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Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Lesson 7 of 38

Filtering and Stacking Images

Ben Willmore

Post-Processing for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

7. Filtering and Stacking Images

Lesson Info

Filtering and Stacking Images

so when we were last talking we had just gone through a folder of images in applied some ratings now I didn't make it through the entire folder just cause I was describing a lot of things as we're going through it but I'm going to act as if we did and here are a few things that I would do after going through a folder in rating things with either no rating if I think it might be okay to throw it away I don't care if I ever see it again pressing the number one can my keyboard to give a rating of one which to me means keep this but ignore it meaning don't spend your time to process this but I don't want to throw it away uh pressing the two means process this picture and so any picture and they go on a process it's going to get it at least a tour above and that means I should process it and see if I could get something good out of it and then a rating of three meant that it should get priority processing meaning this is a good picture and if I don't have time to process everything here I w...

ant to make sure at least get to this one or howard from any of that it's now after doing that if I look here in light room at the top of the light room little thumbnail area there's a little gray bar across the top uh that is known as the filter bar and that little filter bar you can make disappear or show up by choosing something from one of the menus but I used the keyboard I got used to it you press the back slash key it's the slash key that leans to the left the one it's right above the returner enter key in your keyboard and if you press it it either makes that bar disappear or show up and if you forget that go to the view menu in somewhere within the view menu there should be a choice relating to filter bar um yeah right there show filter bar there are some men you commands that I just never used because I got used to their keyboard shortcuts and so but just so you know it is there in case you forget so after I'm done going through a folder of images here is some of what I would do I would go to the filter bar and in the filter bar if you look you have many different ways you can filter I can filter by text which would be if I wanted to search for like a particular file name and that's useful if a client you email them a picture and then came back and said I want a picture with this exact name and you don't know where it is in your catalogue so you say I want to search based on text type in the name that they gave you the file name and it would show you every file with that name but that's not the only kind of text you can search for you can also search for some meta data meaning keywords like the location related information I might add or other things yeah then there's another choice in here called a tribute and that's what I'm going to click on right now and when I do this is where I can filter based on the star rating that I've applied to my images and also the flag status that I have s so what I would teo is when I come back is first off if I want a process images if that's my mindset right now and I know I've gone through the process of raiding the pictures then I'm gonna come up here and I'm gonna click right here on the third star over because remember the three star images were the priority processing ones those are the pictures that I really thought looked the best it's not that I really knew that they looked the best all I know is this picture really stood out to me and that's the only time it gets a three star is when I know it's going to be good so if I click here with default settings it should show me images that are three stars or above this little symbol here means equal to or above if you click and hold on it you can choose what you're it's actually set to see if you wanted on ly three star ones you could set it to this but if you say greater than or equal to it should show me all images that I've raided three stars or above and there's only that one picture that we raided so if I have a limited amount of time to do processing I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna filter for three star above and whatever and they just show up those are the ones I'm going to start with for my processing now if I finished processing those and I have more time then what I'm going to do is set this to two stars and I'm going to change the little icon that is next to it just say equal to because I've already processed the three star ones I don't need to see them anymore so now I now know I've gotten down to only those images that I mark that I said or worth processing in all the images that ended up with a one star rating which was keep but ignore their not mean shown any more in all of the images where I never gave them a rating which usually means I can throw them away they're also not showing up so now I could come in here and I could either spend time evaluating the siri's of images that are here to see if there is if they're just a lot of images that looks similar in a siri's then I can figure out which one is the best out of that siri's of five or so or I can go in and start processing individual pictures but you see how we can narrow it down after we've gone through a folder but if I want to spend more time with my actual rating what I would usually ideally do uh after this is I would come in and set this so that the rating is equal to none remember how I said if there was a picture we wouldn't mind throwing away I just didn't read it well when I'm done going through my rating system going here and I simply set this thing to an equal sign and I don't click on any of the stars which means it's equal to not being rated at all that makes sense we're seeing all the images that we never applied to rating to and what I'll do is click on one hit the space bar to view it full screen and what I'm going to do this time is if I want to keep it but ignore it I'm impressed the number one that's what that means the number one means keeping ignore and this one I don't want to throw away I just I don't know why I just can't come to get grips with throwing it away even though I don't think I'm going to use it for anything so oppressed the one that's going to cause it to go away because right now we're filtering our view toe on ly show those images that have no rating and so it just suddenly switch to the next picture because the previous one no longer fits within the filter we have applied so it went away this one also I can't come to grips with