Open Image Capture

I do a lot of photo importing from a memory card reader and I love to automate as much as I can about my photo process. Assuming you’re using Snow Leopard, here are the steps to take to have Lightroom open and import the photos from your card and save yourself a few steps:

  1. Open Image Capture with a memory card already loaded as a disc/plugged into your card reader (see image below). Where do you find Image Capture? Go to Applications > Image Capture.app
    Open Image Capture
  2. Click on the memory card name – in the case above “EOS_DIGITAL” – to make the memory card the active device.
  3. In the drop down directly below the Devices list there is a section that allows you to select what application should be opened when the “camera” is connected (see image below). If the dropdown menu isn’t displayed, click the little arrow in the very bottom left corner to reveal it.Connecting this camera opens:
  4. Change the dropdown menu by clicking on it and choosing “other” unless you prefer to use one of the applications already listed. If so, select one of them and you’re all set. If you prefer an application not in this list – like Lightroom -once you click “Other” it will open a browse/Finder window. Go to Applications > Adobe Lightroom (version number).app. Click on Adobe Lightroom (version number).app to highlight/select it and click the Choose button. Your device panel will look like the one below when you’ve selected correctly.
    Adobe Lightroom selected
  5. Now moving to Lightroom, open the program and select Lightroom > Preferences. In the Import Options section of the General panel, check the box titled “Show import dialog when a memory card is detected.” (See below)Import options for Lightroom
  6. That’s it. You still need to click the Import buttons and that sort of thing but this now cuts your import process down to keywording, pruning the images you actually want to import and just clicking the button.

Image Capture is also where you go to stop programs from automatically trying to import photos from your camera, iPhone, memory cards. Instead of selecting Lightroom or another program in the dropdown menu in step 4, select “none” and no programs will open to load your images. You’ll need to do this separately for each device that launches Image Capture.

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