How I Import My Photos Into Lightroom 3

I know that most people are already familiar with how lightroom import works. Here’s how I do my imports.  First, I use a external card reader or my computers built-in card reader to do my imports. I don’t import directly from my camera using the  usb cable that came with my camera, simply because it’s so darn slow. A card reader is the way to go. Even the cheapest card reader is still faster compare to importing it directly from the camera via the usb cable. Now going back to my import process :


Photo 1.

Assuming lightroom is already running, click on file then choose Import Photos or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shrft+I(photo 1 above). This will bring up the Import Panel shown below (Photo 2)


Photo 2.

Now, this is where it all starts to get your photos into your lightroom library. As you can see in the sample photo above, there are 3 columns in the new lightroom 3 dialogue, first is the Source on the left, on the center you can see all the photos inside the selected drive source, which in this case is my SD Memory card in drive F:/, and the rightmost column is where we set the options for importing our photos.

When I import my photos I prefer to import them directly from my SD or CF cards and let lightroom do the work for me. Some likes to copy their files from their memory cards to the hard drive and do the imports from there, but I prefer to do the import directly from my memory card. Now going back to the import process, here are some of the options I’d like to set :

  • Render Previews – I set this to 1:1, I suggest you do it every time you import photos to your catalog. Your import may take longer than usual, but by doing so, you are saving yourself a lot of time when working on your photos at a later time.
  • I make sure that the Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates is checked.
  • File Renaming – This is one of my favorite features, here you can create and use a Filename Template or Preset, which is handy if naming your shoot.
  • Develop Settings – Often times I use this to apply a Lens Correction Profile Preset that I’ve created for each of my Lenses, provided that all the photos on the batch that I’m importing was taken using only one lens. This feature is handy when you want to apply a specific preset for your photos.
  • Keywording – I also urge you to give your photos keyword at this time if possible. (Photo 3 below)

Photo 3.

Photo 4.

Once I’m done setting all the options I need, I just click on the import button and let lightroom do it’s magic.

If you have any questions, inquiries, suggestions or corrections, I would love to hear them. You can send me an email or just feel free to post a comment below.

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