Setting up Lightroom for Import

So you shoot in jpeg or RAW and want to bring those pictures into Lightroom?

First Time steps

Connect Camera

Put SD card into computer or use a card reader.

Set up Lightroom as Default program (Optional)

  1. Open Image Capture app
  2. In the bottom left for “Import to” select Other
  3. Choose Adobe Photoshop Lightroom in the Applications Folder
  4. Eject the SD card
  5. Close Image Capture
  6. Put the SD card back in. LR should pop open like a good little boy into the Import dialogue.

Make a Preset for Lens Corrections and Camera Profiles (Optional)

Go to the Develop Module by selecting Develop at the top right or type “D” Makes selections for Lens Corrections Basic and Profile

Lens Correction Profile

Lens Correction Profile

Lens Correction Basic

Lens Correction Basic

Make a new preset by hitting the “+” button next to Preset on the far left.

Creating an import preset photo

Creating an import preset photo

Make selections of preset below. Note the Name I choose. Making Preset names describing exactly what they do is a great idea. If you ever want to modify what happens to an image when it comes in you just modify this.

Custom Import Preset

Custom Import Preset

No go back to the Library Module by hitting selecting Library in the top right or typing “G”.

Set up Lightroom’s Import settings

In the Library Module Click Import on the bottom left.

recommending import options

recommending import options

Set it up as in the picture above.

The “Smart Preview” option is really only useful if the files will end up being stored external and disconnected. This Adobe article explains a lot of these settings in detail.

Pic of import

Notice the 2013/09/21 I’ll show what difference this makes on your hard drive.

Pic of folder in import

Here’s what it sets up inside your Pictures Folder. (or anywhere else you want it)

This is a big difference from Aperture and iPhoto. LR is only a catalog. It never hides the photos inside the application. They sit in plain day on your hard drive. Just go to the pictures folder and drill down to see the original.

Folder structure after importing using Lightroom

Folder structure after importing using Lightroom

It’s important to not mess with them straight in the folders. Do everything to them inside LR. That way the catalog stays up to date. You can move them to another folder, move them to an external hard drive, or delete them all right inside LR using the Library Module. All this is very easy and intuitive to do right inside LR. Doing it with the LR interface means the LR Catalog stays accurate.

Importing from now on

  1. Plug camera or card into computer
  2. Hit import

Next issues to tackle

Backup, Color Space Management, Culling, Editing, Exporting, Storage

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  1. kaushal prasad · · Reply

    Very nice


  2. As I shared this online the most frequent question I get is;
    If I import a different camera and lens will it be smart enough to see that?
    Yes! This preset works for importing anything. The one issue comes in when using third party lens, so I’ve heard, LR sometimes picks the wrong lens! But using this preset doesn’t cause that, it just makes it worse since it may happen you not know. So if you use third party lenses you should use this and then check to make sure it picks the right one.


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