Chapter 5. Importing Images into Lightroom


  • Importing preexisting photos from the hard drive

  • Importing new photos from the camera's media card

  • Creating your own copyright preset

  • Converting camera raw to DNG during import

The import process is the beginning of the Production Workflow in Lightroom. This is the process of adding information about your images to the catalog. Two types of files are imported into Lightroom—preexisting files that are already stored on your computer and new files that need to be transferred onto your system as they're imported into the catalog. These new files usually come from a camera's media card (that is, CompactFlash or SmartMedia), though they are also imported from CDs and DVDs.

The biggest difference between these two types of files is how their location is handled during the import process. Preexisting files are usually left in their current location when importing. This way your filing structure is maintained in the Lightroom catalog. Lightroom adds information about the images to the database, but the images stay where they are. New files need to be transferred from the media card to the computer hard drive as they're cataloged. The process for importing both file types is very similar.


Unlike Bridge, which sees all image files, Lightroom only knows about the files you tell it about by importing them.

Importing Images into Lightroom

Figure 5.1. When you click Import ...

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