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Lightroom importing photos tip.

Hi There,

I just wanted to write a quick message mainly to help me remember and hopefully it might help you.

If you ever wonder why your photos don’t look like they do on the back of your camera when you import them into Lightroom the following may help you alleviate some of the problems.

When you import photos into Lightroom it appears that nothing is really done. You just view the photos as they came out of the camera once they have finished being imported. Is this really the case though?

If you don’t know, when you make any adjustment to a photo a small +/- symbol appears in the bottom right hand corner of the photos thumbnail in grid view of the library module. This would imply that if there is no +/- on the thumbnail nothing has been done to the photo. However changes have already been made. In this way I feel that Lightroom can be a little misleading.

If you pick a photo and open the develop module at the very top there is an option named “Profile” and by default it is set to Adobe Colour. In older versions of Lightroom this option can be found in the calibration drop down menu. There maybe some cameras that shoot in the Adobe colour profile but I am not aware of them and my camera does not. If you prefer a profile that is built into the camera you should select it from the dropped menu. I am pretty sure Adobe has simulated profiles for most of the major brands of camera, especially the newer models. There are some older models of camera that have no profiles so you are stuck with the Adobe stock profiles. This is first thing that has been changed.

The second area to look at is the detail tab which is the 5th tab down by default. If you open it on any newly imported photo by default Lightroom applies a considerable amount of sharpening and colour noise reduction to the entire photo. As far as I am aware this setting is always the same regardless of model/brand of camera or the quality of the equipment. Sensors, lenses and everything else are not created equal (some gear is better than others) so I am not sure why these universal settings are being applied automatically.

To get around this problem you can create a preset that can be applied during the import process. I pick the profile I like and the amount of sharpening I like and remove the colour noise reduction. I also turn on Remove Chromatic Aberration in the Lens Correction tab (6th tab down by default). These are the only settings I change and then on the left hand side of the Develop module I click the + symbol on the preset drop down menu to save it as a preset.

Once the preset has been saved the next time you import some photos you can pick the preset you want to apply on the right hand side of the import menu under Apply During Import. The only caveat to this is the fact that once the photos have been imported they will all have a +/- symbol on them. Which is a little counter intuitive because you are actually removing settings. This applies even if you just remove all the changes Lightroom made. The photos will still display the +/- symbol.

Either way this helped me get my photos back to being much closer to the way they looked on the back of the camera. I believe this is a much better starting point to move forward from and it saved me a huge amount of time. I hope it helps you as well if you are using Lightoom.

Thanks for reading

Mark