Chapter 8: Loading Images

There are several ways to add images into your Luminar Library. You can Add folders, which leave your photos exactly where they are on your hard drives. If you want to copy images from a memory card or external drive, then Import images (Mac-only) which moves or copies your images to a new location. You can also open your images from any location in Quick Edit, which allows you to easily edit and export photos that you do not want to keep in your Luminar Catalog.


Adding Folders

Adding a folder of images to your library allows you to quickly access, organize, and work with photos located on your hard drive, on external hard drives, and even synced cloud storage.  When you add a folder, none of your photos are moved. Luminar scans the folder and any subfolders and creates a thumbnail and link to the images inside. If there are folders inside the folder being added, Luminar will keep the folder structure.   Folders tie directly to folders on your hard drive. Luminar works with the real-world folder structure of your hard drive(s).

Adding Folders from an Internal Hard Drive

There are three ways to add a folder to your Luminar library.  All three methods accomplish the same goal.

Adding with the Library Side Panel

  • Clicking on the + sign to the right of the word folder on the side panel opens up a browser window in Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac.) 
  • Here you can navigate to and folders on your hard drive and select them.  
  • When you select a folder, it will be added as a top-level folder to your folder collection.  
  • All folders contained within an added folder are also added as subfolders.

All the folders added will now appear under the word Folder in the Library Side Panel. Each of these folders is considered a Master Folder. Any folders contained within a Master folder are added as subfolders.  Additional folders within those folders are also added.  These are referred to as Subfolders. Any folder with a small disclosure triangle to the left of its name contains subfolders. Clicking on the disclosure triangle will reveal the subfolders within a Master Folder. You can add additional subfolders to any folder in the future by right-clicking on a folder and choosing the New Subfolder command. Creating Subfolders is covered more deeply in the Organizing Images chapter.

Adding from the Open Button Menu 

The Open Button menu is located in the upper left side of the both the Library and Edit toolbars.  Clicking on the Open Button menu will reveal three options.  Choose Add Folder to add an existing folder on your computer to your library. Once selected, folders are added exactly the same way as from the Library side panel.


Adding with the menu bar

You can add a folder from the main menu by choosing Library > Add Folder.  Once selected, folders are added the exactly the same way as from the Library Side Panel.

Adding Folders from an External Hard Drive

You can add folders located on an external hard drive. The process is the same as adding folders from an internal hard drive.  Be aware that if the external hard drive is disconnected from your system, the media will go offline. If the media is offline, the name of the folder is greyed out, and a warning triangle appears next to the folders name.

When an offline folder is opened, thumbnails of the original photos will be available.  You can flag, rate, and label offline images, but you will not be able to edit the images until the external hard drive is reconnected.  Offline images will also have a warning triangle in the upper left corner of the thumbnail.  You can still organize these offline images into Albums.  (Please see the Organizing Images chapter for more details on using Albums). You cannot move offline images into a folder.

When the external hard drive is reattached and mounted, the folder and all the images inside will come back online. The folder will no longer be greyed out, and the warning triangle next to the folder’s name and on each of the images will no longer be there.  Any tagging, rating, and labeling done while the folder is offline will be remembered.  Also if any images had been edited prior to the external drive being removed, their edits will be remembered when the drive is reconnected.

Adding Folders from Synced Cloud Storage

Luminar lets you add folders from cloud storage locations that are synced to your computer.  In this case, synced means that a physical copy of the photo resides on either your internal or external hard drive.  If only a reference copy of the photo is located in the cloud storage photo, Luminar will not be able to create a thumbnail or be able to edit the image.  

Adding folders from synced cloud storage is very useful in situations where a client or family member adds images remotely to a cloud service server. Once these images are synced locally to your computer, Luminar automatically adds them to your Library.   


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