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2 - Set Up Importing

Do the five set-up tasks below before you import photographs.

Set-up Task #1 - Both Raw & JPEG Files

When you press the shutter release, does your camera save a raw file and a JPEG file?

If so, go to Both Raw & JPEG Files.

Set-up Task #2 - Create Import Folders

You've probably been importing photographs into date folders.

There's no need for date folders with Lightroom.

First, Lightroom can easily search for photographs by date.

Second, you'll be using collections (albums) and keywords to organize your photographs.

You can import your photographs into a single folder.

Do the following.

1) Go to My Pictures or Pictures.

2) Create a folder called _In_Lightroom

The underscore at the beginning of the folder name keeps the folder on top of the list.

3) Double click the _In_Lightroom folder to open it up.

4) Create a folder called, say, _Imported Photographs.

You'll import new photographs into the _Imported Photographs folder.

Open the Import Window

The next three set-up tasks are done in the Import window.

Do the following.

1) Open Lightroom.

2) Press g to make sure you're in the Library module.

3) Click Import in the lower-left corner.

Is the Import Window Tiny?

If the Import window doesn't fill the entire screen, click the Show More Options button in the lower-left corner of the Import window.


Show More Options Button

Set-up Task #3 - Choose the Preview Size

1) Open the File Handling panel on the right side of your screen.


File Handling Panel

2) Select Minimal in the Rendering Previews menu.

Your photograph files have JPEG previews (thumbnails).

They're embedded in the files, or are in sidecar files.

You can specify how Lightroom creates previews when importing.

Many photographers use the default choice, Minimal.

That's because Lightroom can create a larger preview whenever its required.

If you may have special needs, such as clients who need to see huge previews instantly, go to Previews.

Are Your Files

Located on an External Hard Drive?

If they are, select Build Smart Previews in the File handling panel.


Smart Previews

Set-up Task #4 - Date-Filename

1) Open the File Renaming panel on the right side of your screen.


File Handling Panel

2) Select Rename Files.

3) In the Template menu, select Date-Filename.

Lightroom will insert the date in front of the file name.

This is a best practice so Lightroom doesn't encounter duplicate file names.

With the date and file name, the name of the photograph will be unique.

Set-up Task #5 - Into One Folder

1) Open the Destination panel on the right side of your screen.


Destination Panel

2) Select Into one folder, in the Organize menu.

Close the Import Window

We're done with the Import window for a while.

Click Cancel in the lower-right corner.

Next, we'll look at specific importing situations.