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How-to's Software Reviews

Importing images in Adobe Lightroom

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens)

Keywords: adobe, photoshop, lightroom, postprocessing, via_the_lens

I generally peruse a photography website in the morning with a cup of coffee in hand. Some of the posts are fairly amusing, others are just downright confounding at times.  I will often submit my opinions when it comes to a question concerning the Photoshop Lightroom ("LR") application (specifically, the "Classic CC" edition), as I’ve used this application as my primary processing tool since 2010.

I have about 70,000 images linked to the application and have processed about 10,000 of those, using LR, Photoshop, and other plug-in programs.  I have also taught the Lightroom application at a junior college and teach the application privately to students. Being Adobe certified in Lightroom, along with the other things I’ve mentioned, I believe I am somewhat qualified to weigh-in on LR questions and problems.  I do not, however, consider myself an expert in the application since I am sure there is much that I do not know about it. But I do love using the application to process my images and I use it as my primary image processing program.

It is always amazing to me how differently each photographer approaches the program. Some of the comments I read about the convoluted way that a photographer will store their images and use the program makes me somewhat crazy at times as it seems people take a program designed to simply their photography-life and then they make it so much more complex than it needs to be.  As Martin Evening, author of “The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC “book says, “The program aims to provide photographers with the tools they need most and eliminates the call for complicated workarounds.”

Adobe Lightroom is designed to assist a photographer to store and access thousands of images and to be able to find an image virtually instantly when needed. It is designed to process an image from beginning to end in many cases and when a different editor is needed it is designed to work with most of them seamlessly.  It is also designed so that only one original is needed but it does allow you to create virtual copies (command or control + ' (apostrophe) - See also all keyboard shortcuts at Adobe) in the application and do different things with each virtual copy.

A virtual copy has a very small icon tag at the bottom in the shape of a rolled paper edge, it’s actually called a “badge.” It’s easy to remove a virtual copy permanently, you simply click on the delete key.  In general, it is not necessary to make hard copies in all kinds of different formats and file them elsewhere. There is one exception to the “one original rule” I have, which is downloading all of my processed files to a small external hard drive for offsite storage as I don’t use cloud backup storage for anything. 


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Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on January 2, 2022

Ribbon awarded for her valuable contributions to the Articles Section.

Hi Jean, there are many image editing programs on the market today that are good. ON1 is one of them, as is Luminar, Capture One, Topaz, and too many to name. The monthly fee approach is more and more common, or an annual fee which is what Microsoft does, so it will most likely to be hard to avoid at some point in the future. Do an online search and then try the program of your choice, there is generally a free trial period, to see if you like it. Any image you process is yours and is unique to you if you choose it to be. If you go the way of using presets for processing then it becomes less unique. Shooting in RAW and editing with any software makes it unique to you, again, unless you rely heavily on presets without altering them. Good luck in your search.

David A Lloyd (lloydd421) on December 18, 2021

Look at ON1

Jean Hardy (eliot3b4) on December 16, 2021

Hello. I am just now reading this. I am moving to a mirrorless camera, the Z7II. I am trading in my D810. Nice camera, but it has sat in my closet for about the past year due to many reasons. I am hoping the Z7II is lighter and will allow me to move around a little easier. I am looking for a processing program that is not a subscription. I want my images to be mine and not some other person. I do not wish to pay a monthly fee. Any suggestions on a program?

Eva Borbas Dr (evi1709) on February 17, 2020

Dear Connie, I'm new at Nikonians because I have worked with Canon EOS 5D Mark III over 10 years and switched to Nikon only in April 2019. I have over 50 thousands pictures in LR catalog but unfortunately some duplicates.The photos are arranged in folders of years and subfolders within the years. Unfortunately I have subfolders of the same name sometimes written with capital and sometimes with lowercase containing the same photos. I'm unable to remove duplicate photos only from one subfolder it will be deleted from both. Recently I care for it that all folder names are written with lowercase to avoid this problem. i would be very grateful if you advise what should I do. Thank you for your help Eva

Eva Borbas Dr (evi1709) on February 4, 2020

Dear Connie, i was very happy with your article giving me a lot of information to apply LR importing. Thank you for sharing. Eva

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on March 17, 2019

Ribbon awarded for her valuable contributions to the Articles Section.

Hi Don. I believe that the new way of taking and processing photographs has made it hard on many people who are not familiar with or comfortable with software or computers. For these people, they are at a disadvantage because now, as photographers, we must be able to learn about electronic devices and software if we want our images to continue to be the best they can be. I too, am from the baby-boomer generation. It just happens that I find using software fairly easy, perhaps because I was doing that in my career for 25 years. I'm happy that I could help you.

don haaland (Shakey) on March 13, 2019

Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the 2018 Fundraising campaign

Thanks for the time and effort in assisting us. Sometimes when I get stuck my grandchildren help, it really is a problem for the baby-boom generation. Our productive years were spent in work and raising a family and not having to learn that much and now in retirement sometimes we flounder. From waiting for the telephone line to clear (party-line) to the internet, it is new world for us again thanks Don

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on February 26, 2019

Ribbon awarded for her valuable contributions to the Articles Section.

HI Jeff, If you want to move a folder or image it must be done from within LR once that folder is linked to the application or you will have issues. This includes moving from one external drive to another external drive. Simply drag and drop from folder to folder or drive to drive.

Connie Cassinetto (Via the Lens) on February 26, 2019

Ribbon awarded for her valuable contributions to the Articles Section.

Hi John, Sorry for the late reply but I was out of town and failed to bring the password for the website with me to use on my laptop! As Bo so kindly said, the answer is "Yes." The full name of the application is "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC." Adobe does seem to like to confuse us at times! And, yes, the two applications are "worlds apart" in many ways, essentially anything out of the RAW converter portion of the application, which is very similar to LR (actually they use the same "RAW engine". It sounds like you are a Photoshop expert having used the application since the mid-nineties. I do use PS but would never claim to have any real expertise in it, although I do get around in it in an OK fashion, enough to do what I need to do.

Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) on February 22, 2019

One of the two c-founders, expert in several areas Awarded for his valuable Nikon product reviews at the Resources

@John Hernlund: Yes, Lightroom mentioned in the article is Lightroom, as in the official "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom ..." -- Adobe has indeed made it a bit more confusing for us photographers.

John Hernlund (Tokyo_John) on February 22, 2019

Just to be sure...when you say "Photoshop Lightroom" you mean "Adobe Lightroom" right? At least in my perception, Photoshop (PS) and Lightroom (LR) are many worlds apart...I am not a LR expert by any means, but I've been using every version of PS intensively since 1994.

Jeff Rogers (bgpixelman) on February 21, 2019

Thanks for your great article. Where I get hung up is when I move images from one external hard drive to another or from one folder on an external to another. Image not found is a scary message but eventually I can find the NEF or exported file.