Quick Editing in Lightroom

We may all have our own way to edit images, which can be a real joy or a bit of a relentless task when, after several days on location, there are thousands of images to edit. This description is based on Mac computer and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic.       

For this blog I am indebted to Morten Hilmer, a photographer whose approach to wildlife and conservation I wholly admire, along with his photographic style. Although I use a similar system, what makes Morten's simple and fluid is the initial run through once the camera raw images are available from linked up camera, on external hard drive or computer.   This is the process.  With Lightroom open, import the images into the Library and allow Initial Previews to load up. Next step is to use 'L' on the keyboard, the screen will turn black with just the images highlighted, double click the first image which will bring the size up to 'fill screen' size. Now this is the part I really like from Morten, view each image for little more than one second and allocate a 1 star rating, if you consider it is worthy of a rating, otherwise do not rate. Go right through the uploaded images rating those worthy of a star.


Double click 'L' on keyboard so the screen is back to 'Library' view, scroll up to "Attribute" and with the cursor select Rating - 1 star , this will bring up all the images which you have rated with one star. Now run through the starred images allowing about five seconds on each and re-rate them as befits your preference, quality and composition of each image. This time upping the star rating with options  2, 3, 4, 5, on the keyboard. Colour code rating is a further choice but I leave this for selections where clients request particular images; normally from a previously edited file. If you wish to colour code 6, 7, 8, 9 are red, yellow, green, blue respectively. Zero is non-rated.   Once this stage has been completed you will have a selection of images to either file, convert or send out, representing your preferred choice of the highest quality from a particular uploaded shoot batch.


I generally delete the unrated images, retain all the starred images with their keywords filing, on my system these are held on external drives.  The final point Morten makes, is that he never deletes any images, with storage facility so cheap it is easy to move every image back onto a storage drive, allowing selection by keywords in the future. I do agree, but as I have a file structure including wildlife, travel, portraits, music and landscapes, I do delete and file in the respective category.     

I will cover keywording in the next blog.      

Morten's web site can be found at https://mortenhilmer.com