Skip to main content

Culling Images

Lesson 6 from: Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

6. Culling Images

Lesson Info

Culling Images

so now I want to talk a little bit about just a few things we can do with her images I was mentioning that you could click on one image and if you hold on the shift key and click on another you select all the images in between the first one you had and the last one you clicked on if on the other hand what you wanted to do is select individual pictures that are not in a continuous I order you can hold on the command key which is controlling windows in click and in this case of unsolicited them but you can get him out of order that way so they don't have to be in one uh roll like that then once you have one or more images you can come in here and if you press the space bar that usually is going to bring you to just to fit in window view if you press the space bar the second time it brings you up to one hundred percent for you so you could check focus in your picture so what space bar is usually going to dio is actually toggle between fit in window in one hundred percent you fit and windo...

w one hundred percent view I'm just hitting space bar but unfortunately space bar does not bring you back to your um grid of thumbnails well if you think about it as a grid of thumb now then you can remember the keyboard shortcut to get you back to the grid type a letter g so I think of g for grid in space bar for either fitting my screen her filling my screen are one hundred percent I should say so in g to get back to the grid you can also double click on the picture when it's in the like fit and window view it'll get you back to the grid as well double clicking but I'm just so used to g because g will bring you back to the grid always even if you're in the print module or the map module or whatever it will bring you back to the library and show you a creativity miss so I just get used to g for grid space bar for zooming up all right now we have a folder of two hundred fifty eight images I really don't want to process two hundred fifty eight images so how are we gonna narrow down our shoot toe on ly the images that are really worth dealing with well I want to show you my system for doing that and I don't know if my system will be appropriate for you or not but I find it works for me and you before I came up with a system that was in a random disarray of I can't even tell you how it is because I go back two years back and I'm like have I processed anything's heck if I know you know and all that kind of stuff so here's my system and I'll show you how to make this system really work but it's going to take a little while to go through it so I know that I'll add more detail afterwards with this so when you have an image you can assign a star rating you can assign that in many different ways you could go up to one of these menus I think the photo menu there's a choice called set rating didn't see one through five stars I never go to this menu instead it's easy to remember it's just the numbers one through five to assign him so I can easily use the numbers if I accidentally assign a rating I didn't mean to I simply type zero and that's going to remove the rating or I could go to the bottom if any of these images and you see these little dots at the bottom those may or may not be visible depending on the settings that you had remember how it could change the settings for the text up here well you could turn those things off in those settings but if they're there you can click on them to add your rating or click again at whatever rating it's currently on too uh unrated well I'm going to use that but here's how I'm going to think about it uh I'm gonna come in here and when I edit down my shoot here is what my brain is thinking about so first my left hand is going to be sitting up by the number keys just three fingers on my left hand for one two and three we're gonna be sitting right there my thumb khun b right down with space bar is it's extremely comfortable to have my hand like that I mean it's like almost natural to go there then then my right hand just two fingers of it are going to be on the arrow keys there are a couple of the keys I might have to hit on occasion if I want to go back to grid view but I've talked about g and zero is if I screwed up I raided something and didn't mean to I might reach my finger up in hit zero and then pee will talk about which is how I marcus siri's of images but if you actually purchases course just so you know my wife karen is in florida right now watching and she is frantically creating a handbook for this class where she documents this in karen made this diagram to put in the handbook so if you get the handbook you'll have this and you'll have information about this system s o you don't have to like currently sear this into your brain uh but just so you know these are the keys I'll be using now here's my mindset if I find an image that I wouldn't care if I ever saw again it's out of focus the camera was pointing at the floor of the car it went off I'm not going to give it any rating at all those it's something I don't write means I don't care if I ever see this again I could throw it away now if I accidentally raid it by just tapping a king what what's didn't mean do that hit zero to take it away just say what's didn't mean to do that I hit the number zero then the numbers one two and three here's my mindset and using them I'm falling in a press those keys if I want to keep the picture now I keep a lot of pictures and I'm not going to end up using for anything so the number one key means keep but ignore that means when I think about process suing my pictures I'm not going to look at those images it might be the name of a road sign it's not a picture I'm gonna hang on my wall it's a road sign I'm going to take the text off of an attached to some images a ce faras metadata goes it's a picture that it does not move me whatsoever in I don't want to process it whatever but one means I'm going to keep this picture I'm not going to throw it away but I'm not going to process it I'm not gonna waste any further time on it there's a lot of pictures I work with the use that way these air also for pictures that I might use for retouching and other purposes if I need to remove something out of a good photo I might use one of these two grabs and trees out of or something else that don't stand on their own but might be useful for other purposes so one means keep but ignore the number two means I'm going to process this picture it might be that the picture doesn't look very good and I hope I'm gonna be able to make it look better through processing and it might be that it's good but whatever when I press number two I will spend the time to process this picture I hope I will the number three is what I call priority proxy s ng which means this is a darn good shot I want to get to a quick so that if I don't have enough time to process all the pictures in this folder that I'm going to make sure I at least get to these because these are the good ones does that make sense so no reading means I don't care if I throw this away or not I don't care if I see it again the number one means I'm going to keep it but I'm not gonna process it I'm going to just ignore it she's going to sit there the number two means I'm gonna process it and the number three means I'm going to process it but it's a darn good picture I want to get to it soon zero means poops I screwed up didn't mean to put that on there all right so let's see if you need to know the in the end when we're completely done with our set up I'm done processing my pictures this is actually going to be what they mean but this is not what we're plying right now we'll come back to this but just so you know there's a whole idea of what is all the things mean so let's goto a folder of images and let's narrow it down I'm in it going to first make sure that I have previews that are big enough that these pictures could fill my screen and if I imported them a while ago I might not know if they have that are not so first I'll select all will go to the library menu good under previews and I would say build standard sides previous standard size previews air once that will fit your screen in general there's actually a preference in light room where you can choose how big standard preview is and you want to choose about the size of your screen so it creates one's that big now I already have those attached