Luminar - Loading Images Into Your Catalog

Luminar works on the principle of a Catalog system. The Luminar Catalog is analogous to the index in a textbook. It provides references out to Folders on your computer's hard drive. In other words, the Luminar Catalog does not store your images, it just references where your images are located. Additionally, the Catalog stores any edits you have performed on your images as a catalog file. Any edits you do are none destructive. i.e. You are not editing the source file, more that Luminar stores a reference file in the catalog with all of the edits contained in it. Luminar only applies these changes when you Export an image from the software.

There are three ways to load images into the Luminar Catalog

1) Add Folders of images from our hard drive into the Catalog.

2) Edit single images from your hard drive.

3) Import images into the Catalog from an external device such as an SD card.



The first method is to use the 'Folders Selection' in the Catalog menu. This sits on the right-hand side of the Luminar interface. When you select the + symbol to the right of Folders, a pop-up window appears. You then simply navigate to the folder on your hard drive using File Explorer if you are on Windows or Finder if you are on Mac. Then click the “Add Folder” prompt, and Luminar does the rest for you.

Your catalog view now populates with all your images. You follow this process to add as many Folders as you need. New folders appear in the catalog as a top-level folder. Note that Luminar also imports any images in sub-folders of your folder collection at the same time. These appear as sub-folders in the Catalog in the same hierarchy as on your hard drive.

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The second method is to use the + symbol next to the Module panel at the top of Luminar. This works in exactly the same way as our first method. i.e. a pop-up window opens for you to navigate to a folder.

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The final method is to initiate the import from the main Luminar menu, by clicking File – Add Folder with Images. Once again, the functionality is exactly the same. You navigate to the folder you want, and then click ‘Add Folder‘.

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If you just want to edit a single image, and do not want it to appear in your Catalog, this is the method to use. In this mode, Luminar acts in the same way as if you used it as a plug-in from another piece of software such as Adobe Lightroom.

There are two ways to invoke this method of editing. You can either: Use the main Luminar menu, by clicking File – Edit Single Image. This brings up a pop-up navigation window for you to locate your file. Or alternatively, navigate to your image directly from File Explorer if you are on Windows or Finder if you are on Mac. You then right-click your image file and select ‘Edit In‘ and select ‘Luminar AI‘ from the options.

Note: You can add multiple images in this way using the Shift and Cmd(Mac) or Ctrl(Windows)when you are selecting images in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). In both cases, this opens the image to allow you to edit it but does not add the image to your Catalog. However, it is added to a Film-Strip window along the bottom of the Luminar interface. This enables you to edit the image multiple times; even if you shut down and restart Luminar.

Note: If you want to remove an image opened in Single Edit mode from the Filmstrip, you can do so by right-clicking on the image, and then clicking ‘Remove From Single Image Edits‘ in the pop-up menu.

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You can import images from an external hard drive. You can also import from a memory card in the same way. To do this, you:

1) Create a new folder or select an existing folder in the Catalog panel.

2) Right-click on the folder and choose Import Images to This Folder.

3) Browse to the folder in the same way as above, using File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

4) Select the image or images you want to import.

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