20 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2017 3:03 AM by Just Shoot Me

    Lightroom importing and exporting

    sarahs56425427

      I am teaching myself to use Lightroom. If you could help me out it would be very much appreciated. I would like to save ALL photos on an external drive. I don't think my computer will have enough space to store all the pictures. So when I take the pictures from the SD card and put them on my computer. Should I then save them onto the external drive first and then import them into Lightroom? Or should I import them into Lightroom and have the destination as the external drive? I've read about it and I'm still left confused.

      Basically:

      I'd like to have all photos on an external drive and then my favourites I will save to a catalogue and edit them in Lightroom and then export them to my desktop and then save those favourites to a USB.

       

      If I save everything to an external drive does that mean that it always needs to be plugged in to edit photos?

       

      Can a catalogue be on an external drive?

        • 1. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
          dj_paige Level 9

          During the Import process, you can, in one action, tell Lightroom to copy the photos from the camera card to the external drive, and also in that one action, import the photos into Lightroom. All you need to do is specify a folder on the external drive in the Destination section of the Import dialog box (it's on the right hand side of the Import dialog box)

          I'd like to have all photos on an external drive and then my favourites I will save to a catalogue and edit them in Lightroom and then export them to my desktop and then save those favourites to a USB.

           

          Advice: a workflow that imports ALL (yes, ALL, as in 100%, no exceptions) photos into Lightroom will be much simpler in the long run, and less error prone as well. You could then add your favorites to a COLLECTION (not a catalog) -- or another approach is to assign them 5 stars. If the idea behind saving to a USB is to save copies of your work, then backing backups of your original photos and catalog file is a much better and much more thorough approach.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
            Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

            You can do either. Copy them from the SD card and place them on the external or use LR to do the copying and saving to the external.

             

            As for your other question place ALL, That Is ALL, images in one LR catalog. You can then use the Star system to Rate your images or place the ones you want to edit in a collection or assign a Color to the ones you want to edit.

            • 3. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
              sarahs56425427 Level 1

              I would like to save the pictures to an external drive and then from there import them into Lightroom once ive gone through them. But if I want them to stay saved on the external drive then do I make the pictures come FROM the same source as TO in the Import box that pops up. If I edit the pictures in Lightroom any time the external device is plugged in, will the pictures on the external device be edited as well? If the external device is not plugged in and I edit them then what happens?

              • 4. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                No images are ever IN LR. LR is a database program that References images into the database from where they are stored on your hard drives.

                When you import into LR it is only making a Record, a Reference, of the image in the LR catalog file, a database file, as to where the image is stored and if you edit a image those edits are store in the catalog file so the original images is never changed.

                 

                If you first copy images from a cameras memory card to your external drive when you open LR and select the Import button you would want to use Add at top of the LR import dialog. That ADDS the images to the database file, IE the catalog file, and leaves them where they are on the drive.

                If you use LR to do both import and copy the images from the cameras memory card then you would select Copy at the top. Then select the Destination folder and then other options as to what you want to do.

                 

                You really need to view some of the very good online tutorials for using LR.

                 

                http://laurashoe.com/2016/10/27/new-to-lightroom-an-introduction-to-lightroom/?utm_source= MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_c…

                 

                Lightroom tutorials | Learn how to use Lightroom CC

                • 5. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                  sarahs56425427 Level 1

                  Yes, I understand that. I have watched quite a few tutorials and I understand the basic concept of how it works. I guess I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I saved the pictures to the external hard drive and then did the FROM and TO destinations the same in the import box and it just ended up saving a duplicate of all of the same pictures again in the same folder on the external drive. So I guess that's when I should've selected add instead of copy? Also, I shoot the pictures in raw format. Wouldn't I need to copy as DNG first?

                   

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                    Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                    No, No need to use anything other than Add when you first copy the images from card to hard drive.

                     

                    Copy as DNG take the original RAW image format and makes a copy of them as DNG files.

                    The only time I have change the proprietary RAW file format that comes from whatever camera I am using to the DNG format was back when I used a Nikon camera and only years after I stopped using that camera.

                    I also, for a while, converted the RAW files from the Fuji camera I am now using to DNG but then Adobe had a glitch in LR that stopped LR from seeing and displaying DNG files from certain Fuji model cameras. My Fuji camera was one of them. When that happened I stop converting any RAW file to DNG.

                     

                    The only time, from this point forward, I would convert to DNG is if the version of LR I am using doesn't support the camera I'm using. But that won't happen as I am a subscriber to the Photographer CC plan and always get the most current version of LR.

                    • 7. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                      sarahs56425427 Level 1

                      Ok well that changes a lot. I watched a 45 minute video for beginners and he walked through step by step and said to convert them to DNG. It's one thing to follow what someone says to do and it's another to actually understand everything as to why you are doing it. I don't honestly think it's that confusing once you completely get it. But as a beginner it can be overwhelming to try and figure things out on your own. So thank you for helping me. I know that a lot of programs can't read RAW files. I guess that's part of the reason why I thought I was copying to DNG. So that it was a readable format.  The way I've been doing it on the external drive is I save a folder before I copy the images over.  So every time I import photos I have a new folder on external drive.  Is there a better way that you would recommend doing it to keep things organized? Do you have any websites or tutorials that you would recommend for a beginner?

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        The way I've been doing it on the external drive is I save a folder before I copy the images over.  So every time I import photos I have a new folder on external drive.  Is there a better way that you would recommend doing it to keep things organized? Do you have any websites or tutorials that you would recommend for a beginner?

                        When you come home with new photos on your camera card, I would import them ALL (yes, every single one of them, 100%, no exceptions) into Lightroom and simultaneously have Lightroom copy them to the external HD. This is done using the COPY option in the Import dialog box. This method can also set up new folders on your external (or any) drive to store the photos.

