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Once you have your images in Lightroom, you want to determine which ones are the better ones. One of the principles of being organized is knowing which are your best shots. For example, I have a number of hot air balloon shots here, shot at dawn, and if I were to come back and want to grab one to send to a friend to let him know what a great time I had shooting this, I don't want to have to keep going through the images over and over again to determine the best one. So what I like to do is, when I first look at them, give them a rating, or flag them, or a color label. We can do all three here in Lightroom, and I am just going to whip through that right now.
Now, the first thing I want to tell you is that you can clean up this interface when you're doing certain tasks. For example, right now we don't need the information over here in the navigator. I can just go ahead and collapse that, right there, and that gives me little bit more space to look at my photos. I am going to double-click here on this shot, and now I have a good look at it. Now if I want to do the rating system, that's quite simple. I like to go through my images twice. First time, just to get a feel for them and give them a basic thumbs-up or thumbs-down rating, which I do with two stars. And then the second time through, after I have seen everything, I can assign at least a semifinal rating. You never know; these things are always subject to change.
So if it's a decent shot, I give it two stars. So I am just going to hit the 2 key, and then hit the Arrow key; 1 key, because this one is marginal to me. 2; I like this one a lot, I will probably come back to it. 2, 2, 2, 2, there we go; and the last one right here. Then we're to another shoot, which I don't want to work on at the moment; I want to stay focused on this hot air balloon shoot.
So I am going to go back to the beginning, and I am going to go back through just one more time. This one I will leave at 2; leave that one at 1. I like this one a lot, so I am going to up it to 3. 2, 2, 2, 2; maybe give this one a 3, maybe give this one a 3. So that's a simple star rating. Now if I hit the G key, I come back to the grid, and just by looking quickly at my images I can see which ones I feel are the better shots.
Now you have a few other tools to do this. Let me show you flagging. Flagging is fun. Here's the way I remember flagging: it's P, U. I know that doesn't sound great, but the P key sets a flag for the shot. I am going to hit the P key right now. And the U key unflags the shot. And you can see over here when the flag goes -- now you can click on these to set these, but I would rather use the P, U keys, just because. So if I was going through here, and I wanted to, instead of star rating, just give a shot a flag to let me know that it's one of my favorites, then I could just hit the P key to do that.
And if I change my mind later, I could hit the U key to unflag it. I am going to hit G one more time to go back to grid. And the last way that you can set a photo apart from the others is using color labels, and those are the 6 through 9 keys. So I am going to hit the 6 key right here, and it sets that label to red. We are working with this guy right here. 7 key, yellow. These are customizable, by the way. 8, green, and 9, blue.
So if you really wanted to throw all of your markers onto one photo, you could flag it, have a high star rating, and give it a color label. But what most folks do is they use one or two of these systems to help them remember which are their best shots, so when they come back to a particular collection they know right away, visually scanning the collection, which are the good shots, and which ones aren't.
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