You can use the Source panel to navigate and find the photos you wish to import. The Source panel view displays any found devices at the top under “Devices.” This includes camera cards, tethered cameras (where there are files on the camera card), and also things like smartphones. So, when you insert a camera card the card should automatically appear listed in the “Devices” section and selected as the source (see Figure 2.4). Normally, Lightroom will only let you import from one card device at a time. However, if your computer is able to see memory cards as separate drive volumes and they appear listed under “Files,” rather than “Devices,” then it can be possible to import files from several camera cards at once. You can check the “Eject after Import” option if you want the card to be ejected after all the photos have been imported—this saves you having to do so manually at the system level.
Figure 2.4 The Source panel in card import mode showing a card ready to import under found “Devices.”
For all other types of imports where you wish to either Copy as DNG, Copy, Move, or Add a folder of images to the Lightroom catalog via an existing volume listed in the “Files” section, the volume headers in the Source panel can be expanded in order to locate the pictures you wish to import, just as you would in a regular file browser program (Figure 2.5). It is important to note here that Lightroom displays all connected and available directory volumes regardless of whether they may contain image files or not (the same is true for the Destination panel). When selecting files to import from the Source panel “Files” section you need to first click on a volume header to expand it to view the drive’s root level folders. From there you can click on the arrows to the left of each folder to expand the folder hierarchy and reveal the subfolder contents. Where you have folders nested several folders deep inside other folders you may find it helps if you double-click on a selected folder to reveal a more compact hierarchy, such as that shown in the Figure 2.6 view. If you compare this with Figure 2.5 you will notice how the same folder is selected in both views, but in the Figure 2.6 example only the folders belonging to that specific folder hierarchy are displayed and all other folders are hidden. If you double-click on a parent folder the Source panel folder hierarchy changes to reveal just those folders that belong to the parent folder’s parent directory and so on. This is known as a docked folder view. It is probably easier for you to go to the File menu, choose Import Photos and Video..., and navigate the Source panel to understand how docked navigation works. The docked method can at first appear confusing as the folders appear to dance around unexpectedly. Once you spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the double-click method of navigation, the shuffling about that you see happening won’t be so confusing.
Figure 2.5 The Source panel with no card or other device found, showing the “Files” that can be selected for import.
As you click on a folder listed in the Source panel, the photos that are contained in that folder will appear in the main content area and depending on whether the “Include Subfolders” option is checked or not, all subfolders will be included as well. It is possible to select multiple folders from the Source panel. You can do this by using the key to select a contiguous list of folders, or you can use the -click (Mac) or -click (PC) to make a discontiguous selection.