Maintaining Camera Folders on Download


Today’s Question: Is there some setting in Lightroom Classic that needs to be on in order to download folders of focus-stacked images? When I downloaded photos from a memory card that included a mixture of single images and focus-stacked bursts into Lightroom Classic, the folders that my camera had put each focus-stacked burst into were overlooked. Is there some simpler route I am overlooking?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can preserve the folders created by your camera when importing photos into Lightroom Classic by using the “By original folders” option in the Destination section of the right panel in the Import dialog.

More Detail: Many cameras will create various folders containing the photos you have captured. For example, some cameras will group photos into folders in groups of 100 or 1,000 captures. As noted in today’s question, some cameras will also use folders to separate bursts of photos, such as those used for focus stacking.

When importing photos into Lightroom Classic, by default all photos from all folders on a media card will be downloaded into a single folder. In many cases this might be exactly what you want. But in some cases, such as with the focus-stacking example, you may very much want to preserve the folders created by the camera.

To do so, specify the destination for the photos you’re downloading in the normal way within the Import dialog. However, be sure to select the “By original folders” option if you want to retain the folder structure from the camera when downloading your photos as part of this process.

For example, if you captured these photos during a photo trip to a specific destination, you might be downloading the captures into a folder named based on the trip. But by using the “By original folders” option, subfolders will be created based on the folders present on the media card as they were created by the camera.