Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing images on-site, part of Lightroom Workflow Strategies.
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Both wedding and event photography have typical workflow needs, because typically what we will do regardless of the size of the wedding or the event is that we will capture a high volume of photographs. Therefore, we need to learn how to deal with all of these images and how to deal with them effectively. Let's take a look at how we can use Lightroom to do them. One of the first things you want to do is navigate your Lightroom pulldown menu, and here click on preferences. This will launch the preferences dialog. You want to make sure you have this import option turned on: show the import dialog when a memory card is detected.
That way, every time you connect that memory card in that memory card reader, it will open up or trigger the import dialog. The next thing that you want to do is you want to set up a few things beforehand. In other words, here we want to import more photographs from a CompactFlash card to this Wedding folder. You want to define that Wedding folder--wherever it is going to live and what it's going to be called--before the wedding or the event takes place. Once you have done that, you are ready to import. Well, here I'll go ahead and click on the import dialog. All right. Well, now here you can see we have the import dialog visible. We're importing images from this CompactFlash card, and we have three photographs. I have just included a few to kind of simulate how this process would work.
We want to make sure you check on this option to eject the CompactFlash card after you are done importing. That's really essential so that you can remove the card--and so that you can keep on shooting. Next here, in the middle, we're to define how we want to copy these files from the CF card to our hard drive. You can either choose copy as DNG or copy. Typically, it is the best to choose copy as DNG. This gives us more flexibility with the processing. Also, new Lightroom has this ability to use what is called fast load DNG.
This gives us access to these files to preview and work on them in the Develop module up to seven times faster. So again, because wedding and event photography--and Lightroom processing here is all about speed--that is the option we're going to choose, and this is true whether we're shooting in RAW or in JPEG. The next thing we need to define are some of these options on the right. Let's start off with file handling. Well, here, render previews. This is a really important decision. Typically in most workflows, we'll choose standard or 1 to 1. Yet when it comes to weddings or events, we want to go for minimal or Embedded & Sidecar.
The way that these previews work is that they go to a lower quality, smaller file size and then progressively get bigger and better as you move down this list. In other words, we might choose Minimal, if we just want to quickly get those images into Lightroom and to view them and to start to work with them or organize them. And because speed is our priority here, that's the option that I'll choose. Next, if you want to you can select to rename the files, and again you will just want to choose an option here which fits your workflow.
I will skip that and leave the files as it is. Next, we have the ability to apply during import. If you go to the metadata pulldown panel, what you can do is create a preset. Click on new, and this will open up our new metadata preset dialog. Here I'm going to type out the copyright symbol and my name. On a Mac you can press Option+G to create that symbol. On Windows, that's Control+Alt+C. I want to add my copyright information to these photographs, and that is a really good idea to do this. And as I mentioned before, typically you will want to set these things up ahead of time.
I'll talk more about that later, but for now let's create our preset, copyright status, and then also the URL here. Type that out. All right. Next click Create. Well, here in this metadata pulldown panel, you can see that we can add this copyright information. As I mentioned previously, we want to have this defined beforehand. What I typically do is before the event or wedding, I go through this entire import process so that all of these settings are dialed in so that when it comes to the event there is nothing to be determined or defined. And that is even true with keywords.
You want to add a few general keyword here. I'll type out Santa Barbara and then also wedding. Next, we need to define a destination. The destination is important. Here, I'm going to organize these files into one folder. And the folder is this folder that we've already set up: the Wedding folder inside of the exercise files folder there. It is one of those subfolders. Now after you have defined all of the settings and you know that they are good, they are right, they are exactly what you want, what you'll want to do is collapse this whole import dialog. Click on this button and it will give you this compact, or the smaller view. And by doing this ahead of time, what you could do is hand a CompactFlash card to an assistant, or you could do this yourself.
Simply plug it in. It would trigger this dialog, and all that you need to do now is simply click Import. Lightroom will always remember what you have last done, so it will remember all of these settings. Now if you want to be even more certain to remember all of these settings, you may want to create a preset. You can do that by going to the import preset dialog. Here, I'll save these current settings as a new preset. And what I would do is name these as a preset specific to the wedding, and I get even as specific as the date.
So go ahead and Date - 2012. Just kind of making that up here, but you can see how you could get really specific here. This way you could make sure that you are using the settings which were relevant to that wedding or to that event. Well, after we have defined those options, made sure everything was correct, collapsed this dialog, saves the preset, we're now ready to import. Here, we just click the import button. This will then bring these images into Lightroom. It will convert them to this DNG format, and we will see them show up here in our folder.
If we click on the Wedding folder, we will see these pictures now show up here, and we could begin to work with them. Now before we leave this whole conversation of importing and working with images, there may be situations where you import them but you forget to convert them to that DNG format and you want to do that after the fact. You can always do that. What you do is you go to your Library pulldown menu and then you select convert to DNG, and you can do this with one or all of the photographs.
If you select convert to DNG here, it will convert the RAW files. When I choose that option there, DNG creation, we can choose DNG, the latest and greatest compatibility, medium-size preview, and then make sure you check on this box here: Embed Fast Load Data. Now by default, when you convert your files to DNG using the import dialog, this will take place. This will take place because it is the default preference new to Lightroom. Yet as I mentioned, if ever you accidentally import those and want to convert after the fact, you can do that here.
And I just wanted to point that out, and obviously this step, it wouldn't be very effective to do this at the wedding or at the event, so I will go ahead and click Cancel here. But I just want to highlight that so that you know how to find that if you ever need to. All right, well, now we have successfully imported these photographs, and we're ready to move to our next step.
The second workflow covers location shoots for travel photography. Chris shows how to label photos with travel-specific keywords and add locations to photos with the Lightroom Map module. At home the images can be added to catalogs, laid out in a book format, or printed on multi-image sheets.
The final two methodologies cover the editorial or commercial process and a more personal and creative one. Whatever the shooting scenario, this course offers an organized and comprehensive workflow for taking photographs through the editing process in Lightroom.