Adobe Heard You — The Old Import Workflow Is Coming Back!

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Three Cheers to Adobe, who announced via Tom Hogarty on the official Adobe Lightroom blog, Lightroom Journal, that they’ll be returning Lightroom to its previous Import workflow!

My hats off to them, because most companies these days would have just stuck to their guns and continued down the path they were headed, but instead they heard the voice of their existing customers and did the right thing (also, the last line of their announcement may hold even better news moving forward).

Here’s the link to Adobe’s announcement.

I applaud Tom for communicating directly with the community throughout this situation, and for taking real action on it. I haven’t heard a timeline on the next dot-release update and I know Adobe is still working on some lingering bugs, but at least we know help is on the way.

This is a great way to start the week!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. As someone who teaches Lightroom in live workshops all year long, I can tell you that the importing process is the #1 thing new users struggle with, so in the big picture, Adobe was doing something to address what that they know is a stumbling block for a lot of new users, and that’s a good thing. I actually have a theory about why they’re struggling, based on the old import dialog, and one that they could change that might actually fix the problem without a major redesign, but I want to run it by Adobe one-on-one first, because it’s one of those things that if I posted it here, I’d probably get a lot of rocks thrown at me unless I could show a full mock-up of it, so I’ll run it by them first and I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck. 

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at http://scottkelby.com

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  14. Yes, when will it be? Is it written in the stars?

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  15. Hello! Thank you so much for wishing to reverse the import dialog. The newer one might be fun for touch screen fanatics, but for serious photographers it is outright awful. Don t try to copy Microsoft, or Canonical keep touch interfaces and desktop interfaces separate no matter how tempting it is to merge the code base! By the way the best paper writing service that I saw: http://speedypaper.net/

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  16. It’s been awhile since the announcement. Is it too early to ask when it will return to the previous import?

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  17. Is there any way around in order to getting the MacMini (Mid 2012) with 16GB Ram, Core i7 processor and Intel HD 4000 graphics processor to function for Open GL & Cl, in of course Lightroom & Photoshop. I am quite frustrated Adobe does not want to support this graphics card ?

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  18. This is good news!

    I only wish adobe was as responsive to the user backlash when they essentially EOL’d Encore by not updating it for CC. The Adobe video group’s contorted explanations and work-arounds are in stark contrast to the Lightroom team response.

    As far as Lightroom advanced vs. novice, I believe Elements does fill that role…

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  19. This is good news. I only wish adobe was as responsive to the user backlash to essentially EOL Encore by not updating it for CC. The contorted explanations and work arounds are in stark contrast to the Lightroom team response.

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  20. With this debacle, Adobe as a company lost its credibility. Keeping or not the new UI.

    Poor communication with users. Such a drastic update should have come with warnings and tutorials. Professionals rely on it for a living.

    Poor quality control. Regardless if you like or dislike the UI, there were too many bugs. Not ready for primetime.

    No vision. If they thought the new UI was the right direction to take they should have stick with it. Bring back eject after import for example to show they listen to customers.

    No balls. A few hundreds comments with so many requesting Adobe to bring back features that were still there made them revert to the old interface. With this precedent, will they ever be able to modernize their interface? There will always be people that will not like any change they make.

    It looks to me that many comments are saying that I know how to use this outdated interface, new users should suck it up. It took me 15 minutes to be able to be up and running with the new interface. Find were the renaming, presets, metadata panels were. Are they really power users, the ones asking to bring back the import duplicates function? They should read Scotts’ LR book. As all tutorials on LR, Scott included, they tell you to check the box “do not import duplicates”. One image with edits can live in several collections (portfolio, landscape, travel for ex.). You need different versions of an image (color, B&W), thats what virtual copies are for. The only argument I saw about why we need to be able to import duplicates is from Laura Shoe, a LR instructor. She says:
    – The ability to import duplicates. Generally we may not want to import duplicate files, but it can be useful if you want to clean up the duplicates on your hard drive. (We used to be able to import them, and then sort through them with the Duplicate Finder plugin).
    If I understand it correctly, you should be able to import duplicates so that you can run a plugin to get rid of them. Really!?! Bring it back then.

    Many Aperture users are waiting on the sideline for a replacement. Many tried LR and hate the interface. I moved from Aperture to LR and hated it too. I got used to it. No choice, Aperture is not the future. Adobe as a company is looking to expand its customers base. Not keeping it as a private club. The more users the better.

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  21. Now watch, they’ll only put the old importer back into the CE version 🙂

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  22. In other news Microsoft put the Start button back. 🙂

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  23. Yes, Adobe/Hogarty finally, after unprecedented pressure came around is at least attempting to do the right thing. But … I think it is important to point out, that pathway was not their first inclination … Mr. Mangalick said in the initial response to all the kerfuffle was, “Keeping the existing Import experience isn’t an option,” … It is these first decisions I take exception to.

