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- Understanding Lightroom catalogs
- Importing photos from multiple sources
- Organizing photos with ratings, keywords, and collections
- Working with virtual copies
- Making basic corrections to photo color and tone
- Making local photo edits with the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools
- Removing spots from multiple photos at once
- Reducing digital noise and sharpening
- Cropping and straightening
- Printing and exporting edited photos
Skill Level Beginner
After you import photos into Lightroom, of course the first thing you want to do is review them. In this movie, I will show you some features in the Library module for reviewing and rating photos, and I will suggest a way to use these features to really organize photos in a real shoot. The first step is to select the folder in the Folders panel on the left that that contains the photos you want review, and they will appear in the main window as thumbnail previews. If you're not in Grid view like I am, then in the toolbar, click the Grid view icon here.
By the way, I use the menu on the right side of the toolbar to select just the features that I want, and I selected some features that are commonly used in the reviewing process. Those are the Pick and the Reject flags here, the stars and the color labels. The first thing I do when I am reviewing a new shoot is to run through it quickly here in Grid view using the scrollbar on the right side of the main window. As I look at my photos, if I see some that I think are real duds, either because of exposure or subject matter or whatever reason, I would like to mark them as rejects.
To mark as reject, I will select a photo here, and then I will go down to the toolbar and I will click the Reject flag. Now, this doesn't delete the photo; it just marks it as a reject, putting that flag icon in its top-left corner. When I am done going through the photos in Grid view, I will look at them closer in Loupe view. I am going to go up to the top and I am going to select the first photo, and then I am going to click the Loupe view icon here in the toolbar, and that shows me the selected photo at a magnification that's just big enough to fit it in the window.
Sometimes I like to get a closer view when I am reviewing in Loupe view and so I will just come into the photo and I will click and that will zoom me in to 100%. And with my mouse still held down, I can click and drag so that I can check say the focus in another part of the photo, and then I will release my mouse. As I go through the photos in Loupe view, I am going to mark those I like best with a Pick flag, and if I see any more duds, I will mark those with a Reject flag, and those that are kind of in between-- they are not great, but they are not terrible--I will leave unflagged.
So I'll be setting up three categories of photos. So let's say that I really like this photo. I will go down to the toolbar and I will click on the Pick flag. You can't see that there is a Pick flag on this photo, but if I were to go back to Grid view, you can see that it does have this icon indicating it's a pick. I will go back into Loupe view and now I'm going to use the right arrow key on my keyboard to move quickly through the photos in this folder, marking them as picks, marking them as rejects or leaving them unflagged.
I will press the right arrow and I will mark this one as reject. Right arrow, pick, right arrow, I will leave this one unflagged. It's kind of in between. Here is another pick, right arrow, pick, and so on. Now here I see a few photos that are of the same subject, and this is a situation in which I might use another view, the Survey view. In the filmstrip, I will select the first of these similar photos, and then I will hold down the Shift key and select the last of them.
That's selects all in between, and now I'm going to go to the toolbar and I'm going to go to another view, Survey view, by clicking this icon. I can see all four of the selected photos in the main window. They are kind of small. I would like to hide the big panel groups on the left and on the right. The fastest way to do that is to press the Tab key on the keyboard. Here in Survey view I can add a pick or reject flag to a photo after I've seen it in the context of the other photos. So I can see that this is a little blurry, so I will move my mouse over this photo--I'm not clicking I am just hovering--and that brings up the Reject and Pick flag icons at the bottom left.
I will click the Reject icon. If I think that this photo is a pick, I will move my mouse over it and I will click the Pick flag. The other thing that I can do in this window is I can drop out photos so that I can see the others larger. So let's say I want to drop out this one that I think is a reject anyway. I will move my mouse over it and I get this X at the bottom-right corner, and I can click there to drop that photo out. I will drop this one out too the same way, and now I have a larger view of these photos so I can compare them, and I can see that this is a pick, so I'll give it the Pick icon.
