Lightroom P Tricks

by Ken Milburn

Strike the P while any or several images are highlighted in Lightroom to save yourself a lot of time. Striking the P assigns the highlighted image(s) as a Quick Pick. At the bottom of the screen in the Filters bar, click the solid color flag. All the images you’ve flagged will appear in the grid…and all others will be hidden. Just highlight all the images (Cmd/Ctrl + A)

Quick Picks.jpg

When you get through with any one of these operations, highlight all the files again (Cmd/Ctrl + A) and hit P again. That will turn off the flag for all of the currently selected group so that you can flag another group for another reason.

Here are some of the other reasons you may want to hand-pick groups of files so that you can apply the same thing to all of them (I have made using the following sequence of “picked” files immediately after every Import):

Delete any images you don’t want to keep. If you just delete them one-at-a-time, you have to answer the dialog’s Confirm dialog as to whether you’re sure you want to delete the image from the drive. You then have to wait for the deletion to happen for each image.

Set Rating. All you have to do is strike the number for the number of stars or the color you want to assign and it’s assigned to all the picks for that number or color at once. Furthermore, doing them all at once gives you a last minute chance to make sure this is the collection you want to give this particular rating to.

Assign Keywords and Metadata to groups of files. Doing it to whole groups at a time insures that all the images that deserve this set of keywords or metadata will get the identical keywords or metadata. So your subsequent searches will be much more accurate.

Use the Eyedropper to set the white balance for all the images at the same time. I find that I’m more likely to get the adjustments just right if those adjustment are being made on images that already have the correct white balance. If there’s nothing in one image that has a color that is absolutely neutral, there’s a greater likelihood that there will be at least one in the group.

Process all similarly shot similar files at the same time. Obviously, this cuts your developing time to a fraction of what it would be if you processed each image individually. Just be sure you don’t try to do this on a series of images that have been bracketed for either exposure or white balance.

You’ll probably come up with a few other suggestions of your own. See ya next week.


2007-08-31 08:58:55
Deleting images only works if you're in the "All Photographs" view. If you're anywhere else (maybe because you assign photos to collections on import, or something like that) all you can do is remove the photos from that collection. This is a major limitation to my workflow.
2007-09-03 02:07:22
Deleting photos in any view requires Alt Ctrl Shift Delete. Bit of a contorted "shortcut", but it works.

But Ken, why on earth are you using the Pick flagging system, designed for picking /rejecting, rather than the Quick Collection (nothing to stop you using it but "Quick Pick" isn't an official Lightroom term). So it's B instead of "P", and Ctrl B to go to the Quick Collection, Ctrl Shift B to empty it. None of the need to keep selecting flagged items only to clear the flags. This isn't a question of each to his own but of simple efficiency. Use Pick to pick and reject, Quick Collection to temporarily gather files so you can apply the same operation to all.

Stew Stryker
2007-09-04 14:49:29
Glo, this newbie will disagree with you. I quickly walk through the filmstrip hitting either P or X. Then Ctrl-Backspace removes/deletes the Rejects (X). Then I use View->Refine to clear the P flags and do another pass with P and X (plus sometimes a number rating). There's no disputing taste!

So I agree with Ken that this gives a good workflow.
I'd like to add one more suggestion, if I may?

I hadn't used the Color flags (red, yellow, green, blue, etc) until I found myself wondering whether I'd finished edits on a few images. LR makes it so easy to move between images that I'd wonder if I'd done all that I wanted to. So now when I finish my edits on an image and I'm happy with it (as much as I can be), I mark it Green (for good to go). Similarly if I know there's an image that I need to export to PhotoShop Elements editor for touch-up work later, I'll mark it Red.

Seeing the colors on the Filmstrip bar at the bottom makes it really easy to keep track of where I am with each. An if I have a lot of images to work with, I can even use the Filters there to focus on a few.

I just added this to my workflow (just started using LR last week), so I haven't yet decided if I'll end up removing the Green setting once I'm done with everything in the collection.

2007-09-05 06:39:21
My point isn't the use of the P U or X flagging system for weeding out. That's what it's designed for. But it's not intended for temporary grouping of images so you can set ratings, apply keywords, adjust WB. If you need a temporary grouping, use Quick Collection (if that grouping is not temporary, consider saving into a proper Collection) or developing a consistent use for the coloured labels.
2007-09-09 06:22:23
awesome simple LR Tip