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Post Production Tips

How to Create a Standard Import Preset in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on March 23rd 2013

The following is an excerpt from the SLR Lounge Lightroom Workflow System Workshop on DVD, a system designed to increase your post production speed by 5 to 10 times. Click here to view more details.

Introduction

In previous tutorials, we covered how to set up our standard import develop preset and our standard import metadata preset in Lightroom 4. Now, we are going to discuss how to set up and apply our import preset, as well as how to import images from your memory card. A standard import preset can be applied to all of your images in just a few clicks. Before you start this tutorial, make sure you have gone through our tutorials for setting up both the standard import develop preset and our standard import metadata preset since we will be including both of those presets in this import preset.

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Setting Up Our Standard Import Preset

To bring up the Import Dialogue Box, simply hit “Ctrl + Shift + I.” You can also click on the “Import” button located on the bottom left side, as shown below. You must be in the Library Module for this “Import” button to show.

01_import-in-lightroom-4

Once you are in your Import Dialogue Box, select your source, which can be found on the left side. In the example below, our source will be our CF card.

02_import-dialogue-box-source

Before we start importing images, we need to set up our standard import preset. Under the File Handling Panel, which is on the right side of the Import Dialogue Box, select “Minimal” for the “Render Preview.” Check the box next to “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates.” Lightroom will read the metadata of the images and will not import any images with the same metadata in order to save hard drive space. See below for our example.

03_file-handling-panel-standard-import-preset

Under the File Renaming Panel, you have the option of renaming your files. I normally leave my filenames as is until I am ready to deliver my images, so I just leave this box unchecked, as shown below.

04_file-renaming-panel-standard-import-preset

Under the Apply During Import Panel, select “00 Standard Import (Reset).” To get there, go to the dropdown menu next to “Develop Settings.” Select “00 My Mixology” and then “00 Standard Import (Reset).” Once again, this develop preset was created in a previous tutorial, so make sure you have read that tutorial before doing this step.

05_apply-during-import-panel-standard-import

Next to Metadata (we are still in the Apply During Import Panel), select the “Standard Import – SLR Lounge” preset that we have created in a previous tutorial.

06_apply-during-import-panel-metadata

Underneath Metadata, you will see a field for Keywords, which we can leave blank. We want to leave this blank because this is a generic preset that can be applied to every image.

07_apply-during-import-panel-keywords

In the Destination Panel, make sure you have checked the box next to “Into Subfolder.” Then type in “00_Originals” in the field next to “Into Subfolder.” This will put all of our images into “00_Originals,” regardless of the catalog you choose. That way, everything will be neatly organized. See our example below.

08_destination-panel-subfolders

Saving and Applying Our New Preset

To save our new preset, go to the very bottom of the Import Dialogue Box, where it says “Import Preset.” As shown below, click on the dropdown menu and select “Save Current Settings as New Preset.”
09_save-new-settings-as-new-import-preset
A dialogue box will appear where you will name the preset. In the example below, I have named it “Standard Import – SLR Lounge” but you can name it however you like. Now, hit “Create.”

10_name-new-import-preset

Now, when you import your images into Lightroom, you can go down to “Import Preset” at the bottom of the Import Dialogue Box and just select “Standard Import – SLR Lounge.” It will also automatically include both our metadata and develop settings into the images as well.

We can also shrink the Import Dialogue Box by clicking on the arrow in the far bottom left corner.
11_show-fewer-options-import-dialogue-box
The Import Dialogue Box will now just show where your images are being imported from and where they are being imported to. Click on the “Import” button if you are ready to import your images. In this tutorial, we are importing from our memory card, so it is important to select “Copy,” which can be found at the top of the Import Dialogue Box. See the example below. Later on in this tutorial, we will talk about why you need to select “Copy” when you are importing from a memory card.

12_small-import-dialogue-box

Making Specific Selections

Normally, this is how we would import our images. However, sometimes we want to make some specific selections. For example, I have other images on my memory card that I do not want to import. On this particular memory card, I have pictures from the couple’s engagement shoot and wedding; however, I only want to import the engagement pictures. To make specific selections from your memory card, we need to go back into the full view of the Import Dialogue Box. We can do this by clicking on the arrow once again.

First, organize your images by going down to the bottom right to “Sort.” Then select “Capture Time” from the dropdown menu, as shown below.

13_sort-by-capture-time

Once your images have been sorted by Capture Time, we can go to the top of the images because the engagement pictures were shot before the wedding. Then hit “Uncheck All,” which can be found at the bottom left, to deselect all of your images.

14_uncheck-all-images-import-dialogue-box

Next, select all of the engagement photos. We can do this by selecting the first image. Then hold down “Shift” as you scroll through, looking for the last image. When you have found the last image, click on it (make sure you are still holding down “Shift”). Then check the box at the top of the image. As you can see below, when you check one image, all images that you have selected will also be checked.

15_select-photos-in-import-dialogue-box

Copying and Backing Up Images

Now that we have selected the images we want to import, we want to copy our images from the memory card. Whenever we import from a memory card, we always choose “Copy” because we do not want to remove our photos from the memory card until those images have been backed up and verified. After we create a full catalog, we always back up our images to a second source. Then, we verify every single image on each card. Once each card is verified and everything is backed up, then we will delete the images from the memory card. To select “Copy,” go to the top of the Import Dialogue Box and click on “Copy.”

16_copy-images-from-import-dialogue-box

Next, go to the Destination Panel, located on the right side of the Import Dialogue Box. Here, we are going to select our “Working Catalog” for our images. These images will automatically be dropped into our “00_Originals” folder.

17_destination-panel-import-originals

Now, simply hit “Import,” which is located at the bottom, to import your images. All of your images in your catalog will have the develop settings applied from the develop preset as well as the copyright information from the metadata preset.

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Conclusion & Learn More!

Once again, it is best to first read our tutorials about creating a standard import develop preset and a standard import metadata preset before creating a standard import preset as our standard import preset includes both our develop and metadata presets. Now that you have a generic import preset created, you can apply this preset to any one of your images. Always make sure to back up your images to a second source to avoid losing your work.

To learn more about the SLR Lounge Workflow System Workshop on DVD or to purchase it, click on this link.

To purchase the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which includes A-Z Tutorials, the Preset System, and Workflow DVD, click here.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting

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