throwing it away so I'll press the number one and if I find an image in this sequence I can use the arrow keys to go between them let's say I find one where it's just blatantly out of focus let's say that one and I know that I absolutely don't care if that one goes away then all press a letter x x means rejected and that means I went out of my way to mark this is a reject it's not just a gn image that I never reviewed because it has no stars it's an image I went out of my way to say this is okay to throw away and so what I want to do in the end has come through here in either rate an image is the one to keep it or as a reject and so the only thing I end up with sitting here are rejects and all that means is I made sure I didn't accidentally when I was going through my rating system hit the air okey twice and skip and image and then suddenly gets deleted I have to go through there and look at zero starred rated images in prairie purposely either reject them or get them a star rating nothing ends up with zero stars and not being a reject so then if I ever see a holder and I see rejects if my hard drive is ever filling up I know I can throw those away because I know I have done something went out of my way to mark them as rich as uh delete a ble and so I could do that now when you're done filtering up here on the filter bar there's simply a choice called none and if you click on that you should be back to your full list of images so just remember you go to the choice called attribute and if you're thinking about processing images right now you go to three stars and I usually set the little thing two three stars or greater because who knows if you happen to have raided something for stars that means it was a absolutely amazing shot you would want to get into rating those first and then the next thing I would do if I want to process more images is go down to two stars and just say it's equal to two stars have to click the second star though to get it and now this is the next said I should consider processing and so that's how my system works as faras narrowing down a chute I'm gonna act as if we already did that and we've decided to process them images and I'm just going to go toe a folder of images teo do this with but know that if you get this set up in a particular way like right now where it's set up to be equal to two stars you can actually save that as a pre set so you don't have to remember how to set it up in the future to save it as a preset what you do is configure this the way you want it to be and then in the upper right there's this choice called custom filter in all custom filter means when it says custom is you're not currently on a preset you've customized the settings so it doesn't match any of the presets you currently have so that's why it's his custom filter if I click there though I can save the current settings is a new preset and then I could give it a name like two stars only that kind of thing and so what I've done is I've created some presets right here which are the ones that I use that helped me to get through this process quickly so if you look at what they are zero stars and it tells me what to do with them afterwards either rate these pictures or reject him you should have no pictures and have zero stars ever and a folder well the only thing a zero stars means is I never completed my rating system I never made it through it you know somebody pulled me away from my computer when I'm in the middle of it never got back to that folder but anything that has zero stars means it's either never gone through this process like you never finished the process so you need to filter for zero stars and either rape those pictures were sent to reject after I've done that I go to my three plus star images I start processing that's just using this would get me to him um then after doing those three flag her three star pictures I got another one right here it would show me on ly the pictures that have been flagged remember what we flag we flag sequences for a siri's of pictures where they're very similar images and I need to evaluate him as a whole I can't just pick one and say yeah let's do this one because it looks too similar to the others so this would filter me down to only those then the two star ones the way I really think about him is to star ones means I'm going to try to rescue these images through processing and hopefully after I do that they'll be worthy of a three stars or something higher but two stars means they weren't really good on all by themselves I needed tryto improve them through processing but anyway these air my presets uh that I use quite frequently in you can set up once just like them by confirming the little bar that's here going to the little side menu that I'm in right now and just suits choosing save current setting since new preset and I found that right over on the far right of that little bar called the filter bar so set up a couple of those it makes it very quick to go through here and say do I have any zero star ones they better have a little flag on them to mean that they're delete a ble otherwise it means it has not gone through this process I could go here three stars to very quickly find the ones I need a process on my first batch I can come down here and review my flagged ones t compare them in sequences to see if I want to narrow him down further and I can come down here then if I have extended amount of time and start getting into my two star images so let's look a little bit about how you reduce this down when it comes to the sequences when it comes to a sequence let's say it's a bunch of images of a similar subject matter I wish I had actually something different than this subject matter because they're just not that exciting let's switch to our little great smoky mountains because I think there we will have ah wider variety of choices okay all right here let's say we had a sequence of beers or something here's how I would go through this if these were mark is a sequence if I click on the first image of a sequence and let's say that well here's a good sequence goodies are all very similar all the way through there I hold shift and I click on the last serious of a sequence these would usually be labeled with a little pick flag and I want to review them they're a couple different ways I could do that first at the bottom down here we have some icons and the icon on the far left is what we're using right now and that's a grid view grid viewers where I see all these thumbnail images and that's what we've been using up until now this view here is if you pass over it gives you the actual light room terminology is loop view in loop view is what we had when we ended up viewing an image from how we hit the space bar I