Importing Digital Photographs
into Lightroom 3: Part One
Importing digital photographs into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 (LR3) can be a tricky undertaking.
So-much-so that I am splitting this into two parts:
Part One - an overview as covered here on this page;
Part Two - a step-by-step visual guide, a link to which is below.
Most questions relating to Lightroom from my colleagues and clients don't have anything to do with the wealth of features contained within this incredible tool...
...the problems often lie at the very first hurdle—the Import module.
So, it is my aim to demystify the potentially daunting process of importing your digital images.
Hopefully, by the end of this tutorial, the penny will have dropped and it will be a walk in the park for you...
Left & Right
Let's break it down straight away to a simple mindset:
Think "Left and Right"
Or, put another way:
"From and To"
Or, more technically:
"Source and Destination"
Always try and be clear in your mind where the images are coming from and where they are going to;
What is the Source and what is the Destination?
The Source will likely be varied and probably one of the following:
- a camera;
- a folder;
- a hard drive;
- or perhaps a lonely memory card?
The Destination will likely be:
- a folder on your computer;
- a folder on a dedicated hard drive, see below!
Keep the Destination Constant...
Now, this a crucial point:
Whatever the source, I implore you to copy the originals to a Destination that remains constant!
If possible, use a hard drive dedicated to storing the images for your LR3 Catalog(s).
If you can't stretch to a dedicated hard drive then, at the very least, import them into a dedicated folder on your computer.
Whatever the mixture of Sources, you can then rest easy in the knowledge that your photographs will ultimately all be living in one place.
Therefore, they will be much easier to find than if they were scattered hither and thither.
As in this photograph, the set-up can be straight forward both visually and in practice.
It doesn't have to be complicated at all.
This photo depicts the arrangement I use for managing the Lightroom library of images for this very site, by the way.
It reflects LR3's Import module perfectly...
- The camera (the Source) is on the left;
- The laptop handles the copying in the middle;
- The dedicated hard drive (the Destination) is on the right!
Another major advantage of this approach..?
The process of
becomes so much easier!
If, like me, you use an external drive for your LR3 Catalog, along with its associated images, then it is extremely easy to copy the contents to another drive.
Ditto with a dedicated folder...
So, with the overview complete, I feel it's time to move on from Part One and onto the step-by-step guide:
Lightroom 3 Importing: Part Two
Return from LR3 Importing: Part One to Lightroom