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- Importing photos from a computer, camera, or iPhoto
- Adding photo captions
- Reviewing your photos as a slideshow
- Moving and renaming files and folders
- Reconnecting missing files
- Creating albums
- Applying keyword tags
- Identifying people in your photos automatically
- Organizing photos by events
- Adding location data to photos
- Finding photos
- Saving smart searches
Skill Level Beginner
When you finish a shoot, you can use the From Camera Or Card Reader option under the Import button to bring in new photos directly from your camera's memory card. The beauty of this method is that it both offloads photos from your camera and includes those photos in your Organizer, combining two big steps into one. Start by plugging your camera directly into your computer or inserting the memory card from your camera into a memory card reader attached to your computer. I prefer the memory card reader to avoid the possibility that my camera battery could die while I'm importing photos.
When you do that, if you're on Windows, you may see an AutoPlay window like this. I suggest you just close this window by clicking the red X. If you're on a Mac, iPhoto may open to try to import the photos for you. I suggest you go ahead and close iPhoto if that happens. Instead, in Elements Organizer, click the big Import button and choose From Camera Or Card Reader. That will open the Photo Downloader to its Standard view. I covered the Standard view in my introductory lynda.com course, Up And Running With Photoshop Elements eleven.
So, let's take a look this time at the Advanced Dialog. I actually prefer the Advanced Dialog because it offers more options. By the way, if your Screen Resolution is set to less than 768 pixels in height, you won't see this Advanced Dialog button, so go ahead and increase your Screen Resolution to access this button, which I'm going to click now. That switches the Photo Downloader to this view. In this view, I'll start in the Source Field by choosing my camera or card reader from this list. If you don't see yours listed here, then try refreshing the list.
When I do that, the downloader goes out and searches for all the photos on my memory card. And in just a moment, it shows me a thumbnail-sized version of each of those photos. This is the big reason that I prefer the Advanced over the Standard Downloader window, because now I have the option to select just some of these photos and I can choose the ones that I want visually. If I did want to import all these photos, I would leave all of them checked. If I've got more than one shoot on a card, then I like to import each shoot separately to get them into the right folder in my Organizer right from the get-go.
So I'm going to come down here and click Uncheck All, and then I'll use the Scroll bar to scroll down to the photos that I want to import. I'd like to bring in just the photos of these flags that I shot in Frisco, Colorado. I could click the check box under each one of those to select it; or to save time, I can click on the first of those photos, hold down the Shift key, and click on the last of those to select all of them; and then click the check box under any of the selected photos to check all of the other selected photos. Then, I'll go over to the column on the right.
The first option there is to choose a location to which I'm going to import these photos. This could be a folder on my main computer, the default is the Pictures folder there. Or, it could even be a folder on an external drive. I'm going to click the Browse button and I'll browse to the folder to which I want to import these particular photos. And I'll click Select Folder on Windows or Choose on the Mac. Inside of that folder, my Elements Photos folder, I can create a subfolder for this particular shoot. From this drop-down menu, I can have the Organizer do that for me automatically, naming the subfolder with today's date or with the date of the shoot in various configurations.
In the last movie, I showed you that I like to include both the shoot date and a couple of words about the subject matter or location of a shoot. So, I'm going to choose Custom Name, and that opens another field where I can create my own name for this subfolder. So, I'm going to type the year and the month, and I'll type Flags as the subject matter. Next, I could choose to rename the files that I'm importing if I wish. I usually don't rename files when I import. The reason for that is that that will make it easier to recognize any duplicates of photos that happen to be on my computer, since duplicates will all have the same base name as the original.
By the way, the downloader tries to prevent you from downloading duplicates by hiding duplicates by default over here in the Previews. If you do want to see a duplicate of a photo you have already downloaded, you can click this button to show duplicates. And then, you'll be able to select a duplicate here. The duplicate will be downloaded to your hard drive, but it won't be imported into your organizer. So, I'm going to leave Rename Files set to Not Rename Files, but if you did want to rename your files, you could make a choice from this menu to rename files automatically with today's date, with the shoot date, or with a custom name that you specify.
If you do choose Custom Name, you can even set the start number for a sequential naming system that will give a unique number to each file. But as I said, I'm going to choose Do Not Rename Files. If you do rename your files, then be sure to check Preserve Current Filename in XMP. So you'll at least have the original filename in the Metadata under the hood. In the next field, there are some Advanced Options. If you don't see these, then click this arrow. And here, you can have Elements automatically fix any red eyes from flash in people photos, suggest stacks of related photos, and more.
But these are all things that you can do later in the Organizer, so I usually leave all of these unchecked. Down here is an important field where I'll specify what I want to have happen to my memory card after the files are copied off of it. I think it's important to set this to After Copying Do Not Delete Originals, just so that I'm sure that all of my photos made it on to my computer before they're deleted from the memory card. Then later, I'll insert the memory card back into my camera and use the menus on my camera to delete the originals.
In the next field, I can apply some Metadata to each of the photos that I'm importing. After clicking the triangle next to Apply Metadata, I usually go down here and choose Basic Metadata, and then I can specify the creator and the copyright for these photos. I'll type my name in the Creator field, and in the Copyright field, I'll include a copyright symbol. In Windows, that's done by holding the Alt key as you type zero+1+6+9 on a keypad and then release the Alt key. On a Mac, that's done by pressing the Option key with the G key.
And then again, I'll type my name and the year. Finally, for Windows users only, you have the option to check the Automatic Download check box. If you do that, then the next time that you plug in your camera or your car reader, the organizer will automatically download your files without displaying the Photo Downloader options. It will use the preferences for downloading that you specify under Edit Preferences > Camera Or Card Reader. I like to set my own parameters for downloading each time, so I usually leave this unchecked.
Now that I've chosen all the fields here, I'll come down and click the Get Media button. And the downloader goes about copying the files off of my camera's memory card and importing them into my catalog here in Elements Organizer. The Organizer at first shows me just the photos that I imported off at that card. If I want to see all the other files in this Catalog as well, then I'll click the Back button here. And here, you can see the photos that I just imported from my memory card along with all the photos that were already in this catalog.
But using the Photo Downloader like this isn't the only way to work photos from a shoot. For example, you could just drag files from your camera's memory card onto your hard drive, and then use the method that I showed you in the last movie, Import From Files And Folders, to bring the photos into your Organizer. But why not take care of both of those steps all at once by using the From Camera Or Card Reader command and the Photo Downloader as I showed you in this movie.