to these pictures because if you create smart previews remember that little check box on the important dialog box you already have ones at least that big so I don't need to do that but if this is an old folder I do that so first they do that second thing that I'm gonna end up doing after that is I want to make sure that my library is being sorted bye captured date and why am I not seen it here we go view sort captured time works fine because if he's got dragged it all I might not realise that five pictures that are captured should make up a panorama because I'm not seeing them sequentially instead the images are sorted in a different way they're sorted by me dragging them around or something else and what I'm going through I won't be able to tell if these images relate to each other so I sort my capture time then with the first image highlighted and only that first image this guy right here at the space bar to fit my window and what I'm going to do is have my fingers on top of those numbers one two and three inside am I gonna process the picture or not so the general question is am I going to process this picture or not and in this case I think I'm going to ignore it it just doesn't move me so I'm gonna press the number one number one means keep but ignore I don't know I might come back if I never find any good pictures of something like this maybe I'll change my mind and go back to him but I'm going to hit the number one then I can press the right roky to go in the next picture that the number one because that one doesn't move me either number one I don't know what I was shooting here doesn't look all that exciting to me so I'm getting a lot of number one this one I might like after I process it so that when I might spend enough time on I'm gonna hit the number to the number two means keep but process it so I had to and I keep going I'm going to process these I noticed that this is a sequence of images you know is they're very similar and so this is actually a special instance where if I have a bunch of things that look similar I'm gonna have to compare all those two decide out of them are they worth you know which of those are worth dealing with and here's how I deal with the sequence if I notice a bunch of pictures that are very similar and other things that would be a sequence would be a panorama a time lapse uh h d r which is where you bracketed your exposures what else but those are the main kind of things where you can't evaluate it by looking at a single picture you've gotto evaluate a siri's of pictures to really know if it's worth it or not well what I do is I press the letter g to go back to the grid I select all the images that are in the sequence and that's when I press the letter pete p means pick flagged it as a pick what flagging there's a pic does is it adds a little white flag in the upper left corner of the thumb now what that flag is indicating to me personally what it means in my brain is I must evaluate these images as a group if I look at just one of them I don't want to I spend my time processing one before I realized that oh there's a whole bunch more that looked just like it I wanna have some visual marking up my picture that means when I look at this image look at it along with these others and so what I do is I select them and I hit the letter p for pick you're welcome to use another system this just works for me and then what I do is I go back and I review them I click on the first one in that hit space bar and now what I'm going to do with my star range is I will evaluate him individually just what I throw it away otherwise or what I process it I'd process that process this yep if one of these just doesn't compel me I say one star that one could be out of focus that look a little soft okay that's number two okay too well actually like that I think if I crop that image to get rid of the bright stuff on the right and that tiny bright stuff on the left and I just have the dark tree I think that could be a good picture so this is what I call a priority process which means I think it's a good shot and so I give it a rating of three that's a number one means keep it ignore number two means yeah process it number three means who that could be a good one okay so I'm going to continue going through here that one's not as good as that number to that ones to one that can take that one I'm experimenting with things so one someone a lot of these air keep it ignores this not going to spend the time that they're not moving me if I'm not excited about it it might be a keeping ignore sometimes you're just experimenting with blurry backgrounds and other things and just not sure if you're going to get something better so you can continue shooting so a lot of ones here road ok here I'm seeing this looks like a sequence to me doesn't it they look very similar when I arrow through them so those I need to compare the various shots some of them look like hdr because I see it getting brighter sequentially so it's like a bracket so I'm going to select all these and I'll say I just can't decide that many pictures individually and truly know I'm doing a good job of it so I select them all hit p for pick which simply means evaluate those is a group later on but I need to make it through this whole folder so I'm not going to evaluate the group right now it would take too much time and I might just run out of time in general okay so I go back to the first image hit space part and I will evaluate them individually because if one of them really stands out I want to read it a three which means process it with priority so uh you know what's interesting about it to who a car coming but not too exciting some giving one's cloak and ignore them but on occasion I get one that I might want a process here so I'm going to that one might wanna process but once you get used to this it doesn't take that long to go through the images right now I'm getting a lot of ones because they just don't compel me to process this one I don't like the framing with all this stuff on the side doesn't mean I couldn't crop it though all right now I get a picture like that one looks like why the heck did your camera fire all right so now here I'm gonna process that who knows what the sun rises going to come out as when it's done when I go through the arrow keys though it looks to me like a sequence because they look similar so I go back to g and I'm going to put those in as a pick and even zoomed out like this I can tell that I have sequences coming up these air panoramas do you see them where it looks almost like a continuous scene so I'm going to select all the images in the panorama hit a p to say if I ever look at one of those individually no that they relate to other things and that time itself I see a lot of panorama so right now I'm going to just go through here and I also notice one of the thing and that is all these already have a radiant too which means I screwed up somewhere in the process because when I had it select all the very first image I clicked on most likely got them all which was unfortunate hebei quick question about panoramas from a pewter lady who says do you have any hints for knowing which images to compile like she actually suggested she shoots her foot at the beginning and end of the panorama do you have anything like that that you do or suggest I sometimes do but I find that in essence I'm too lazy to be consistent with it but if I was ideal with it what I would do is before I should've panorama I would shoot a picture of my hand pointing in the direction of about japan because if you don't shoot from left to right on a panorama they often don't you can't tell they're panorama they don't look like they fit together and because of that it ends up making so sometimes you don't even realize after that you're done processing or you're done looking at the folder that you ever have the panorama because you could never tell so take a picture of your hand pointing the direction you're about to pan and when you're done take a picture your fist then you could easily see them in there and every time you see it you know you know but sometimes that's uh just too much to think about for me I'd never get around to doing it I like it so I'm going to go through this of faster just because I don't want you guys to watch so much it's not all that exciting here we have a lot of panorama is but I'm going to end up coming in here just have my numbers on my fingers on the numbers one two and three and just