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Rating your images is a critical part of effective postproduction workflow. If you're doing your job as a photographer, then you should be shooting lots of images of every scene that you shoot. This process of working the shot is how you explore a subject and eventually find the best image. Working the shot this way also means that you will be going home with a lot of images, most of which will not be keepers. By rating your images, you can easily filter out the good ones and not have to waste time reviewing or editing lesser shots.
You can start your rating process in the camera itself by applying ratings of one to five stars. These ratings can be read by many image editing applications, including Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Lightroom. Obviously, to rate my images I need to be in Playback mode, so I am going to hit the Play button here. Next I go to menu and in my second playback menu I have a Rating option. If I just pick that, I go into a Rating mode, and the way this works is I can scroll back and forth through my images just as I always would. But if I want to apply a rating, I just hit the up and down arrow keys.
So I can hit 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 stars, or I can take stars away. And what this is doing over here is just giving me a running total of how many images on the card have each rating, so right now I have one three-star image. When I am done I just hit the menu button to go back to my menuing system. The main thing to remember with ratings is that there is no rule to it, whatever makes sense to you is fine. The ability to rate images in camera means that you can rate an image as a keeper while you're still on location when the shoot is still fresh in your mind.
Or if you are sitting in an airport waiting to go home, you can go ahead and start reviewing and rating your images without having to drag out a computer.
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