Importing photos from a folder

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Importing photos from a folder

Here, we're going to take a look at how we can import photos into Lightroom that already exist or already live in a folder, where we really like the folder structure. All we want to do is have Lightroom recognize it, so that we can access and begin to work on these photos. Now, in this particular case, you can see that I have my Drobo S drive and on this drive, I have my exercise_files folder. Well, if I go ahead and expand that folder, you'll notice that I have a bunch of different subfolders as well. I want to bring all of these images into Lightroom. Now, in order to do that, there are a couple of different techniques that I can use.

If you're on a Mac, you can simply click and drag on this folder and then drag it to the Lightroom icon. This will then open up the Import dialog, and it will point to that particular folder. Now, if you don't prefer that technique, all that you need to do is to go into Lightroom and navigate to your File pulldown menu and choose Import Photos, or press the shortcut key. On a Mac, it's Shift+Command+I. On a PC, that's Shift+Ctrl+I. We'll go ahead and click on that option there, and that will open up the Import dialog.

Now, here what I need to do is I need to first define the source. So, I'll go ahead and select the exercise_files folder. It's located on this external drive. Now once I've selected that, I need to define or determine how I want to handle these files. In this particular case, all I want to do is add them to my catalog. I don't want to move them. I don't really want to change them. I don't want to rename them. So, it's actually going to be quite a simple little process here. Well, I'm going to add these to my catalog and in regards to File Handling, as we've talked about, typically rendering the Standard size preview is going to work best.

Now, I don't want to import suspected duplicates. Now, that's not really a concern because I don't have any images in my library, but in a typical workflow it is a concern. So, by default, I always leave that turned on. What other options do we have here? We can apply some Develop Settings. If we know that we want to process images a certain way, again let's say we're a wedding photographer and we quickly want to generate a whole gallery of black-and-white images. Well, we could then choose one of these black-and-white Develop Setting presets. We can, of course, access all of the presets that we have installed or included with Lightroom.

That way, if you've created your own, or if you've purchased some, or found some on different sites and downloaded them and included them in Lightroom, they would all be accessible right here. All right. Well, what about Metadata? This is actually a little bit more important because in reality, it's not that often that we apply Develop Settings upon import, but every time we import, we will want to add some metadata to our files. So, what you want to do is to create a Metadata template. Now, we'll talk a little bit more about that in the next movie. So for now, I'm going to go ahead and leave that as it is.

In regards to Keywords, I'll go ahead and just add some keywords here, and lightroom 3 essentials. Now, you want to keep your keywords really broad in this case, because they need to apply to a whole huge set of files. So, in this case I've included some, which are pretty broad for these images here. Well, the next thing that we need to consider is what images to import. We've already seen that we have a few options here; in other words that we can click on and off these check boxes to select or deselect photos.

Yet what we haven't seen is that you can click on one photo, and then hold down the Shift key and click on another in order to select contiguous files, or if you'd like to select discontiguous files, on a Mac, hold down the Command key, on a PC, hold down the Ctrl key, and then click on multiple files. Well, either way, however you select these files, if you now turn on and off the check box of one, it'll apply that to all of the rest of the images. That's a really nice way to handle files.

Now, it's especially nice when you're importing photos from a CompactFlash card or from a folder and you know that, you know what, I really don't want to work on these files so I'm just not going to include them, or if you do want to include them, again, you can select all of those that way. Now, another technique that you can use is you can select a photo, and then you can right-click it. Now, when you right-click or Ctrl+Click, it gives you the option to import the photo or not. In this case, I'll choose to not import that photo. Now, as we've seen before, a lot of times when we're making those decisions, it doesn't make sense to make them on a small thumbnail.

So, what we want to do is go to the larger view. We can do that by double-clicking the image. It will then take it into this Loupe View mode. In this particular case, I decide oh, you know what, my mistake, I do want to include this particular image in my Lightroom catalog and I want to import this one. You'll also notice that there are few shortcuts. You can see those shortcuts down below and Include in Import. They're the same shortcuts that we have for flagging. This is really interesting. So, P is a shortcut to add a flag, U is a shortcut to unflag or to unpick, then we also have the shortcut of the Tilde key or the Accent key to toggle on and off importing.

This doesn't work in the Grid View mode. So, in other words, if I press P or U or the Accent key, it's not going to work here. I need to be in that Loupe View mode. So, typically, the way that a workflow will actually follow is what you'll do is you'll make a selection of an image, double-click or press the E key in order to zoom in, and then at this juncture, you can either press P or U or toggle between those two options by pressing the Tilde key or the Accent key in order to make the selection. All right.

Well, now that we've gone through all these options, we're just about ready to import our photos into Lightroom. Yet before we do, let's talk a little bit more about metadata, and we'll do that in the next movie.

Importing photos from a folder
Video duration: 5m 44s 13h 24m Appropriate for all


Importing photos from a folder provides you with in-depth training on Photography. Taught by Chris Orwig as part of the Lightroom 3 Essential Training

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