coming through here and say I'm not going to process those they don't move me might feel crop him enough but I don't think so look lincoln tell he's trying something with an arch here in a tree but it's not moving me they're getting better they're going to process out that was starting to get to me these air sequences so I would have flagged them this well uh that doesn't do it for me so anyway I go through here and make sure that I write all the images if I end up not reading any of the images what that would mean is I just narrowed by it I a road about it without hitting a key I do that for images that I don't care if they ever get thrown away now in this case I actually screwed up because I had all my images selected at the beginning and I don't think I got down to selecting an individual picture at the beginning until I got to right here uh so let's just make some of these being zero so you can see what happens all right so if you've gone through your images in this way what you should end up with in the end is sometimes you'll have images that have no stars those are images that you could throw away at any point if your hard drive is ever getting full I could throw away all the images that have no stars I am going to have images that have one star which are images I'm going to keep but I'm going to ignore him never going to process him I might use them for other things or I might just keep him anything with two stars or above I hope to process but there might be so many images that air to stars and above I might not get around to them so there's why we have the priority process the ones that I think looked really good and I pressed a three on those what I could do after doing this is I can filter the number of images I'm looking at tau on lea ve you the ones they're three stars and above those are the ones I'm going to process first because those are the ones that I thought hey this one looks good it needs to really be set apart from the rest I want to make sure at least finish those then I go down to the two star ones and if they have flags next to them I'm gonna have to compare them and I can show you how to compare them as we go through other features and light room but eventually the two star one should get process if I have the time and that's the effect so that's the general way that I think about editing down a chute is barreling through while using this mindset if I never hit a number when the images in front of me it should mean I could throw it away and not care press one if you want to keep it but ignore it press two if I now it should be processed pressed three if I think it's a good image and she process you know real soon where should stand out above the others if I screwed up I press the key number zero to remove the rating and if I noticed that something is a sequence where relates with other images I select the sequence I hit the number of peace so it's got a white flag on it what I like about the white flag is anytime I view a picture if I ever see it there it means don't look at this image all by itself look at it related to this other grouping and I'll talk about how I end up changing those settings as I process my pictures if you process a picture that was raided a two and it looks a lot better when you're done you upgraded to a three there's something we use force and five laura's well and there's also things when I'm completely done with a folder where you don't leave these ratings you end up transferring them over to something else that's more useful which is which notice keywords that can make it so these images can automatically get added to certain portfolios or slide shows or other things this is just the starting of how I think about editing down a chute alright way we'll do this with a smaller collection of images where you actually see how I go through in filter them down and start processing him as we go through the three days do we have any questions comments other things absolutely one from a couple questions about the leading one from catherine does ben ever use the rejected flag I know you mentioned it very briefly when you were talking through different things so I could just talk about a little bit deleting your photos yeah marking them is rejected which photos do you delete versus keep just for the sake of time right now I didn't get into too much depth but what I do in the end after going through this process is I filter my images to look in on lee those images that did not get rated that have a rating of zero and I go through them again with the roki and then this time I'm going to press uh the ex key which is reject believe or the one key on all those images so no images ever end up without a rating what ends up being is any image that does not have a rating means it hasn't gone through this process if it's an image that I wouldn't mind losing I press later x and that changes it to a reject which means I don't care if I ever see this image again or I press the number one which means keeping ignore I go through and I just make sure every single image has one of those settings to it and therefore if I ever look att any folder on my entire hard drive and I find that there is an image that's not rated I know I haven't gone through the system with it because it would be marked as rejected if it could be deleted and it would have a star rating otherwise in those star ratings in the end end up having a particular meaning that we'll have more depth as we progress through three days but right now we've just seen a little portion of it and then additional tip that some of the folks in the chat room we're sharing is that if you kept a lock before you start the rating auto van it'll auto advance teo to the next image so you don't have to actually press the air okey every single time so that's just a nother thanks for letting me use the shift key with these if you just held downshift impress a number it would assign the the rating that you're signing with the number and automatically switch to the next image and so women always hold down the shift key is pressing caps lock and your key board so therefore the moment you press the number it would switch to the next photograph I personally find that I don't like that though because it makes it too often where the images goes away and I don't have to for a moment just go was that the right rating to apply to it and so I personally like manually going through them but some people would find it to be nice nice know about that's great and then just while we're still on the subject of the leading we had kate the cat c one hundred who says so why wouldn't you just delete the zero picks and I think yeah if you wanna answer that if if the zero picks as long as I have reviewed them and set them to reject meaning that I know I didn't just happen to press the roki too many times and happened to skip over a picture that was a good one is long as I've done that then now I could throw those away because that would only reject an image that's truly worth throwing away s so you're welcome to do that I personally don't just because I usually have the space but if I ever run out of space on the hard drives I'd go back and look at any folders I could look at my entire catalogue and say show rejected I know those are all worthy of being deleted go ahead and leave him just make sure you've truly looked at fantastic and maybe one final question from greg kirky duels great interesting name how do we delete off the sd card automatically when importing to the library is that anything that you can do when you import into the library from a c f card or from anything there is the choice of copy or move and I believe the choice called move would move them to the location removing them from the original it's something I personally don't usually do because if I accidentally do something I usually regret it and so it's an option I don't usually use but when you're in the import dialog box I believe the choice of move would mean delete from original location on lee put on destination great and just a no direct people who are asking why you don't just stack images automatically we'll be talking about stacks later yes I use tax for other things different than this and there are also some repercussions of using stacks that you may not be aware of and that is that certain kinds of searches will completely ignore what's in the stack and if so then you won't realize that a lot of light rooms features are not showing you all your pictures

