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Adobe Lightroom Classic

Creating new catalog and importing photos

Product:  Adobe Lightroom Classic  |   Subject: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic

In this exercise, we will learn about creating a new catalog and importing photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic. 

In this section, I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about how you can create a new catalog. If you open Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for the first time, it'll create a default catalog called Lightroom catalog. But if you've already had a series of different catalogs, Lightroom will open up into the most recent catalog. In my case, it opens up into the master catalog. So what will you do if you want to create a new catalog? Well, it's straightforward. All you have to do is: 

  1. Go to file and, 
  2. Then the new catalog


In this case, all of my catalogs are in the D drive under the Lightroom catalog. I created the catalogs based on the year. And then, of course, a few other ones.

Now what I want to do is just create a catalog called New minimal. Let me explain this more. This is because I want to create a catalog called New. It's called New minimal. But the minimal is just for my own information to let myself know that I created this catalog with the minimal previews. Let's go ahead and create that. Once again, this catalog is going to be created under the D Lightroom catalogs folder. It's going to be called New minimal. You can, of course, create this wherever you want. I would highly recommend that you create it in a portable hard drive or a primary hard drive dedicated to storing all of your media files. Let's go ahead and create that. 

So when it creates a new catalog, and in my case, what it's doing is it's choosing to close the previous catalog. It is telling me it's asking me actually whether or not I want to back up the catalog. So let me go ahead and skip it for this time, and then I'll explain the backup process to you in another lecture.

So it's just opening the new catalog, new minimal catalog.

Once it's open, you can see that it's going to open up with nothing right in the middle. Do you remember what I told you about all of the areas that we worked within Lightroom? The middle area is the primary area that we work with. In this case, it's going to be under the library module. It's telling us right away that there are no photos here in this catalog. So what we need to do is click the Import button to begin,

the Import button is found on the left panel near the bottom here. 

If you click on that, it'll go ahead and ask you where you want to import your photos from. 

Another way that you can import photos is to: 

  1. Go into the File menu and
  2. Choose to import photos and video. 
  3. Or you can use the Ctrl + Shift + I shortcut. 

But let's go ahead and just click on the Import button. When you click on the Import button, a new dialog opens up. And it has a few bits of information here that you might be interested in. Once again, it also has a few panels. It's a panel to the left. There's a panel to the right. Then there's just a small bit of information up. So, for now, let's just concern ourselves with just adding photos to the existing catalog. 

Then we're going to use the left-hand menu, and we're going to navigate and find our photos. In my case, all of my photos currently are stored in the pictures folder, under my user Documents folder, and the images section. So these are photos, and right away, Lightroom has checked all of the photos here, and it's automatically selected all of them for me. Now I can uncheck all of them and choose to import individual ones, all I have to do is click on the checkmark here to say that these are the photos that I want to import into the catalog. Alternatively, I can quickly check all, and it'll ensure that all of these photos found in this folder here are going to be added to the catalog. 

Now there are a few other things that I want to point out where it says build previews. Do you remember what I called this catalog? New-minimal? The reason I did this was I wanted to make sure that I build it with minimal previews. Now, these previews are just the size of the actual image themselves. When it comes to the previews, the standard previews are standard for the view that you get in the middle of the screen and one-to-one previews or the previews that are one to one. 

So if your photo is 3000 pixels by 2000, the rendered preview will be 3000 pixels by 2000 pixels. This makes a difference when you have a large number of raw files because one-to-one previews will take a long time to render, depending on how fast your processor is. So you can usually work with standard previews or minimal previews. Now, the the bigger the previews are, the longer it's going to take to render and the more hard drive space it will take to render. 

One of the things that I like to do, especially as I mentioned before when I work with large photoshoots and stuff like that, is if I work on a wedding, for example, and I have three or 4000 photos in my ingest process, I will click on the one to one previews. Let Photoshop Lightroom take care of all of the things that it needs to. That is to say, add the photos to the catalog. Then it will create all one-to-one previews. That will enable me to smoothly go back and forth my develop modules to double-check each of the photos at their highest zoom level to see any imperfections very quickly. 

The minimal previews are the smallest size previews. The standard previews are the standard size previews, and the one-to-one previews are the one-to-one previews. Every time you zoom in on an image in the develop or the library, what you're doing is you're going to cause Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to render a standard or one-to-one preview if it doesn't already have it. So when I go ahead and choose to create a one-to-one preview in my ingest process, I've already taken care of the hard bits that I can work with images right away. And once again, this takes time. So if you have 3000 photos or 4000 photos that you are ingesting, it will take a long time for Adobe Photoshop, depending, of course, on your processor's speed and the speed of your computer render all those previews. So let's go ahead and choose minimal.

