Suggested Ranking Rules in Lightroom
by Ken Milburn
First, lest I be left out, let me tell you that Lightroom 1.1 is available as a free download to anyone who already has a copy of Lightroom 1.0. More importantly, you'll be very glad you downloaded and installed it. There are lots of very helpful new features, but most of all, the app is really fast. You hardly waste any time at all watching the image come to full resolution when you magnify to 100% and the thumbnails load significantly faster. I still have considerable studying to do to see what all the new features do. Most importantly, they don't make the interface you're used to seem unfamiliar or awkward.
The Lightroom 1.1 distraction aside, back to the topic and hand: One guy's scheme for ranking and grouping images. Although the only rule that really counts in art and photography is that rules are made to be broken (otherwise, everyone's pix would be the same), most of the time it pays to pay attention to the rules. Otherwise, you're a lot more likely to just make a mess. So here are some suggestions I've come up with. I print these out and follow them each time I download a card. If I find something that doesn't work or something that works better, I make a note, and test it for a while. When I feel pretty secure that the change is going to work most of the time, I type it permanently into the list, re-print it, and go on from there.
I'm doing almost the same thing as you do, except that you can use the pick and reject flags for your initial editing (the 1 star thing you do), that way your stars remain ratings and you won't get confused in the end...
So here's my workflow:
quickly go through the import and flag as picks and rejects (and unflagged), delete the rejects
go through the take again and compare similar images, assign stars as appropriate
filter by the stars to have a list of selects that get edited in develop
Assign stars again to filter out further shots
go back to the picks and unflagged images if necessary (just to be sure...)
after I have the final take I delete the remaining unflagged images
create a collection with the final take (I have lots of collections, ordered by type of assignment, customer etc)
label the final take as appropriate (i.e. one color is 'used on website', another is 'used in print portfolio', another might be 'stock images' etc, that way I can quickly see what image is used for what. If one image applies to more than one of these categories, I'll assign the most important one (i.e. 'print portfolio is the most important one, followed by website etc... all images in 'print portfolio' will be on the website anyway, but not necessarily the other way round)
So that leaves me with a collection of images from the shoot, depending on the type of assignment these are the rpoof images which will get edited by the customer. The ones that sell will be put into a sub-collection inside the original collection named 'selects', that way my DB reflects all the sales I've done to any client, at anytime, as well as any kind of shoot or assignment (images are always in more than one collection)
I have always used the 1-5* ratings in ACR & Lightroom. 1* to rate initial usable items, 2* for my favourites, 3* for client favourites, then 4* for album selections, 5* for images needing retouching.
HELP - I need to know of any way I can easily mark the size of prints clients order as keywords or colours, but cover different prints sizes for multiple orders from the same batch of photos. Any ideas?