Once in a while we all get stuck using complex programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop and get confused with the simplest way of doing things. Today I’ll show you a part of my workflow and that’s including importing files into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, renaming, converting to DNG, folder structure. If your after a super quick & easy tutorial skip to the Import dialog with the portraits.
To start off lets change one preference in Lightroom to show the import dialog when a memory card is detected. On a PC (Edit > Preference) or Mac (Lightroom > Preferences).
From now on every time you attach a memory card or camera to your computer the import dialog will show up (pictured below). There is actually quite a bit in here so we’ll go throughout it step by step.
- File Handling – Copying the files from the card or camera. My workflow involves converting all raw files too DNG. You can read a great article on the benefits of using DNG by Peter Krough here.
- Copy to – a location on your hard drive, this gets changed each month to keep a folder hierarchy. e.g. 09-10 folder is 2009-October.
Organise – These are folders that get created during the import. It’s a bit minimal on what you can do here so I just create my own.
- Backup to – Just a safe house if your files corrupt during import or DNG conversion. Keep these for archival files if you like, personally I delete them after a week as I have my own backup in operation.
- File naming – Hopefully you realise how important file renaming is for future use in preventing duplication, giving structure and recognition to your files. By creating a custom setting we will help resolve these problems from now on, here are the three parts to a file name.
- Muzza – is my unique id, try not to use something to generic like John, use you initials or business name.
- 091030 – YYMMDD that’s todays date backwards keeping all the files more hierarchal.
- File number suffix – this is the numbers out of you cameras filenames
- Once your done save this as a preset
- Develop settings – Instead of these I apply camera raw profiles in the develop module>calibration
- Metadata – All the metadata is applied to your photographs in bulk for each import. It is quite extensive, but will help in showing ownership of the files, copyright, location, photographer etc.
- Keywords – To apply keywords individually you’ll have to wait after import.
- Initial Previews – Depending on how you preview your files and how soon you need them will require different options.
- Minimal – When speed is needed or importing a tone of files. (Thumbnails)
- Embedded & Sidecar – Oftentimes embedded and sidecar previews are inaccurate so skip this one.
- Standard – I use most of the time (Screen size)
- 1:1 – For zooming in when fine detail is needed, saves heaps of time latter. (100% size)
After setting all these options up it will make life easier only having to change two steps (3 & 9) for each import. If your really not into reading books don’t read this or that, have a go at a few online video tutorials @ Kelby Training or Lynda.com.