Now, I am going to go back down to the filmstrip and I'm going to scroll over because I want to show you some other photos here. I can see that I have a number of photos of this glass building, and let's say that my task is I have to choose one photo of the glass building to put on a magazine cover. In this case, when I need to select just one photo out of a group, I might use another view, and that is Compare view. The first step is to select all of these photos in the filmstrip, so I will click on the first in the sequence, and I will hold the Shift key as I click on the last.
Here are the seven photos in Survey view, but I'd rather look at them in Compare view, so I'm going to go to the toolbar and I will click on the Compare view icon. Now, I can see the first two photos. The first appears as the selected photo; the other appears as a candidate to be the selected photo. I like the photo that is the entire building better than this close-up, so I would like to compare the current select, the entire building, to a different candidate. To do that, I will go down to the toolbar and I will click the arrow on the right, and this will switch out the candidate.
Well, I don't like this candidate any better than the current select, so I will click the arrow again. I don't like this one, so I will click the arrow again. Now, this candidate I like better than the current select. So I'm going to promote this candidate, the photo with the yellow crane, to be the select. To do that, I will click the Make Select button here, and that promotes the photo with the yellow crane to the select and brings up the next photo in the sequence as the candidate. I like this photo on the left better than the photo on the right, so let's look at another candidate by pressing the right arrow.
Ah, I really like this candidate, and I would like to promote this one to be to select over the current select, so I will click the Make Select button. And now I'm done looking through all seven of those glass building photos, and this diagonal photo of the class building turns out to be the winner, so how do I mark it as the very best photo? I could give it a Pick icon, but I'm actually going to add five stars to this photo. To do that, I will move to these five dots underneath the select photo, and I will click on the fifth one, and that marks this photo with five stars.
So now I'm done reviewing all of the photos in the folder, so I'll go back to Grid view by clicking the Grid view icon--and I am going to click in this blank area to deselect all the photos. Here you can clearly see which thumbnails have white flags-- those are the picks--which have black flags and are dimmed out--those are the rejects--and there's even one photo that has five stars. Now, I want to say something about the star rating system. Some people like to try to rate all of the photos with different stars, but I find that's just too complicated because what makes a photo worth one star as opposed to two stars or three stars? So the way that I use stars is I only use five stars and I only use five stars on the very best photos.
So in this case, for example, I'm only going to give five stars to that one photo that I chose a minute ago. There is another feature that you can use when you're reviewing and rating photos, and those are the color labels. I would like to use the labels to indicate photos that I am going to use for a specific purpose. So let's say that I'm making a web site and I want to have a few photos to put on the web site. I can select photos by clicking on them, so I will click this one and maybe this one, holding down the Command key--that's Ctrl key on a PC--and maybe this one.
And to give all of those are color label, I will go down to the toolbar and I will click on one of the color labels, say purple, and now when I click off the photos, those particular photos are highlighted in purple so that I know that they go together for a project. Now, the whole purpose of this reviewing and rating system that I have showed you is so that I can isolate photos that I want you to use, say all my picks. Or maybe I want to isolate all my rejects, so that I can delete them from the catalog. To isolate photos that I've rated in this way, I will use filters.
I will go up to the Library Filter bar at the top of the Library module and I will click on Attribute. Here I can filter on these various attributes; for example, if I want to see only the photos that I gave the white flag, my picks, I will click on the white flag attribute, and there are my picks. If I want to see all the photos again, I will click the white flag, and that removes the filter. If I want to see all of the photos except my rejects, I will click on the white flag and I will click on the gray flag, which represents the unflagged photos.
So there's everything except my rejects. I am going to click again on the gray flag to go back to just my picks. When I filter my photos for just the picks, this is only temporary. If I want to keep the picks in a more permanent manner, I can save these picks in a collection, and I will show you how to work with collections in more detail in another movie. To finish up, I am going to bring back my panel groups by pressing the Tab key on my keyboard. So that's a look at the different rating features available to you in the Library module. I've tried to show you not only how these features work, but also how you might use them in a real reviewing workflow.
Now you may prefer to use the tools in a different way; for example, you may prefer to give star ratings to all your photos--and of course, that's fine too. So go ahead and experiment with these tools and use them in the way you are most comfortable.