Lightroom Culling Tip #1

February 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I think the best Lightroom tips that have been shared with me or that I have learned over the years have to do with KEYBOARD shortcuts and today's tip is no exception.

One of the reasons we use Lightroom is to quickly sort through tons of images. To cull is to sort and I want to make the culling as quick and as painless as possible. So my big tip here is to use TWO main keys only to make the sorting process painless. After you create your catalog in Lightroom and import your new images (1:1 Build Preview speeds up the culling, just give it a while to build all the full-sized previews!) double click on the first newly imported image with your mouse (in the Library module) and then push that mouse aside.  From here we will use just the keyboard.

If you LIKE your first image just tap on the 'P' key on your keyboard to tell Lightroom you like it. If you make a mistake in the picking just tap on the 'U' key to unpick it. Then tap the right arrow key to move forward to the next full sized preview image. Tap 'P' if you like that or tap the right arrow key to skip it if you don't.  Do this all the way until you reach the end of the imported images.

Now tell Lightroom to just show you all the PICKED images. Easy as pie - just drop down the Edit menu, and choose 'Select Flagged Photos'.  This will highlight all those you picked. Now make a Quick Collection by right clicking on any of the highlighted photos and choosing 'Add to Quick Collection'. Finally click on the Quick Collection+ under Catalog in the left panel and you will now only be dealing with those you picked!! Before you make any changes drop down the Edit menu again and chose 'Select None' (or press Ctrl/Cmd+D on your keyboard). This way you won't accidentally make changes to all those Quick Collection items at the same when you think you are just changing one image.

Final Speed Tip. Tap on your CapsLock key on your keyboard to turn on CapsLock and each time you tap on the 'P' key it will pick the image and then automatically move to the next image saving you from having to tap on the right arrow key! If you prefer to go back and forth in your newly imported images (tapping the right arrow & left arrow keys) then this final speed tip may not be for you.


Fast culling leads to getting to editing faster so make use of keyboard shortcuts as often as you can. Today's Culling Tip should really save you some time!


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