I use Adobe Lightroom. I import photos daily from the camera, carefully go through the large number of photos and delete (from the PC) the ones I don't like. However, the next time I import from the camera, the photos I deleted gets copied again and it's a frustration. How to prevent this? Adobe Bridge and Picasa also fail in this regard. Any better way to import?

PS: I'm not willing to format the SD card.

  • Are you leaving the photos on the camera's memory card? Why not reformat it after the photos are safely imported? – mattdm May 12 '14 at 12:07
  • Many a times, I just have the camera with me outdoors and friends ask to show some of the clicks. I don't want to format the card. – kBisla May 12 '14 at 12:10
  • What happens when you fill the card up, do you have to stop taking pictures or do you format it? – laurencemadill May 12 '14 at 12:18
  • I definitely format it once it fills up. I just want to have some pics on camera all the time. 32 gig is enough for a month's worth of pics for me. – kBisla May 12 '14 at 12:24
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    Backup and format. It's the only sensible way. – BBking May 12 '14 at 14:26

Noticed the same issue, here's what I do: At the lightroom import screen, sort by date then click uncheck all. Now scroll to the first image in the current import and click on the image. Scroll to the last image in the current import and Shift-Click on the image. This will select all the images in between. Check the import check box on one image, this will select all others. Import.

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I think you have three options here, given your desired workflow:

A. Before importing, delete the images you don't want to keep from the card, either in-camera or via a photo viewer on your computer. This makes me a little bit squeamish, not because this is likely to cause bugs or make the card go bad but because there's a lot of room for human error and you might delete something you didn't want. But, having done this, you then only import the photos you want.


B. Don't delete the unwanted images. Use the selection features in Lightroom to highlight the ones you want to keep and hide the unwanted ones. This uses more disk space, obviously, but, eh, disks are fairly cheap these days. You can even move the low-rated photos to a cheap external drive.

But I think overall, I think the best option is to find a different way to present your photos to your friends in the field. You could start accumulating them on a separate card, and swap that in if asked. Or, you could put them on your phone, which probably has a better, bigger screen and nicer photo viewing options anyway. The particularly nice thing is that then your friends are seeing your finished work, rather than just going through a huge number of unsorted snaps. That's probably nicer for everyone!

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  • Option A is scary! :) – kBisla May 12 '14 at 12:41

I just manually copy the new files from the sd card to my hard drive, and then do my import....

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  • That's not a bad suggestion at all. It means keeping track of where you left off yourself rather than letting the computer do it, but that's the price one pays sometimes. :) – mattdm May 12 '14 at 20:51

Yes, there is a better way: after you imported your files, format the SD card. This way you will only import any picture only one time. And also, if you use the SD card filesystem from a computer, it may leave it in an improper state, so it is better to format your card. It is not a full format, just a quick format, so it does not affect the lifetime of the card considerably.

Edit: Don't use your SD card as your fail safe backup, because you are up to big surprises. Keep backups offline, away from the camera, away from file I/O. Buy a separate card, an external hard drive or save them in the cloud, but using the SD card as a backup is a very bad idea, as many has already learnt from experience...

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    See comment on the ques. I don't want to format the card. I agree about the backup elsewhere but still I don't want to delete all pics from card. Maybe just the ones I chose to delete from the PC. – kBisla May 12 '14 at 12:12
  • Lightroom does not have a facility to keep track of your deleted photos. So as soon as you delete them, it will consider the photos on your card as "new", and will import them no matter what you do. There is no way to flag a photo by attributes to be ignored in future imports. If you want to go that way, maybe you should create a small script, keep a small database (e.g. Derby SQL), and do the import yourself to a directory, and only sync that afterwards in Lightroom. – TFuto May 12 '14 at 12:14
  • But I expect a facility to import only photos taken after a date I specify. I can always do things manually (copy new photos to a directory and ask Lightroom to move to appropriate locations). – kBisla May 12 '14 at 12:19

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