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- What is Lightroom used for?
- Importing photos and videos
- Organizing your library with collections
- Adding keywords and ratings to photos
- Cropping and straightening photos
- Adjusting color and white balance
- Reducing digital noise
- Working with video
- Making changes with the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools
- Sharing photos on Facebook
- Printing photos
Skill Level Beginner
I prepared some Exercise Files to illustrate the lessons in this course. If you're a Premium Subscriber to the lynda.com Online Training Library, you have access to those Exercise Files. If you don't have access to those Exercise Files, don't worry you can use your own photos and a couple of video clips to follow along with all of the movies in this course. In either case I suggest that you set up a separate Lightroom catalog as I show you how to do in this movie for the photos that you're going to be using to work through this course and that's whether you're using the official Exercise Files or your own practice files.
The reason I want you to have a separate catalog is so that you don't mix your Exercise Files or your own practice files in with your personal work. Having said that outside of this course, I do recommend that you use one main catalog for all your own photos. But now let's talk about how to use the Exercise Files. Start by putting the Exercise Files folder on your desktop. I've opened my Exercise Files folder here on my desktop so that you can see what it contains. The exercise files folder is divided into chapter folders. And within each chapter folder, there are some movie folders and within the movie folders, there are files that you'll see me using in that particular lesson.
Not all of the lessons have Exercise Files so if there's a chapter or movie missing here, that's by design. If you haven't launched Lightroom 4 go ahead and do that now so I can show you how to bring the Exercise Files into a Lightroom 4 catalog. The first time that Lightroom 4 launches, it creates a new catalog, a blank catalog called Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat. I don't think you should use this catalog for your Exercise Files. Instead, here's how to make a new catalog for just the exercise files or as I said, whatever practice files you're using during this course.
I'll go to the File menu and I'll choose New Catalog. In the window that opens, navigate to your desktop and then type a name for your new Exercise Files catalog. I'm going to call mine X files and then I'll click Create. And that creates a brand new blank Exercise Files catalog re-launching Lightroom to that catalog and you can see the name of the catalog up here at the very top of the Lightroom interface. xfiles.lrcat, which is the name of the database file that is the Lightroom catalog as you learn more about later in the course.
I deliberately had you put this catalog in the same location as your actual Exercise Files, the photos and videos that you'll be bringing into this catalog so that's the next step. To bring those files into this catalog, go up to the File menu and choose Import Photos and Video. That opens this Import window. In the Import window, go to the column labeled source. If need be, click the arrows to the left of the directories or folders here until you get to a folder that represents your desktop.
Click the arrow to the left of the desktop folder and there you'll find two folders. One is called X Files, that's not the one you want. That's the one that contains your catalog files. Instead, look for the folder called Exercise Files, click on that one. As soon as you do in the main window, you'll see all these thumbnails of photographs. So if you don't see these here, you've select the wrong folder. There should be 122 photos in this folder as reported here at the top of the Main window. All of those will have a check mark next to them.
Leave them checked and then go up to the top of the Import window and make sure that it is set to Add. You don't want this set to Move or Copy or anything else, just Add. Then go over to the column on the right and this will read To My Catalog. Come down to the File Handling Section, leave Render Preview set to Minimal and then come down and it wouldn't hurt to check, Don't Import Suspected Duplicates. There aren't any in this folder but just in case you have already imported something, we don't want to have two copies of the files.
Everything else should be left blank as you see it here or set to None as you see it here. And then finally, go all the way down to the bottom of the column on the right and click Import. That will take you back into Lightroom and you'll see a progress bar at the top left as Lightroom brings all of the photos and video clips into this Lightroom catalog. At this point, you'll be in the Library module and you'll be all set to start using the exercise files to work through this course with me. So those are the mechanics of bringing these Exercise Files into a Lightroom catalog for use during this course.
This is similar to the process for bringing your own personal files into a Lightroom catalog which you'll do outside of this course. So I urge you to watch the next movies in this chapter which explain how to do that.