    This is just one more chapter in a growing list of troublesome decisions made by Adobe in recent years. If you recall, a few years back Adobe made the decision to force users to upgrade EVERY cycle until your letter supported by hundreds of users forced them to rethink the policy, at least for the short term.

    Then, the CC only subscription model for former CS maps was a $20 per month deal until they took the time to “listen” … then and only then, did they come up with the Photography plan for $9.99 a month.

    This all point out that this making the decisions are doing so without a true understanding of their customers in particular and the market in general.It seems the initial gut feeling by those in charge at Adobe, the executives, managers and team leaders keep missing the mark. Yes, humans make mistakes, but does all this backtracking and changing up after the fact offer anyone from the end user to the stockholder anything worthwhile. The cost of of such errors has to have a measurable negative impact on their bottom line. Thus there is less to share with the shareholder which was the impetus for all these decisions in the first place.

    I’m sure Mr. Hogarty and everyone involved are ‘good people’ with ‘good intentions’ … but it takes more than good folks with good intentions to get the job done. The current track record is not a confidence builder for anyone willing to pay attention to the details.

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  24. There’s one import feature that I’d like to see.

    I’d like the ability on import to tell LR not to detect faces for the images on the current import only. For example, when I shoot sports I end up with all kinds of face suggestions in the crowd (such as HS basketball where lots of faces are visible in the background). I then tag the actual players but it can take a lot of time to remove the tags for faces I don’t care about that are in the background. Or beyond an option on import, maybe a way to select a group of pictures and tell it to remove all face suggestions in the selected files? Something with more of a group option as opposed to removing on box at a time.

    If there’s an existing option to do something like this that I’ve missed, someone point it out to me! 🙂

    Scott

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  25. We need to be able to filter on import by:

    1. File Type.
    Mostly to import only raw or jpg, but I can see scenarios where you may want to only import psd, tiff, etc. If you are going to only edit your raw files why ask Lightroom to catelog and build previews for your small jpgs if you are not going to use them.

    2. Allow filter by date.
    This covers several common scenarios.
    A. I forgot to format my card and have a previous session on the card, which I do not want to import or have already imported.
    B. I may have multiple sessions on a single card on different dates and want to bring them into separate folders.

    It is better to get files into the correct folders as early as possible in the workflow. Also better to filter out what is not needed and reduce the load o Lightroom.

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    • There is a setting where if there is a RAW and JPG in the same folder with the same name it just imports the RAW.

      It is much easier and more intuitive to just import the whole card. If you want to separate them it is just as easy to do it after you import then to do the import more than once. Also Lightroom by default doesn’t import duplicates.

      Remember the whole reason they made this change was because people thought the import process wasn’t intuitive and not easily grasped my a new user.

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      • It’s not easier or more intuitive to sort and separate image files after import, if you are on a strict deadline and don’t have the luxury of the time it takes to import the entire card(s). Yes, it would be nice to streamline and simplify the import process … but to assume that each Lightroom user has the same requirements, goals and time constraints for a one-size-fits-all approach is a bit much to expect.

        When you have a user base as wide and complex as those who use Lightroom as their primary RAW workflow solution, it is the options for certain tasks that has helped Adobe build such a popular and mostly loyal following. As indicated by the response to v6.2/2015.2 … experienced users want more customization options, not less. Simply pigeon holing and constraining the usage of Lr without first exploring the details why others use or desire a current method or may go against the grain of certain concepts can often be more problematic than intended. Often, there are very legitimate reasons for desiring to go against the status quo.

        If Adobe desires to cater to the intimidated new/novice user, they really shouldn’t do so at the expense of the veteran more experienced user. I think the events of the past two weeks makes that view quite apparent. Nor, should we arbitrarily choose how others should employ Lightroom in their particular workflow.

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        • “It’s not easier or more intuitive to sort and separate image files after import, if you are on a strict deadline and don’t have the luxury of the time it takes to import the entire card(s). ”

          I agree 100% and know this from experience. Also, I have had to do this on many occasions and live in fear of deleting the wrong images.

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          • I never said anything about deleting images. I just said it was easy to move files around after you import them.

        • I don’t think having a simple import process is catering to the new/novice user at the expense of the veteran user.

          Abode needs to expand the Lightroom user base. You need to add so many users a year just to make up for the people that leave (pros that retire, amateurs that find a different hobby, death, etc.).

          Now I’m not saying that Adobe did the right thing by taking features away, but if a new user stumbles before they even get a picture in the program Lightroom will have no future.

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