Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, there is no better organizing and editing software program out there. In minutes you can color correct, change exposure, label images, create collections and more to dozens of images, all with the click of a few buttons. Don’t break the bank with Photoshop CS6. Simply download the demo of Adobe Lightroom to see how impressive it is.

If you already own it, here are some tips to get you started.

Import photos into Lightroom

The Lightroom Import Window

Lightroom import window

A.                  Source panel

B.                  Toggle Minimal import

C.                  Preview area

D.                  Options and Destination panels

When you import photos into Lightroom, you can reference the photos in their existing location, or move or copy them into a specific folder.

  1. In the Library module, do any of the following:
  • Click the Import button.
  • From the main menu, choose File > Import Photos.
  • Drag a folder with photos or individual photos into the Grid view.
  1. Click Select A Source or use the Source panel on the left side of the import window to specify the location of the photos you want to import.
  2. In the top center of the import window, specify how you want to add the photos to the catalog:

Copy As DNG

Copies camera raw files to the folder you choose and converts them to the Digital Negative (DNG) format.

Copy

Copies the photo files to the folder you choose, including any sidecar files.

Move

Moves the photo files to the folder you choose, including any sidecar files. Files are removed from their current location.

Add

Keeps the photo files in their current location.

Select the photos that you want to import from the preview area in the center of the window. A check mark in the upper-left corner of the thumbnail indicates that the photo is selected for import.

  • To filter photos in the preview, select one of the following:

New Photos excludes suspected duplicates and previously imported photos. Destination Folders (available when copying or moving photos into a catalog) groups photos by their destination folder. Select All Photos to remove filters.

  • Click the Loupe View button  in the toolbar to zoom in to a single photo.
  • Click Check All or Uncheck All in the toolbar to globally select or deselect all photos in the folder.
  • Click the Sort pop-up menu in the toolbar to sort photos by capture time, selected (checked) state, or filename.
  • Drag the Thumbnails slider to adjust the size of the thumbnails in the grid.
  • To select or deselect specific photos in a folder, click the box in the upper-left corner of the previews. Or, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) anywhere on the thumbnail to select and deselect photos.
  1. If you are importing photos by moving or copying them, specify where to put them in the Destination panel.
  2. If you are importing photos by moving or copying them, choose one of the following from the Organize menu in the Destination panel:

Into One Folder

Copies or moves the imported photos into a new folder.

By Original Folders

Maintains the original hierarchy for the folders that contain the imported photos.

By Date

Specifies a date name for the folder that contains the imported photos.

Importing photos into Lightroom: Basic workflow

You must import photos into the Lightroom catalog to begin working with them. Importing tells Lightroom what photos are in the catalog, and whether they are imported directly from a camera, hard drive, memory card reader, or other storage device. During import, you can choose either to move or copy the photo files into a specific folder, or reference the photo files in their current location. As photos are imported, you can rename them, apply Develop module adjustments to them, embed metadata and keywords, and even back up the original photos to a different folder.

The visual import window allows you to preview, select, name, and add information about the photos you want to import. To import photos into Lightroom, follow these basic steps:

1. Connect the camera or memory card reader to your computer.

In addition to cameras and memory card readers, Lightroom imports photos from any folder on the hard drive, CDs or DVDs, and other storage devices. You can also import photos from another Lightroom catalog or from Photoshop Elements (Windows).

2. Select the location of the photos to import.

To bring photos into the catalog, do any of the following:

  • Click the Import button in the Library module.
  • Choose File > Import Photos.
  • Drag a folder that contains photos or drag a group of photos into the Grid view of the Library module.

Use the Source panel on the left side of the import window to navigate to the folder that contains the photos you want to import.

3. Choose how to add the photos to your catalog.

In the center of the import window, choose whether to import photos by referencing them, by copying or moving them to a specified directory, or by copying photos as Digital Negative (DNG) files. If you copy or move photos, specify where to put them using the Destination panel on the right side of the window.

4. Preview and select photos.

Using the previews in the center of the window, select the photos that you want to import.

5. (Optional) Back up your photos as they’re importing.

If you’re copying or moving photos into the catalog, specify whether to make a one-time backup of the original photos as they’re imported.

6. Select the type of previews to display.

Standard-size previews provide higher quality photos in the Grid view. Selecting Minimal uses the embedded previews in photos and initially displays photos faster.

7. (Optional) Give your files a custom name.

When copying or moving photos into the catalog, Lightroom by default imports photos using their current filenames. You can customize the name by choosing an option from the File Renaming panel. For example, you can add a sequence number.

8. (Optional) Set options for importing your photos.

In the Apply During Import panel, set options to apply Develop settings, metadata, or keywords to the photos as they’re imported.

9. Click Import.

Lightroom displays a progress bar in the upper-left corner of the window as it imports the photos. Then it renders thumbnails in the central area of the Library module.

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