Browsing Previous Import

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Today’s Question: You recently referred to the option in Lightroom Classic to turn off the setting that causes Lightroom to automatically browse the set of photos from the last import instead of the current folder. Do you recommend having that setting turned off or on?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I prefer to have the option to browse the most recently import photos turned on in the (perhaps overly optimistic) hope that it will help ensure I review all photos promptly after import, in order to identify my favorites (versus outtakes) from each day’s photography.

More Detail: As I mentioned in a recent edition of the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter, by default when you import photos into Lightroom Classic it will automatically switch you to the “Previous Import” collection (or the “Current Import” while the import operation is still in progress). You can turn this option off on the General tab of the Preferences dialog if you prefer.

I like to have this option enabled, so that I am able to automatically browse only the photos I’ve just imported, each time I perform an import operation. The idea is that this setting will help increase the chances that I will stay organized and up-to-date by reviewing each batch of photos as soon as they are imported.

Ideally, my workflow involves importing photos, and then immediately reviewing those latest photos to identify favorites and outtakes. If I’m able to keep up with this workflow, it means I am easily able to browse the photos I’ve not yet reviewed, and I’ll ensure that by the end of a photo trip I’ve reviewed all photos captured along the way.

Of course, sometimes I import more than one batch of photos in a single sitting. And in other cases I might not have enough time (or energy) to review all of the photos I’ve just imported, before it is time to import more photos. But I do find that having Lightroom switch to browse the photos that were just imported helps ensure I am more consistent about reviewing photos promptly after importing them.

Other photographers find it a bit distracting to have Lightroom switch them from viewing a given folder to viewing the most recently imported photos. They may be browsing photos in the same folder they are importing into, for example, and want to continue browsing those existing photos along with the new captures as they are imported. In that case, you can most certainly turn off the “Select the ‘Current/Previous Import’ collection during import” checkbox on the General tab of the Preferences dialog in Lightroom Classic.