LIGHTROOM: Please Add the Ability to Import Photos "As a Project"

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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This request is two part: "import as Project" and the ability to use relative file paths while exporting.

Import as Project: Many Light room users have implemented a multi-folder approach to importing/processing/exporting their photos. We have a root images folder (i.e. C:\Lightroom or c:\images), a project/shoot level folder (i.e. "2014-08-01 Project Name") and organizational folders (i.e. "Raw," "Working," "Output," ...). A very good example is on at My structure looks like:
C:\Lightroom Managed
20140801 Project

Currently I have a folder called "Template" that has all of the organizational folders already created and my workflow is:
1. copy template dir and rename
2. copy files from CF card to new project dir
3. import with "Add" function
4. perform rating, select pics, add metadata
5. export selects to "Working"
6. sync project level folder to add "working" files to catalog
6. perform corrections/round-trip to external software...
While the file maintenance part is relatively quick, automating it would save minutes here and there. Those minutes add up to hours and days over time...

What would be really nice is the ability to:
1. define a base folder for import (i.e. c:\lightroom managed\2014) and have that auto populate for every import until changed
2. input the project name (i.e. "20140801 Project")
3. have a predefined set of organizational dirs (i.e. Raw, Working, Output). These would be user definable in the application preferences. User would also define default import file location (i.e. Raw).
4. Have all directories created on import:
c:\lightroom managed\2014\20140801 Project
c:\lightroom managed\2014\20140801 Project\User Defined Folder A
c:\lightroom managed\2014\20140801 Project\User Defined Folder B
c:\lightroom managed\2014\20140801 Project\User Defined Folder C
5. Have import be as simple as select method (i.e. copy, copy as DNG, ...) select photos to import, type in project name, select import presets and hit "GO." All dirs created, files copied to default imprort dir, start selects... This combines steps 1-3 above.

Relative file paths on export: This simplifies a step in the workflow above... Having the ability to specify relative file path (i.e. "../Working/") in an export preset would save a few clicks and make the above workflow easier. A preset could be created called "Export to Working" with the ../Working/ directory predefined and the export would know that if a file was in c:\lightroom managed\2014\20140801 Project\Raw it should be exported to c:\lightroom managed\2014\20140801 Project\Working. It saves a few clicks and that adds up over time...

I know that was a long winded explanation - Aaron Nace does a far better job explaining it in the video on ( I have some thoughts on the interface too if that would be helpful.
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Carl O'Day

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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

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When you export selects to "Working" folder, what format are you using (e.g. "original", "tiff", "jpeg"..).

I think the general "Lightroom-esque" answer to your question (solution to your problem) is:
1. Use metadata (or collections) instead of folders for defining cross-sections of images to "work on", or that have been "output" etc.
2. Well, you won't need this if you do #1 above.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for people being able to do what they want to do, how they want to do it.., but if you want to automate/streamline your way of doing things before Adobe comes through for you, you may need a plugin or two..