I am a newbie when it comes to any type of processing or editing of pictures. In fact, I am a new photographer. I have been taking a lot of pictures and know I am struggling with just the download to Lightroom and my computer. I have a D800 and a Dell XPS. I also have an external hard drive.. That being said, could someone please recommend a good way to get my pictures from my camera into LR4 and on to my external hard drive. I was first shooting in JPEG and just putting them in Windows and moving them to LR. Now I am shooting RAW and Windows will not read those pictures. I want to keep my pictures on my external hard drive. I am really getting confused. Thanks.
I always take the card out of my camera and put in a card reader, but either way (that or directly connecting your camera to your PC) if you open LR and select from the Library module (button, lower-left) LR should find your card and show the photos on it.
I put all my photos on an external USB-3 drive (I used to use a USB-2 and it was OK too), but I keep the LR catalog on the main hard-drive.
I am by no means an expert, but I am attaching a document I maintain (which I wrote for a friend who asked how I used LR) -- it will tell you how "I" use LR -- just as an example of how.