Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Survey view, part of Lightroom 4: Image Management.
The Survey View in Lightroom allows you to review several images at a time, so you can identify your favorite from a particular group. I find the Survey View to be most useful when you're comparing a variety of images that don't necessarily relate to each other. In other words, I don't typically use the Survey View when I'm comparing several images of the exact same subject. For that, I would tend to use the Compare View. But when I have a variety of images, and I just want to find perhaps my favorite of that group, then I'll tend to use the Survey View. For example, I have some photographs here that I captured during a photography event in California, photographing various subjects at the beach at sunset.
And I'd like to find one image that sort of epitomizes the overall experience there. I've click on the first image in a series. I like this one, a horse with a rider on the sand dunes. I can also then hold the Ctrl key on Windows or Cmd key on Macintosh, and then click on other images that I would also like to evaluate. So, I'll scroll through the film strip. I could also use, of course, the Grid review in order to review the images. And I'll include that one as well. And so now, I have five selected photos, we can see on the filmstrip here that out of the 22 images in this folder, I've currently selected 5.
I'll go ahead then and chose the Survey View. I can click on the Survey View button on the toolbar below the image, or simply press the letter N on the keyboard. When I'm in Survey View, you can see that all of the selected images are displayed all at once in the preview area. If I press Shift+Tab I can hide all of the panels, and I'm also going to press T to hide the toolbar. And then, I can evaluate these images to decide which I think might be the best. The basic process in Survey View involves removing images from the group. So, you review all the images and decide which is perhaps not the best fit for whatever you have in mind.
I think the smokestacks from a power plant here perhaps is not exactly what I'm looking for. So, I'll click the X in the bottom right corner of the image. That X appears whenever I mouse over the image. And when I click that X, that particular image will disappear. And the others will rearrange and resize to fill the available space. I like this wide shot of the sunset and the beach. There's a surfer walking in front of the waves here. But I think overall, it's a little bit too wide of a scene. I think there's not really a strong area of interest.
And the sky, while nice, is not remarkable. So I think I'll remove that image from the group. I also think that while this horse and rider is very very nice, it's just not quite dramatic enough, and perhaps wasn't framed as well as it could've been. I'll go ahead and remove that image from the selection. I'm left now with just two images. And well, I really like the image on the left. I think the image on the right is still little bit more interesting and dramatic. So, I think I'll remove the image on the left and that leaves me with the single image that I have narrowed down the selection to.
I can then press Shift+Tab in order to bring back my panels. And I might as well bring back the toolbar as well by pressing T. And as you can see, while I had selected five images to start with, now that I've finalized my selection to a single image using the Survey View, I only have a single image actually selected on the Filmstrip at this point. So, I could then continue working with this image, perhaps optimizing it, adding some metadata to it, or even just sharing it with others, with web gallery for example, or perhaps printing the image. The point is, that I'm able to take a group of images that I like, and find my favorite out of that group relatively easy with the Survey View.
- Preferences for image management
- Catalog settings
- Backing up with Export
- Importing, reviewing, and organizing images
- Image filtering
- Locking the Library Filter
- Dealing with offline images