told our screen well that switched us over to loop view where we'd see just one image filling our screen but now let's go over to this icon over here this icon is survey view and let's see what it does if I click on that now we're seeing on ly the images that were selected you know hide our little left side here and therefore we can see them all kind of side by side like that and we could look at him we can click on each one and if I decide that one of these images I just don't like it like this one can you can see the bear's head I mean it's not very good you see the x in the corner the axe in the corner is just going to take it out of this sequence that we have in all it does is unsolicited remember I selected the sequence before I clicked the icon will that image just became not selected this one here I can barely see the bears head so I'm gonna click a little x take this one click the little x and I'm just going to try to narrow this down to figure out is there this one doesn't look great that one looks great that one it's hard to say that when it's hard to say this one I think his head is a little too covered so I think those three might be the three worth spending time to process that makes sense I'd selected the entire sequence I click down here on my own little survive you and I narrowed it down to three if I type a letter g to go back to the grid view that's what we see all the thumb now's all it did is it d selected the images that that were I got rid of within that sequence and now I could press the number keys on my keyboard to change the rating of the ones I have selected I could say let's push those up to a three which means they should get now priority processing so now I know out of that sequence that those are the three but let's say that I just don't feel like spending time on three images I really want to narrow this down instead to just one image well there's another icon down here we have the grid view that we've used we have the uh colin I think of it it's the loop view but what do they call it yep the loop you sometimes my terminology doesn't match what he thinks and then we've also used the view called survey view well then there's another one here which is called compare view if I click on it I'm on ly going to see two images even if I'm twenty selected I'm only going to see to and the one on the left is labeled my select that means light room is considering it to be the current best image out of these two and then this is the candidate that's trying to challenge it you could think of it so the one I think is the best right now and it's challenger and at the bottom of my screen there's a little x in the corner of each one of those and I could just hit the x to say don't get rid of this one and then it'll bring in a different image into this and now I can compare those to kind of like his mouth open there but I don't like the out of focus leaves in front so I'll hit the x and let's see here so I can get down a cz much as I like when you think you're done you can hit the done button and just narrow it down further and further but let's say that I ended up with just this image as my favorite the image on ly image out of the sequence that I think is worthy of processing uh I still have the other ones rated just in case when I'm done processing this one I decide that it didn't work out I want to look at my second best well I got those other ones that have three stars I could always fall back on him but that's the only one I want to rate not only is it the only one I want to rape it's the only one I want to see because who needs to see a folder full of a kazillion images I might have a thousand images in a folder I want to see the good ones so I click on that image and then I select the rest of the sequence and you'll notice that whenever you have more than one image selected it highlights them in this light gray but one of them always has a brighter background and that's thought of as the most selected image and if I click on a different image like this one you see it changes which one is the highlighted one that's the one I would actually work on if I started processing images are doing other things it's thought of the one that's actually active and then all these others just happened to be selected as well what I'm going to do then is I'm sorry I'm always used to keyboard shortcuts but I'm going to type command g when I do that I'll see one of the menus highlight at the top to know where the normal menu command would be tender photo under the photo menu is a choice in here for stacking images here the choice called group into stack is the command that I used when I type command g that's control jean windows I'm just not used to going to the menus to do it I'm so used to doing this almost automatically that just took me a moment to think of where it wass so now if you look at what we have out of the sequence of images that we work on we're only seen the one image that I thought was the best and you see a number in the upper left number nine that means there are nine other images stacked underneath it is if you have a stack of photographs sitting on a desk in the top most one is obscuring your view of the ones under it if I click on that number it will expand the stack to show me the other pictures so I could work with them do whatever I'd like and if I click on where that number was showing up again it will collapse the stack back down so I can always come in here when I'm done processing the top most image if I decide you know I wonder if there's another one that might have you know been worthy as well I can expand the stack look at the ratings of what's left over in know that um I've organized these now so that the number in the upper left of the thumbnails what would expand or collapse it I do the same thing with panoramas but on ly after I've stitched them if I stitch a panorama which you'll see how to do later on when I'm done I take the stitched panorama as the top of the stack and I take all the individual shots it's made from as the other pieces of the stack so when I'm done all I see is the finished panorama and if I ever need to go back to the original files it was made from that just be a number up in the corner when I click on it it would expand the stack and you'll see when you expand a stack the background surrounding the thumbnails is darker to indicate it's part of that and I could expand it and see the images it's made from same thing with time lapses when I'm done creating a time lapse where I actually have a movie file you can have movie files and light room I'm going to take that movie file and I'm going to stack it toe all the individual images that was made from and therefore when I'm done going through a folder and