To work with images and video files in Lightroom you must first import them. This creates records within a Lightroom catalog. During an import, Lightroom reads the image files and makes records for each of them in the currently open Lightroom catalog file. File names, folder locations and metadata are all stored in the catalog.
It's important to understand that in all cases the files themselves are not actually contained inside the catalog. When you do an import, Lightroom just reads the files, makes data entries in the catalog for each file and links the Lightroom data to the file on disk.
Later, when you're working on photos, Lightroom references the original files on disk and keeps track of your edits within the catalog. Lightroom also generates numerous previews of the photos, which are constantly updated as you work.
Lightroom 3 provides a redesigned Import process that is faster and easier than previous versions. The new Import screen helps you see how Lightroom will handle the files being imported, quickly navigate through hard drives and folders to see their contents before importing, and speeds the import process with the use of presets.
In this chapter, I'll cover the three most common methods you'll use for getting files into your Lightroom catalog: importing from a hard drive, importing from a camera's memory card, and shooting with your camera connected directly to the computer ("tethered").
When you're done importing some ...