Culling workflow

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    Logan Lamar

    Hi everyone!
    I’m in need of a good strategy on culling and bulk editing a lot of photos. For example, I just came back from a portrait shoot of one of my little siblings with nearly 200 photos… how do I begin to quickly cull these and edit them without spending all day on them?

    Appreciate any help I can get!

    David Frazer

    Personally I use stars – I go through everything really quickly and anything that has some potential gets 2 stars. (one finger over the 2 key, the other finger on the arrow key) Then I limit the view to see only 2 star photos and go through again, bumping the best up to 3 stars. When I get to 3 stars I sometimes have narrowed it down enough but if not I go up to 4 stars. I rarely go up to 5 stars, as my photography isn’t that great… and because once I get up to 3 or 4 stars I find it easier to go through eliminating photos than picking photos. So I go through the 4 star photos and say… no, that one isn’t quite as good, bump it down to 3 stars.

    I also use colour labels… yellow means I want to edit it for printing, green means it has been edited and is ready to print, red means I need to do some photoshop work on it, etc.

    A lot of people use pick and reject, but I don’t find that is enough levels – I like to be able to go back to the 2 star photos to pick a new photo if I realise once I get to editing that in the 3 star photo there is something distracting that I missed in the background.

    Using this method I would normally get it down from 200 to 20-40 in a matter of a couple of minutes; the final triage may take longer.

    If there are a few photos that are similar and I want to edit them all the same to take my final pick, I will do the basic edits and then copy the edits all over to the other photos rather than re-doing the edits.

    Lydia Bennett

    Hey @loganlamar! My culling process is pretty similar to @dfrazer’s but not quite as in depth. I go through pretty quickly and flag photos I want to edit, and then as I’m going through and editing, I’ll give them star ratings (I do 5 for great, 3 for nice and 1 for fair) as needed. My process is still in need of refinement though, and I just might implement some of David’s ideas he laid out here. I give photos that need extra work (i.e. Photoshop) a red label as well.

    Just wanted to add…As far as editing large quantities of photos quickly, I don’t know if your editing software has this feature but in Lightroom, you can synchronize edits between photos. This is SUPER helpful when you have a large batch. I sync edits between similar photos and then just make minor tweaks as needed. It’s a feature that has definitely saved me a lot of time in editing.

    Logan Lamar

    Wow I barely even remember asking this question… maybe there was a glitch or something or maybe my prepping for finals is getting to my head a bit much.
    Thanks so much for your help @dfrazer and @bennett-family! YES, my photography software (On1 2020) has a rating system, and normally… I think it’s just going to be buckling down and practicing using it consistently. Normally what I do is rating any shots that might have potential as 1 star, and then rating any “wow shots” as 2 stars (one’s I’d want to show off to the client). Any thing that’s 3 stars goes on my future portfolio.

    As far as editing is concerned, I’m definitely getting quicker at knowing what an image needs before I even start playing with anything and I’m getting better at using presets and using that all-amazing sync button 😉

    Thanks so much!


Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

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