processing a bunch of images I'm not seen in a huge amount of clutter instead anytime I have three pictures like these three here that are so similar there's no reason to see all three I select the three and I go to either of the two modes of the bottom we can use to compare things and I just look at him and say well this one this one that one go back to my grid by typing g okay that's the picture I want to see I select the others command g control jean windows they just got slid underneath those so they're stacked can always get to him just click on the number it will expand the staff I can also take one of these images and let's say after processing them I decided this one over here later on really should be the better one I can go to the photo menu choose stacking and there's a choice of first removed from stack in case you accidentally put it in there or this choice of collapse stack is the same thing that was happening when I clicked on the number he saw it collapse or expand but there's a choice here called moved to top of stack and that's the one that shows up when the stack has collapsed so if you accidentally put the wrong one on the top he just expand your stack click on the one you really wanted to have on top and choose this um so I used stacks for sequences of images that have already been processed usually I put the best one on top the one I want to represent this sequence of images and I slide all the other ones underneath and that stack so I don't see a massive clutter of uh pictures because oftentimes I will end up with a sequence that is just like this sequence here where I just couldn't tell in my tiny little viewfinder what the best angle would be but I'm not going to need to see that many different angles of this thing I'm only going to try to find the best and so here I like the yellow leaves that are up here a little bit of this shape and the yellow leaves really do it for me this image doesn't do much for me so I click the x this one not much for me but maybe the walkway would help me a little bit so I have three versions with the walkway innit let's say not that one and just narrow it down one of those too and it's up to you everybody's got a different idea of what they like you know some people like oh it's gotta be the leaves and others are like well water wheel you know different interests and so it's up to you but narrow down and when you're done take the sequence command g put that one on top so we get less clutter after I've gone through in processed all the sequences then I don't really care about the flag symbol you can take it away if you want to or just leave it there it's up to you but I find the flag just to be a nice way to tell me that these images belong together but if I end up stacking things while I'm doing my rating system I find panorama is just disappearing the shuffle same with time lapse is same with a lot of other things that if I stack him at the same time I'm raiding them that oftentimes I just never realized that you know I don't see all these images to know really what they were isn't a time lapse that is a panorama what I find with the flag icons it's much easier I could just see a whole range that way but do it works for you you don't have to use my system all right well any questions is basic questions in here or out there relating to the simple idea of stacking or the idea of filtering your view toe on ly see a certain number of images sure uh could you just very briefly showed you did how to select the rejects how to select pressure if I go up here to the choice called attributes you'll notice that one of the choices here is the flag and you could do the clicking on this one would do the pics which would be my sequences uh or clicking on this one with a little x on it this would end up showing you on ly the ones that you've rejected s oh it's a little flag with a little x on it and that means only show me the rejects so if I wanted to actually delete them I could then select all once I filtered by reject hit delete that kind of stuff or if I want to see only the sequences those are the ones that flag would be this one just be careful because you could also turn them both on and sometimes it's not a visually overly obvious what you have turned on so just know you khun turn on more than one of these s o make sure you unclip the ones here are not looking for perfect and one from catherine can you have an image that is not the first image in the group as the active one that's shown a top of the stack wait say that one more time so if you have a group of say nine images normally the one that would show as the top of the stack is the first one in that image can you have the fifth one show as the top you reorder images within the stack you can re order images within the stack if you click on one and you could drag them like this but it is the top most mean the first image that's going to be the top you're stacking fire remember correctly meaning if I move this image to the very beginning then it is considered the top of the stack when I collapse that it's going to be there so you just you khun drag and drop these to whatever order you'd like but it's always the first one that's going to show up when you collapse stack that's great so you could go over here and just say first one we might best and then the the other three star ones will be read after that so I got best and then the outtakes

Class Description

It’s time to make the images you capture as you travel or explore the great outdoors even more jaw-dropping. Join photographer and image editing expert Ben Willmore to explore the Lightroom and Photoshop tools that will optimize your images to really make them shine while keeping them easy to find and organized.

In this course, you’ll master the post-production process every travel and outdoor photographer needs to know. From panorama stitching to HDR to fixing distortion in architectural images, you’ll dive deep into the editing tasks best performed in Photoshop. You’ll adjust and optimize your images – even if they’re overexposed, underexposed, or have color or contrast issues. You’ll also learn how to organize your images with Lightroom make them easy to find by location taken, subject, or date. Ben will cover specific tips on uploading and organizing while you are still on the road that will save you time and make things easy when it is time to edit. You’ll also develop an editing workflow that helps you retouch quickly and efficiently.

If you’re ready to spend more time outdoors taking stunning photos and less time stuck indoors processing (or finding!) them, this is the course for you.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2



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!