Basic Import Workflow

Importing is one of the most important parts of the workflow and requires your complete attention. The steps you take in completing an import can largely determine the ease or difficulty of the rest of the workflow. Plan and execute your imports carefully and you will benefit from one of Lightroom's key strengths: batch processing.

Following is a simple rundown of the major steps you'll consistently use to import photos into Lightroom:

1. Choose the photos to import

2. Choose where the image files should be copied or moved (or left where they are)

3. Set the size of the previews to be generated during import

4. Rename the files, if they're being copied (optional)

5. Make backups of the files (optional)

6. Apply metadata, such as contact information, keywords and Develop adjustments (optional)

At home versus on the road

Your import process will likely be different when you're traveling—working from a laptop computer—than when you're at your main desktop workstation. Of course, if you use only one computer all the time, you may only need one import workflow. But if you use multiple computers in different situations, expect that your imports will vary from one computer to another depending on the files being imported and the location of your main image catalog. Chapter 9 has more information about working with multiple catalogs.

About bach processing

Usually you'll import multiple image files all at once (though you can import just a single photo). As such, this is the first instance of batch processing in our workflow. A batch is simply a group of multiple files that are all being processed the same way.

During an import, all the selected files we be processed using the same criteria. However, Lightroom gives you lots of ways to apply file-specific, variable data to your photos, such as a unique file name for each one. This is done using templates; we'll discuss these later in this chapter.

When processing many images at one time, the choices you make become increasingly important. Effective batch processing requires planning ahead, thinking carefully about the software settings, and considering the effects of your choices before going forward.

After you've run through the import process a few times, you'll easily remember the key settings to check before starting each Import. And new in Lightroom 3, you can save presets of your commonly used import settings.

Open the Import screen from anywhere in Lightroom

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