Workflow Step One: Importing Your Images
Once I get back from my trip (or if I have enough time while I’m on the trip), I import the images into Lightroom. By the way, of course, I’ll always be importing to an external hard drive, whether I’m home or on the road (where I carry a lightweight WD Elements 2-terabyte external drive. Why this one? I liked that, since it was so light and small, it wouldn’t take up a bunch of room in my bag, but more importantly, it was on sale for around $70).
When I’m ready to import the images from my shoot into Lightroom, I plug my memory card reader into my computer and it brings up Lightroom’s Import window (seen here). At the top, from left to right, you can see I’m importing from my memory card, then at the top center, I click on Copy (so I’m making a copy of the images on the memory card), and on the far right, it shows where I’m copying them to (Scott’s External Hard Drive). If I see a shot where it’s so messed up I can actually see it’s messed up in the thumbnail (like one that’s terribly out of focus), I turn off the checkbox for that thumbnail, since I would just wind up deleting it later anyway.
Over in the right side Panels area, under File Handling, I choose Minimal (the fast-loading thumbnail option) because I want to see my images in the Library module quickly. Next, I never want to import duplicates, so I always leave that checkbox turned on. I also pick a simple, descriptive name for the files (like “Dolomites,” in this case), in the File naming section, and then I have Lightroom sequentially number them, starting with “-1.” Lastly, in the Apply During Import section, from the Metadata pop-up menu, I apply my copyright metadata information to each photo as it’s imported (see Chapter 3 for how to create a copyright template). It’s a pretty simple and straightforward importing process. Now, I just hit the Import button and we’re off and running!