Or, Lightroom Guy’s Completely Over Explained and Over Simplified Method of Importing Photos and Maintaining the Lightroom Library – Part 3

Even though the Image Preview Area seems pretty straight forward, there’s a lot going on and you can save time and dodge the frustrations of unintentionally importing duplicates into your library. This third part of the series shows more of my Lightroom importing methods that keep my students (professionals and amateurs alike) organized and frustration free. These two videos illustrate a few more ways to do that.

NOTE: Keep in mind that I am using the latest version of Lightroom, 5.5, recently renamed by Adobe to Lightroom CC. The features and behaviors of earlier versions of Lightroom may differ.

The first video is important enough that I’ve separated it from the Image Preview tutorial as a stand alone video. If you frequently add photos to your library from a memory card and then put that memory card back in your camera and shoot more photos, you may have experienced the problem of adding duplicate photos to your library. The “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox prevents this from happening. All too often, somehow, we don’t know who or what sneaks over, turns on our computer, opens Lightroom and unchecks this on us, but it happens. And when it does, we start importing the same images over and over again wondering, what’s going on?

Setting the “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox

There are many ways to skin a cat or, in this case, view an image in while in Lightroom’s Import dialog.

Using the Image Preview Area of the Lightroom Import Dialog

Here are a few things to remember when working in the Import Dialog:

1. It’s easy to forget you’re in the Import Dialog and not in the Lightroom Library where you can develop or mark photos with flags, colors or stars. You can’t!

2. If you just bought the latest and the greatest new digital camera, the manufacturer will likely have changed their camera raw formula to the latest and greatest proprietary camera raw which Adobe probably has not yet updated Lightroom to recognize. In this case you will see a “Preview Unavailable for this Image” in each frame where a preview should be.

Lightroom Raw Unavailable

Adobe will usually update their Adobe Camera Raw (also known as ACR) to recognize it in the next version of Lightroom. In the meantime, consider checking your camera manufacturer’s website for their software until Adobe catches up. It’s a real pain, but this is the way it works. The workaround is usually going to the Adobe site and downloading the latest Camera Raw Converter, a stand-alone program which they usually update first. You can find the latest Camera Raw Converter Here.

In the next episode of the Lightroom Library Mystery I will tackle the Big Kahuna, the Import Destination Panel and creating an organized library.