Home / Articles / Adobe Photoshop Lightroom / Martin Evening on Importing Photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

Martin Evening on Importing Photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

  • Date: Mar 6, 2012.

Chapter Description

In this excerpt from The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book, Martin Evening shows how the Lightroom import procedure provides an adaptable import workflow, one that can be streamlined through the use of Import presets, as well as offering the ability to import files directly from the camera using a tethered shooting setup.
Importing files from a card

Importing files from a card

Over the next few pages I have shown how to import photos from a camera card using the Import dialog in the compact mode.

  1. Before you import any photos, go to the Lightroom menu (Mac) or Edit menu (PC) and choose Preferences... In the General section check the “Show Import dialog when a memory card is detected” option. When checked, Lightroom will automatically show the Import Photos dialog every time a memory card is detected.
  2. To start importing photos, insert a memory card into the computer so that it mounts on the Desktop. If the “Show Import dialog when a memory card is detected” option is unchecked, you will have to import the photos manually using one of the following manual methods: choose File → Import Photos and Video..., click the Import... button in the Library module, or use the (Mac) or (PC) keyboard shortcut.
  3. If the Lightroom Preferences are configured as shown in Step 1, Lightroom will automatically open the Import Photos dialog. How the Import Photos dialog is displayed will depend on whether you last used the compact interface (shown above) or had checked the expand dialog button (circled) to reveal the full range of options in the expanded mode view (I used the compact interface here). In this example, the EOS_DIGITAL camera card appeared in the From section. In the workflow section you can choose to Copy as DNG, Copy, Move, or Add. For card imports the choice boils down to Copy as DNG or Copy. I nearly always select “Copy” here.
  4. The To section initially points to the computer user’s Pictures folder. This is a sensible default, but if you wish, you can select an alternative destination folder.
  5. For camera card imports you will want to import your images using folders segmented “By date” or “Into one folder.” There is a lot to be said for the “By date” option. All your files are imported and placed in dated folders and this provides a neatly ordered way to manage your camera card imports. However, to make this work effectively you’ll need to tag the imported photos with at least one keyword; otherwise, you’ll experience difficulties later when tracking down specific photos. Importing photos into one folder (and naming the folder appropriately) will allow you to search for photos by the Folders panel name as well as by keywords.
  6. If you select the “Into one folder”option, then you will most likely want to check the “Into subfolder box” (as shown here) and type in a name for the subfolder you wish to create in the destination location. To keep things easy (and repeatable), I suggest that every time you import photos from a card you do so to a standard import folder. I usually name this “Imported photos.”
  7. If you already have a prepared IPTC metadata template, it is a good idea to select this now from the Metadata Preset menu list (circled).
  8. After you have configured all these settings it is a good idea to go to the Import Preset menu and save the import settings as a new preset for future use. When you are done just click on the Import button to commence the camera card import. Lightroom will import the files from the card to the Lightroom catalog. As the images are imported, the thumbnails will start to appear one by one in the Library module view. Meanwhile, the status indicator in the top-left corner will show the import progress. Often, there may be at least two processes taking place at once: the file import and the preview rendering. The progress bars give you a visual indication of how the import process is progressing. If more than one operation is taking place at a time, you will see the grouped status indicator (seen on the left). If you click the small arrow to the right, you can toggle the status indicator between each of the tasks in progress and the grouped indicator.
  9. Normally, you should not encounter any problems when importing files from a camera card. But if you choose the Copy Photos as DNG option, you will be alerted to any corruptions in the files as they are imported. After you have successfully imported all the images to the computer, you can safely eject the camera card and prepare it for reuse. However, at this stage I usually prefer to completely delete all the files on the card before removing it from the computer. The reason I suggest doing this is because when you reinsert the card in the camera, you won’t be distracted by the fact that there are still images left on the card. For example, when I carry out studio shoots I find it helps to establish a routine in which the files are deleted immediately via the computer before ejecting. I find on a busy shoot it helps to avoid confusion if you clear the cards as soon as the files have been imported. Otherwise you may pick up a card, put it in the camera, and not be sure if this is one you have imported from already or not. This might cause you to wonder whether you have removed all the images. I would also advise you to always reformat the card using the camera formatting option before you start capturing further images. This is good housekeeping practice that can help reduce the risk of file corruption as new capture files are written to the card.
4. Source panel | Next Section Previous Section

Adobe Press Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Adobe Press and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Adobe Press products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.adobepress.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020