Import Source


Today’s Question: After a shoot I download my images to the Desktop of my Mac and then rename that folder (just temporarily as it will be deleted shortly). I cull using Photo Mechanic and then open Lightroom CC so I can import these images. When I click Import, under source I see all drives hooked up to my Mac. I then have to navigate through various folders to get to the folder on my desktop. Is there a way to make the Desktop the default source I see when I press the import button to avoid the extra work?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There are two options that will help you work more efficiently here. The first is to create an Import preset, though this won’t solve the issue for all circumstances. The second is to use a quick shortcut in the Import dialog to navigate to the Desktop (or any recently used source).

More Detail: The challenge with creating an Import preset for this purpose is that it won’t always work. If there is a removable drive containing photos connected to the computer (which could even be a smartphone connected to the computer), the Import will always default to that source of photos for import.

In any event, if you don’t generally have a removable drive with photos connected to your computer, an Import preset can be a big help here. Start by going to the Import dialog and configuring all of the settings as desired, such as to set the source location to the Desktop folder.

Then click the popup at the bottom of the Import dialog, just to the right of center. Choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset” from this popup. In the dialog that appears you can then name the new preset and save it.

This preset will remain selected for future import operations, as long as you don’t change to a different preset at a later date. That means, for example, that the Desktop folder will be the default source of your import, but again if a removable drive with photos is connected, that will become the source instead of the Desktop.

However, there is also a quick shortcut for navigating to the Desktop for the source location. At the top-left of the Import dialog is the “Select a source” header. Many photographers mistake this as simply being a header label, but it is actually a popup. You can click on this popup and choose among a variety of common sources for importing images (such as the Desktop or the Pictures folder). In addition, there will be a list of recently used source locations. So by clicking this folder, you could (for example), choose the Desktop option to quickly navigate to the desktop.

Taking that a step further, if you always use the same folder name for the “temporary” folder you’re using for culling images before importing into Lightroom, that folder name would be listed on the “recent” list under “Select a source”, so you could always choose that same folder location as the source of import.