We will leave all of the options as it is, and then we'll choose to import it. You can see how quickly it'll add the button and the images. You can see it just imported all the files at their current locations. And it's going to ask you whether or not you want to enable GPS lookup. I'm going to enable it. 

For now, this is a per catalog setting that you can choose to enable or disable. Once you choose to enable it, it'll tell you where you need to go. And just under here, you can open it up and address lookup. You can choose to pause it or choose to enable it. You can use another option, which is the face detection, and that is for people. 

But right now, it's paused. It's not even started. So we're not going to worry about that for now. So that's how you import your photos into the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom catalog. You can see that in our last import, we imported 82 photos, and it was done very quickly. All of these photos are in the library, and they're all at very minimal previews. If you hover over each of the photos, it'll give you a little bit of information about each of the photos, including file size, the file name, and the file dimensions as among a few others. Now, this is the catalog that you can work with if you don't already have a catalog, but I highly recommend that you work with photos that have meaning and value to you so that you'll get into the whole process of working with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. 

Once again, to recap, you can create a new catalog by going to the file, then a new catalog. It will ask you where you want to save the catalog. It will open up a blank library screen, and it'll tell you to import the photos. Those photos can be imported by clicking on the button on the import on the left panel. Or you can go to the File menu and choose to import photos and videos. In this view, we're only working with just photos. We're not going to do any videos too much. Because videos are, I think, for me, a different kind of process. But Lightroom, Of course, handles videos as well. So I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions about how to import photos or video into your Lightroom catalog, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Importing Additional Photos Into A Lightroom Catalog 

In this section, I want to take a few minutes to show you how to add more photos to the catalog from an existing folder on your hard drive. So what may have happened is that you transferred a few photos into this folder from your hard drive from one media card. Then you already imported that into your Adobe Photoshop Lightroom catalog. Then you found another media card with some extra photos that you just added to the same folder. 

What you want to do is add all the photos to your Lightroom catalog without getting any duplicates. So what do you do? Well, in this case, I've already added the photos to the existing folder on the file system. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and import them into the same catalog. You will notice that in the previous import, we imported 82 different photos. Since we've added a few new photos, this number is going to increase. Let's go ahead and import those photos and see what those numbers will be like. So go ahead and import photos into your catalog. You can do that from the File menu. This is going to open up the import photos dialog again. In the previous import, I imported from this folder, and that's in my C drive. You'll see that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom knows which of the photos have been previously imported. All the new ones are the ones that are going to have the checkmarks. 


These are the ones that are going to stand out. In the file folder listing, you'll see a few extra photos that I've added that will now be imported into the Lightroom catalog. But what I'm going to do is I'm going to keep the minimal previews still.

Then I'm going to go ahead and click on the Import button. 

You will see that it's going to import files at the current location. It's been added to the existing library. So what it did was it imported currently 18 new photos taking our total photos to 100 different photos in this catalog. 

We will go ahead and view the photos and do a few more adjustments to them from here. That'll be over the next sections in the following lecture. I hope this has been helpful. This is about letting you know that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is intelligent when it comes to exporting suspected duplicates of existing photos in your photo library. If you do have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.



  1. Section Wrap Up


In this section, I want to take a few minutes to wrap up all of the things we've learned in this section. Now, this section concerned itself primarily with Lightroom UI, just a basic overview of some of the modules and what is available. The most significant part of this section was working with that ingest process. That is to say, we added all the photos into our catalog, we created new catalogs, we understood the difference between the previews in terms of CPU processing power, in terms of time, in terms of hard drive space, and a few other things. Now, this is the bulk of the ingest process. 

A few things that I didn't cover were the process of how to import stuff from a media card. That's because I prefer to move all of my images from the media card to the hard drive, as I showed you before, in all of that file system on the year, month day format, and I move it there, and I leave it there on my hard drive. I know that I've already set up my backup processes to take care of the things that are on the hard drive. I know that I will rest easier knowing that all my data is backed up. That's why I don't work with the media cards because I don't like to copy files to a different location or move files to a different location.  

I like to move all of my files from my media cards onto the hard drive. Then I open up Lightroom, and then I tell Lightroom where to find the photos and create a new catalog or add to an existing catalog. That's how I work. Now, this is just my workflow. And I found it has been very helpful for me. If you're not comfortable with this workflow, please don't hesitate to reach out. Perhaps ask if you'd like me to make another lecture about importing from the media card or some other way so that you can get your photos onto the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom catalog, wherever that may be. Just as a wrap-up, this was mainly the ingest process of all the photos that we've taken from our hard drives and from our media cards. We've put it together in one place, and we've added it to an Adobe Photoshop Lightroom catalog. We're just about to begin the digest process, which is involved. This is where you're going to spend the bulk of your time. That's what we're going to be looking at in the next few sections. That is working with the digest process of all the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom modules, such as the develop module, working with the presets, and a few other things. So I hope you are excited to dive into the learning.