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Importing Photos by Copy in Lightroom

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A number of convenient features are available in Lightroom when you import pictures by copying. Martin Evening points out the options that are particularly helpful.
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Images are imported in two ways in Lightroom:

  • By copying from a device or folder
  • By referring to a source file

In this article, we’ll look at the options available when you import by copying.

Import Options

Figure 1 shows the Import Photos dialog box that appears when you’re importing images from a camera card. There are two file-handling options:

  • Copy Photos to a New Location and Import. This option duplicates all the images on the memory card and stores them in the designated Copy To folder and subfolder.
  • Copy Photos as Digital Negative (DNG) and Import. This option copies the files from the card and at the same time converts them to the DNG file format. This option offers more peace of mind, because the DNG file format is widely regarded as a more versatile and therefore more appropriate file format for the long-term archival storage of raw camera files.
Figure 1

Figure 1 The Import Photos dialog appears when Lightroom is importing images from a camera card.

When camera files are copied to the designated Lightroom Photos folder and backed up to a secondary hard drive, the Backup To option in this dialog becomes extremely useful. You never know when a hard disk failure might occur. If you copy the original camera files to two separate hard drives at the import stage, the chances of losing all your camera files due to disk failure or human error will be greatly diminished.

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