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Lightroom Import Presets Explained

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As we discussed in a previous article in this Lightroom presets series, presets in Adobe Lightroom are there to help in automation and simplification of processes of editing photos. This is an ability to save multiple settings ready for future use by using a single click. Often overlooked and overshadowed by the develop presets, Import Presets in Adobe Lightroom are very important to professional photographers because they allow a better organization, sorting, and pre-editing adjustment making of an image. 

Lightroom Import Module

This is the first module that pops up when you start Lightroom up. Its primary function is to let you browse for images, select the ones you want and then import the images into your Lightroom’s database or catalog. It can be very confusing and complicated at first, why you need to think about presets already. However, in a nutshell, these are the three presets you could find useful.

  1. Metadata presets
  2. File Renaming presets
  3. Import presets

Metadata Presets

Lightroom metadata presets
By clicking on “edit preset” you will gain access to creating a metadata form that can be stored as a preset

First of all, what is metadata in photography? Metadata is data embedded in a photo with information that contains rights and technical data. It creates a possibility to have information within the image file so that anyone that access it. Be it software or human, can understand. 

There are three types of data:

Administrative – creation date, location, job identifiers

Descriptive – information about what is in the image, persons, captions, headlines, like football players, or a location of a car crash, for instance. 

Rights – who created the image, copyright, credits, and all of the legal information

Camera info, IPTC content, copyright, the creator, can be filled out in a lightroom form. And this can be filled out in the “edit metadata preset” form, and later used as a single click. All of this is serving a dual purpose, the first one is theft protection, because data is stored inside of an image, and can be reviewed and used as proof that it is your image. The second purpose is documentary and filling. When you have your photos neatly organized and stored, you can quickly and effectively search your database of thousands of images, to find the one you are looking for. 

Metadata being filled for creating a metadata preset

Pre-applied Develop Presets

This confusing subheading hides the ability for you to apply to develop presets while importing new photos into the develop module. Right above the Metadata entry menu, there is another menu that says, “Develop settings.” This is where you get your presets loaded, that you would typically use in develop module. This is yet another streamline feature that allows you to shorten your importing and editing of photos. 

Pre-applied develop presets in Lightroom
Develop preset being used on import, here can be seen in the “develop settings” under the name “kodak kodachrome”
note: metadata preset used also, under the name “Ivan Dinić”

File Renaming Preset

file renaming presets in Lightroom
File renaming preset actuation, template used – Custom text + numbering with default extensions

Photo renaming is an option in the Import dialogue of Lightroom. You can choose if you want to do it, but professionals usually rename their photos for filing purposes. Because, in thousands of pictures, it is easy to lose track of where did you put what. It is obvious why, when you look at how cameras generically name files, where you can’t monitor what photo was from when, and where that simple.

File renaming preset allows you to create such a renaming procedure, that will enable you to rename hundreds of photos with logical, for you easily recognizable file names. You create this preset once, and that is it, next time, you click on the custom preset, and all of the photos will be renamed during import, for your easier tracking. 

Import Preset

Import preset being used can be seen in the bottom of the import dialog, under the name “Ivan Work”, that includes renaming preset, develop preset (kodak kodachrome) and metadata preset (Ivan Dinic)

This option is the pinnacle of the automated import process. All of the settings that you can input in the import dialog can be saved, named, and later used as an import preset, which you can use by a single click. This way, you can integrate multiple presets into an import preset, making it a unique pack, significantly streamlining the whole process. So after you define all of the parameters, your source of photographs, how you want them imported, be it, dng, copy, move, add, you determine where you want them.

After that, think about renaming photos, so you know just by their names when and what has happened, and add metadata to the images, so you see for yourself, and everyone else whose photos are those.

Finally, click on the “save current settings a new preset” and voila! You have a one-stop-shop for import presets.

Concluding words

In this article, we talked about the import dialogue, and what kinds of presets can be used in it, and incorporated into one big import preset for future use. Stay tuned to Photography-Raw to find out more about different types of presets in this series. 

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