                         

                        Why do I recommend import ALL (every single one, 100%, no exceptions)? Because we see many people in this forum struggle if they import some of the photos into LR, they make a simple mistake, and then later they want to import additional photos from the camera card and they have to deal with the consequences of that simple mistake.

                         

                        By importing ALL photos from the camera card, you are simplifying your workflow, and reducing the possibilities of error. Keep it simple, do the same thing every single time, let Lightroom assign default folder names, reduce your probability of error, reduce the work you have to do.

                         

                        What happens if there's a photo on your camera card that you decide you don't want? Import it anyway, then later in Lightroom delete it.

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I hope you don't mind my stepping in on this conversation. There has been some good information provided here. But you need to understand that a DNG file IS a raw file. It contains the same raw image data, but it is in a different container that Adobe has designed to more or less standardize everything. I am like JSM In that the only time I convert to DNG is if I find that it is really necessary. And that is not often because I'm using Lightroom CC. You asked about tutorials. I will give you a couple of links. I don't know if it will provide you with everything that you are looking for but there really is a lot of good information out there if you want to take the time to watch.

                          Getting Started with Lightroom CC - YouTube

                          Lightroom Training Videos « Julieanne Kost's Blog

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                            sarahs56425427 Level 1

                            Thank you for the information. I will watch those videos for sure.

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                              sarahs56425427 Level 1

                              So step by step.

                              #1 plug in SD card.

                              #2 Make a new folder on External Drive (or you said you can make a new folder for the external drive through LR in the Import dialog box?)

                              #3 Import ALL photos in LR. FROM: the SD card, Copy, TO: the External Drive. If I delete a photo in the Catalog am I deleting it for good? Am I deleting it from the External Drive as well? What if I delete it from the External Drive does it delete it from LR for good?

                              • 12. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                I personally have no website or tutorial.

                                If you chose to copy from the SD card to a folder on your external before you import into LR I suggest you come up with a Folder naming convention that suits you and stick with it.

                                 

                                I personally make top level folders by years, Pictures 20xx, and then subfolders by the month and day the images are shot, 0508. I do use LR to make the month/day subfolders at time of import (But I have modified and import preset to give me the month and day as 0508 as LR by default doesn't offer that naming convention) and to copy images from the card to the month/day subfolders (That is Most of the Time).

                                I did a shoot at the Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance this past week end where I manually created a subfolder named Concours and placed all images from 2 days into that one folder and then imported them into LR using the Add option in the import dialog.

                                 

                                You can do it anyway you want.

                                • 13. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                  Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                  I will get back to you with some screen shots as soon I as I can. I'm in the middle of something else and need all the computer power I have for that.

                                  • 14. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                    dj_paige Level 9

                                    #2 Make a new folder on External Drive (or you said you can make a new folder for the external drive through LR in the Import dialog box?)

                                    I never make folders myself. The LR Import dialog box can make default folders for you (using any one of a large number of defaults) or you can type in the folder name, for example if you want a "Butterflies" folder. It would be helpful for you to view some tutorials on this matter.

                                     

                                    #3 Import ALL photos in LR. FROM: the SD card, Copy, TO: the External Drive. If I delete a photo in the Catalog am I deleting it for good? Am I deleting it from the External Drive as well? What if I delete it from the External Drive does it delete it from LR for good?

                                    Yes, import them all at once and be done with it. Do your organizing after you Import them all. Use Lightroom tools, such as keywords and other metadata to organize and search. Deleting a photo ... it is your choice (a dialog box will appear giving you the choice) whether you want to delete it from LR only, or from LR and the hard disk.

                                    • 15. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                      sarahs56425427 Level 1

                                      Thank you so much

                                      • 16. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                        Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                        I use a modified import preset to give me the naming convention I like and have used for years before I started using LR.

                                        But LR offers many that may fit your needs.

                                        In the Destination section of the LR Import dialog if you check "Into Subfolders" you can enter a name and then select into one folder or leave that blank and select "By Date" then you can chose from the drop down for date format. In the list of drives you can select the drive you want to copy the images to and then the top level folder or just the drive letter/name (Windows/Mac).

                                        In the screen shot below there is no "Date Format" listed because I'm using a modified preset that give me the date format I like which isn't available in LR.

                                         

                                         

                                        Destination import dialog.PNG

                                        • 17. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                          sarahs56425427 Level 1

                                          Can you tell me what it is that makes my Importing window small compared to the way it used to be (and the ones in the tutorials) I don't see the pictures that I want to import or anything iN my importing window. I obviously changed something when I was watching a previous tutorial.

                                          • 18. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                            Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                            Bottom left hand corner of that dialog window. Click the upside down triangle to expand the window.

                                            • 19. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                              sarahs56425427 Level 1

                                              Thank you. I think things are starting to come together for me. So no changes you make in LR are ever saved anywhere else other than Lightroom UNLESS you export them and then save the exported version to a external device or wherever you decide to save them?

                                              • 20. Re: Lightroom importing and exporting
                                                Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                                sarahs56425427  wrote

                                                 

                                                Thank you. I think things are starting to come together for me. So no changes you make in LR are ever saved anywhere else other than Lightroom UNLESS you export them and then save the exported version to a external device or wherever you decide to save them?

                                                Yes that is correct. All edits made to any image are saved to the LR catalog and only viewable in LR or if you select the option to Auto write changes into XMP in the LR Catalog settings dialog then you can view those changes in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR).

                                                But they only get baked into the image when exporting it or sending it to PS for further edits and saved from PS.

                                                In the Export dialog there is a section where to save the exported file.