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Bonus Packet
Post Processing Practice Files

Ratings and Reviews


After catching parts of each of the three days, I knew that I would need to have access to this wealth of information. What is great about the program is the ability to stop and go back over something that is not fully understood...and be able to do that until confident enough to move on. I saw no "fluff" in the course, just great information imparted with a style that is makes it easy to understand. CreativeLive scored a big hit with this course! The bonus material is SO valuable, especially the presets. That saves an enormous amount of time for me. My appreciation of the power behind the software is becoming ever clearer. Thanks, Ben, for another outstanding presentation!

Shannon Beelman Photography

Ben has been amazing! He is a wealth of information on organizing images as well as great tips to make your travel images pop just a little more. I came into this class feeling like I had a good handle on lightroom and have come out with a better understanding of the power of the software to make artistic life easier. He covers tips, tricks and little known options that help make workflow smother. I have sat here watching as much of the free broadcast as I can and in this last week I have gotten control over years of images in my lightroom. This is one I know I will be buying soon.


Great class! Somehow, it was enjoyable not having Ben default to "curves for everything"! I don't think the title for this course did it justice, tho. This class was 90% Light Room and 10% Photoshop. I was very happy to discover that dynamic and equally as happy to purchase this course! If you are new to Light Room, this class is a MUST. Creative Live offers several LR classes but this is the one to own. Ben is working on his new book about Light Room Mastery - can't wait! In the meanwhile, I'll be watching Ben's thorough approach to LR in this video. So, don't let the title throw you a curve ball, if you are new to Light Room or a seasoned user, there's plenty of great information - delivered as only Ben can! Thanks CL for this great class!

Student Work