- Let's put what you've learned in this chapter so far to work by stepping through a practical work flow that you can use to review and rank photos in the library module after you import new photos from a shoot. In this movie I'll cover some features we haven't seen yet as well, pick flags, star ratings, and color labels. So when I make my first pass through my photos, I usually start here in grid view of the library module. I select the folder in which the photos are located and then I'll dismiss the columns and bars by pressing shift + tab.
I can then make my thumbnails bigger by dragging the thumbnail slider in the tool bar. In this first pass, all I'm doing is getting a sense of what photos I have, and dealing with photos that I obviously don't want in my catalog. So here for example is a photo that's dark and blurry, I'll select it and then I'll right-click, or control click on it and choose Remove Photo. Now here you want to be careful. If you click Delete From Disk, that will delete the photo altogether from your computer. So all I wanna do now is just have the photo not show up in my Lightroom catalog.
For that, I'll click Remove. And then I have the option to re-import the photo into the catalog, if I change my mind later. There's another way to deal with photos that you don't like. For example, here's a photo that's not technically that bad, but I don't think I want it in this catalog. So instead of removing it, I can select the photo, and add a black flag to it. To add a black flag to a photo, I'll press X on my keyboard. And here you can see the little black flag that indicates that this is a photo I've rejected.
Then later, after I've got all my rejected photos marked, I can go up to the photo menu, and use this command, Delete Rejected Photos, and again, I'll have the choice of deleting from disk or removing. But that way, I get a second chance at these rejected photos. Now I'm ready for my second pass through the photos, which I'll do in loupe view. I'll select this thumbnail, and I'll press E on the keyboard. In loupe view, I wanna see my film strip, so that I can see thumbnails of all the other photos in this folder. So I'll click to open the film strip.
As I go through this pass, I'm going to be adding pick flags, star ratings, and maybe some color labels to my photos. So I've made sure that all those items are here on my tool bar. As I explained before, you can control which items appear on the tool bar by going to the arrow on the far right, and making sure that the items you want like flagging, rating, and color labels are check marked. The purpose of having these items on the tool bar is if you don't like to use shortcuts, and you would rather apply flags or stars or color labels by clicking on an icon.
Personally, I find that things go faster if I use shortcuts for flags and stars and color labels. And so I'll be doing that, as I go through this review work flow, but you're welcome to use the icons here instead if you like that better. So I just have the three basic categories that I apply during this pass through the photos. If I really like a photo, I give it a white pick flag. If I really dislike a photo, I give it a black, rejected photo flag. We've already seen how that goes. And if it's somewhere in between, I do nothing to it.
Because I'm probably not going to work with that photo very much in the future, so it's not worth adding an icon to it. I'll quickly do that with the photos in this folder. Here's a photo that is in the middle, not great, not terrible, I'll leave it without any mark. I'll press the right arrow key on my keyboard to move to the next photo, or if you prefer, you can click the thumbnails in the film strip. This one I really like, so I'll press P on my keyboard to add a white pick flag. Now you won't see the white pick flag on the photo here in loupe view, but you'll see the pick flags when we go back to grid view.
I'll press the right arrow key again, this one also gets a pick flag, I'll press P on the keyboard. Right arrow, pick flag, P on the keyboard. Right arrow, this one is somewhere in the middle, I'll do nothing. Right arrow, I like this, I'll give it a pick flag, P on the keyboard. So you can see how fast that goes. Now let's go back to grid view to see those flags by pressing G on the keyboard. Now what I'd like to do is view just the photos that have the white pick flag. I really don't care that much about further reviewing and rating the others.
So I'm going to use the mini filter that's here on the black bar at the top of the film strip. I'll click the word filter, and here I have access to filters for flags, filters for stars, and filters for color labels. All I've done so far is the flagging. So if I would like to see just the photos with the white flags in this folder, I'll click to activate the filters, and then I'll click again on the first flag, the white flag filter, and here I can see the four photos that have white flags. Now this is a little bit tricky, because if you click another filter, for example the second one, the one with dots around it, that will add to the white flag photos, the photos that have no flag at all.
The ones that are middling in my ranking system. So these flags are cumulative, to avoid that, I need to un-click that middling flag. So here I have my four photos with white flags. I want to go through these again, seeing if any of them are real heroes. And if I find a photo like that, I'll give it five stars. And that is the extent to which I use stars. I find that trying to distinguish between one, two, three, four, or five stars just takes too much time, and really loses its meaning, there are too many categories.
So I just use the five star category, to indicate a really great photo, one that I would be proud to put in my portfolio. So, again, I'm gonna select the first of these, press E on the keyboard, and just quickly go through these with the right arrow key on my keyboard. And go back the other way with the left arrow. And this one, I think is one of my really good photos. I'm going to give it five stars. You can add five stars by going to the tool bar, and clicking on the fifth star there. But I think a faster way is to use the keyboard shortcut, the number five.
So I'll just press 5 and that adds five stars to that photo, and if I press G on the keyboard, you can see the five stars under that photo. Now to bring all the photos back into view, I'll go to the flag filter in the black bar at the top of the film strip, and I'll click on the white flag to turn that filter off. Now there's one more option that I sometimes use when reviewing photos, and that is to add a color label. You can use labels for any purpose you want. Some photographers use them to indicate where a photo is in their work flow process.
Or whether particular photos go together for purposes of merging to HDR, or into a panorama, or maybe just to remind themselves of a special use for a photo. So for example, if I thought, "Gee, I may want to print this photo," I'll select the photo and I'll add a red label to it. To add the red label, if I wanted to use the icon, I could take it back into loupe view and use the color label icons that I added to my tool bar there. But I think a faster way to add a color label is to use the numbering system for color labels.
6 adds a red label, 7, 8, and 9 add other color labels. So that's the work flow that I follow when reviewing and rating photos from a new shoot that I've recently imported into Lightroom. My advice is to do this right away after you import every new shoot, rather than waiting. Settling on a simple rating system and being consistent and immediate about using it, is the first step down the road to keeping your photos organized in Lightroom.
- Understanding the Lightroom catalogs
- Importing photos from multiple sources
- Organizing photos in the Library module
- Reviewing and rating photos
- Creating collections
- Tagging faces
- Making basic corrections in the Develop module
- Making local photo edits with the adjustment tools
- Stitching together panoramas
- Fixing perspective
- Converting to black and white
- Printing and exporting edited photos
- Fixing missing photos