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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Organization Will Set You Free!

Basic organization techniques to help you find, sort and catalog your images

This Article Features Photo Zoom

I create folders based on location and month, so I might have a folder that says "CA Humboldt Redwoods 0611." That would tell me these photos were from California from Humboldt Redwoods State Park shot in June 2011.

That works for me. You might create folders based on subject matter, such as birds, mammals, flowers, etc. Or maybe you might base them on months in a year. The important thing is to devise some sort of fundamental, simple structure.

If you've never done this before, you can set up folders and drag and drop your old images into them. Then you can have your software simply import the new set of folders using the hierarchy you set up. When you do this with Lightroom, you're only adding photos, not copying or moving. If your images are already in Lightroom, you also can set up these folders and drag and drop images from old folders into them.

Importing Photos
Lightroom has a simple importing interface. The location of the images you want to import is on the left, the location you'll be importing to is on the right, how you import them is on the top, and thumbnails of the actual images to import are in the middle. I've set up Lightroom to recognize when a memory card is inserted into my computer so the Import interface shows up when a card is recognized (Preferences > General). Otherwise, you can click Import at the bottom of the Library module.

Now that you have a structure set up, simply select Copy at the top of the Import interface if you're bringing in new photos to your computer from a memory card. When Lightroom recognizes a memory card, you'll see it listed on the left with its photos in the middle display. Available folders for the import are shown under Destination in the right panel. You may have to navigate through your drive to find the folder you want. This is another advantage of going to a specific folder on a separate drive: It's always easy to find.

If you need a new folder for your latest shoot, check Into Subfolder under Destination and type in the name for the folder. Be sure the parent folder is selected below so this new folder shows up there. It will first show up in italics. Use the rest of the right panel with the defaults. To rename photos, use the File Renaming section of the right panel.

Select Add at the top of the interface if you already have images on your hard drive that you want Lightroom to recognize. You simply select the parent or overriding folder on the left side, and you can leave the rest of the settings at their default.


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