Trying to start using lightroom, Why import a folder?

New Here ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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Hi guys, 

I use photoshop a lot, and always shyed away from lightroom, one of the main reasosn it the importing an calaloging that just goes over the top of my head,

 

When I usually bring in images, I transfer them from the SD card into a folder, for exmaple:

Docs > Photography > Shoots > 2021 > Sam > Car Park.

As far as I am concerened their organised. Job done!

 

So if I am wanting to start using Lightroom...  is it still expecting me to import these files?

I mean, where are they supposed to import them, if they are already where I want them?

 

Amy help you be greatly appriciated.

Thanks in advance!

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How to, Import and share

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New Here ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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Sorry for the typos, I cant see and edit option. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 04, 2021 Jun 04, 2021

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If the images are already "where you want them" then you must be using Lightroom Classic, which stores images locally and utilizes a local catalog. If that is the case, the process of importing is the process of adding the images to the Lightroom catalog so that Lightroom knows where the images are located and can subsequently keep track of all the work performed on those images. The catalog is actually the only file Lightroom Classic opens, and is critical to the proper and smooth functioning of the program. Without the catalog, and without importing images to the catalog, you simply cannot work with images in Lightroom.

 

One of the import options is to Add Images, which will add them from their current location. So, in that case, the import process is simply a process of adding the images to the catalog which is a database, and that is what allows Lightroom to keep track of everything you do with the images. Since Lightroom is a parametric editor, all of the adjustments you make to your images are stored in the catalog. The images are left in their pristine state, untouched.

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2021 Jun 13, 2021

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'Add'  Of course!

I was unsure of what the add function actually did, but this is now much clearer, thank you Jim! 😊

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2021 Jun 05, 2021

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Just to expand on Jim's answer, when you start the import process and select the specific folder in the source panel on the left, there are 4 import "types" listed horizontally across the top of the centre panel. The first 3 (Copy as DNG, Copy, Move) will all require you to set a destination folder for the images so that they can be copied or moved in accordance with the selection. These are more typically used when importing images directly from camera card (so you could very easily bypass your initial manual copy of the images to the hard drive, and have Lightroom do that for you). The final option, Add, should be automatically selected if you are importing from an existing hard drive (as you would be doing in the situation you describe), but just check to make sure.

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2021 Jun 13, 2021

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Thanks also 'other Jim'! haha.

Yeah I trying to get my head around all the import options!  😫

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