How Best Cull Your Images in Lightroom

On this video tutorial Aaron Nace from Phlearn demonstrates how to choose the best images to deliver to a client or display in your portfolio using Lightroom.

So you are done with your shot for your client and back at the studio with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of images, some of them quite similar. How would you pick the best ones and how would you do this in the best and most efficient way?

In this video Nace offers a system which is based on a number of steps. In each step, the selected images are refined to include only the best photos.

Here are the steps that Nace suggest in the video:

  1. Choose first – 3 seconds scan – in this step you need to work quickly and trust your gut instincts – look at each photo for less than 3 seconds. Double-click on the first image to make it full-screen, then use the left and right arrows on the keyboard to scroll through images. If you see an image you like press ‘P’ on the keyboard to flag it. Do this twice to see if you missed anything.
  2. Refine and “star” –  To show only the Picks, click on the “Attribute” icon in the top of the Library Module. Click the white flag to filter by Picks. Further refine the images by assigning them star ratings.
  3. Pick the best ones – The last step is to show just the Picks and the 5 Stars and give the images color ratings. Use the Attribute tab in Library Module to select just these images. Use compare mode ‘C’ to show images side-by-side and choose your ultimate favorites. After you have done so choose a color (for example red is 6 on the keyboard).

Adobe has this page on rating/flaging and labelling images in Lightroom which might also help you.

You can check out more useful Lightroom guides and tips on our LensVid Lightroom section (and you can find a lot more Phlearn videos on our special Phlearn subsection).

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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