on the face of the photos after they are imported, but it will be carried along with the photo files, as I move them from my card reader to my computer. So, that's all I'm going to do to set up his import. Now I'm going to click to Get Photos button here at the bottom of the dialog box. Here in the progress bar, I can watch as Elements imports the photos into the Organizer catalog.
When it's done, I get this message telling me that although the photos have been copied from my card reader into my computer, they haven't yet been indexed in Elements Organizer catalog. So, it's important at this point that I click Yes. That caused Elements to index or keep track of information about the photos in this Organizer catalog and when it's done doing that, I get a message telling me that right now the only files that I can see here are those that I've just imported.
All that means is that I can't see any other photos that I have already brought into Elements. In this case the other files in the Exercise Files folder. I will get the same message every time that I bring files into Elements from any source. I don't mind seeing this as a reminder, so I'm going to let it come up every time, but if you are used to using Elements and this message is starting to bug you, you can always click Don't Show Again to avoid getting this message in the future. I'm going to just click OK. Now I can see here in the Organizer a Thumbnail Preview of each of the photos that I just imported from my card reader. Not only has Elements helped me bring those files into my computer, but it also has indexed or kept track of information about each photo in this Elements catalog.
Now, if I wanted to see the rest of the photos that are in this catalog, I could go to the Show All button here at the top of the screen, and click and after a moment Elements shows me all of the other files that I have in this catalog. Now that I know, my imported photos are safely in my computer, I can put the photo memory card back in my camera and use the camera's controls to erase or reformat the card, so it's all ready for me to take more photos.
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