- When you first open Lightroom it will ask you to create a catalog. After you've done that, the next step is to import in some photographs and video files. Yet I should point out that in the final movie in this chapter we'll get more into what a catalog is and how it works. Yet that's a bit more of an advanced topic so we'll cover it later. All right, for now we have Lightroom without anything in it. What we need to do first is to navigate to the Library module. In the Library module, we're looking for the Import button. You can find it right here in the lower left-hand area.
You can also find the same import command under the File pull-down menu. Here it is. File, Import Photos or Videos. So either click on this menu item or just click on the Import button and this will open up our Import dialog. Now whenever you see a dialog for the first time, you want to step back and kind of deconstruct it. And with this dialog what you'll see is that it's created by having these different areas or columns. We have a column on the left, one in the middle, and then one on the far right. These columns are connected by arrows showing us our workflow which starts on the left and then ends on the right.
All right, well let's follow that and begin over here on the far left. On the far left what we need to do is to select our source. In this first movie, we're gonna select a source which is a folder of images. Now for you perhaps you have a folder of images which is labeled photography and inside of it you have all of your photographs. What you want to do is click on that folder. When you click on that folder, you should see the images over in the middle column here. If you don't, it's because you have this checkbox unchecked. Without this checked it will only show the top level folder and nothing inside of it.
In other words, it's not showing any of our subfolders for exercise files that we have here. In order to include those, either click on the checkbox or just click Include Subfolders. Now we can see all of our beautiful photographs. You can use the scrollbar here and I'll just click and drag in order to scroll down so we can see some of these images. Again, the first step is to select the source, and in this case we're selecting the folder which is located on a certain area on our hard drive, or maybe even on an external hard drive. That is step numero uno, number one.
All right, step two. We need to determine which files we want to bring over and how we want to import those into Lightroom. We have four options and in this movie I'll highlight one which is Add. This is the option that you want to use if you want those images to remain just as they are. In other words, you don't want to change their file type, their file name, or their location. And in our situation here that's exactly what we want to do. We want these exercise files to stay on the desktop where they are. We simply want Lightroom to know they exist so that we can start working on them.
All right, well, after you've determined how you want to bring those over, you can decide which images you want to import into Lightroom. For example, if I click on Uncheck All you'll notice that all of the images are kind of grayed out. If I only want to bring in individual images, we can then click on these checkboxes and select those to be imported into Lightroom. In my case, I want to bring everything in so I'll go ahead and choose Check All. You can also click on an image. Notice how when I click on this photograph of Lynda, the founder of Lynda.com, you can see there is gray behind the photograph.
If we want to see this bigger, we can use the thumbnails which we have down here which switch between what's called the Grid view which we're in right now and the Loop view which we can access by clicking on this icon. Now we can see a larger view of the image and really decide is this one that I want to import in? Definitely. And then we can go back to the Grid view by clicking on that icon there. All right, well next let's move over to the column on the right. Here I'm just gonna cover a few topics, but we'll get to the others in the subsequent movies. Where do we want to bring these files? In this case, we're just bringing them into the catalog We're just saying, "Hey, Lightroom, "we want you to know these exist." They're staying in their same spot.
How do we want to handle these files? Well we have a few preview choices. First one is Build Previews. For now you're gonna have to trust me that really 90% of the time Standard is going to be your best option. That will give you a big enough preview to be able to evaluate and work on the image. Next we have what are called Smart Previews. This is the checkbox that you'll want to turn on if you work in a scenario like I do. I typically have a laptop and an external hard drive. Sometimes that hard drive is turned off.
If it's turned off, Lightroom can use a Smart Preview so you can keep working on the image in the Develop module. Now if that doesn't really make much sense to you yet don't worry about it, but if you know that your own situation involves a computer with external hard drives that are sometimes off, click on that checkbox so that you can keep working on those images in Lightroom. Next we want to turn on the checkbox to Not Import Suspected Duplicates in case we already have those files inside of Lightroom. All right, well that's all that I want to cover so far with what we're doing here.
We've selected our folder. Next, we've decided to add those to the Lightroom catalog. We've looked at the images here. We navigated between our Grid and our Loop view, and last but not least we changed our preview to Standard, we turned on Smart Previews, and in most situations it's a good idea to have that option turned on anyway, and we also had the checkbox to Don't Import Suspected Duplicates. Now we're ready to bring these files over and to do so we will simply click on the Import button and what will happen is Lightroom will then go to that folder and all of those subfolders.
It's gonna start to scour through all of those. You can see here it's importing these files at their current location. It isn't copying, it isn't moving, it isn't changing the files. Really all that's happening is Lightroom now knows that these images exist. What's gonna happen next is it's gonna start to build our previews. You can see it's showing me progress here. What we can do is click on this area and this is gonna show us it's building our Standard Previews and also our Smart Previews below. This is just something that's happening in the background.
It's not going to delay our workflow because that's taking place behind the scenes. What we can do now is grab our scrollbar and begin to scroll up and down and view these images. All right, well now that we've looked at how we can import photographs from a folder, let's take a look at another common scenario of importing and let's do that in the next movie.
Chris starts with the Library module: the hub for importing, viewing, ranking and rating your photographs. Then he'll move to the Develop module and show how to make one-click enhancements, correct exposure, retouch distractions, and perform localized adjustments. Want to push photos to their creative limit, and share them with family friends? Chris also covers creating panoramas and books, slideshows, and custom print layouts.
- Why use Lightroom?
- Importing photographs from your computer or camera
- Viewing and comparing images in the Library
- Renaming photos and folders
- Rating and organizing photos
- Grouping photos into collections
- Adding keywords and face tags
- Editing JPEG and RAW images in Photoshop
- Exporting and emailing photos
- Enhancing photos in the Develop module
- Fixing issues with the retouching tools
- Making localized corrections
- Reducing noise and sharpening
- Correcting lens distortion
- Combining images with Photo Merge
- Creating a book, web gallery, or slideshow
- Printing photos