• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom Classic questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. And better still, the eBooks are updated for every release, so it's always up to date.

Culling prior to Import?

Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
81
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic 10.4
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
I did search on the forum before posting this question, so I hope I didn't miss it. Does anyone review (cull) their images before importing to LrC catalog? When I say review (cull) I mean just for purpose of marking for deletion or deleting prior to import to LrC catalog. I am tired of importing 100s of images only to end up deleting 80% or more of them later. Whether you copy to another location or leave them at their present location is irrelevant to my question. I simply want to know what program you use to review the images prior to importing. I don't even care if you keep them on the card or copy/move to another location. It's only important that you're reviewing them before you import to the catalog. I have Windows-10.
Do you use Bridge, Windows Photo, or some other app?
 
Solution
Clee,

I have experience only with Fast RAW Viewer, and not PM or Faststone. I think that the question of culling before import to Lightroom depends on the subject matter.

I recently photographed a Giants-Dodgers game (Giants won) and i took hundreds and hundreds of photos, mostly at 9 fps. Every time the batter took a swing, I started taking pictures. I took photos of many infield plays, if I had the skill to point the lens in the right direction. I took pictures of the pitcher doing his windup and throw. Not suprisingly, on the first pass, I culled out over 95 % of the photos. Later in the workflow I did a critical cull.

For this situation, Fast RAW Viewer did a good job. (I have my issues with the interface, but that's a...
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,430
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
There is no right or wrong answer to culling inside or outside of LR. It all depends on your workflow and what is comfortable for you. I prefer to cull outside of LR so I only import what I intend to keep. The programs that I use for culling are FastStone Image Viewer and Fast Raw Viewer. I like the former because I can evaluate up to four images at any magnification I prefer, and it is all controlled easily with single key strokes on the keyboard. I use the latter when I actually need to see the raw file rather than the embedded preview. There are other viewer programs that will allow you to look at up to four images, but FSIV has many other useful features that I like, so I have used it, despite any limitations. The heavy hitter in this category is Photo Mechanic. It has its own workflow that can dovetail nicely with LR, but it does take a bit of setting up. Post any follow-up questions if you need more information or suggestions.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
81
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
There is no right or wrong answer to culling inside or outside of LR. It all depends on your workflow and what is comfortable for you. I prefer to cull outside of LR so I only import what I intend to keep. The programs that I use for culling are FastStone Image Viewer and Fast Raw Viewer. I like the former because I can evaluate up to four images at any magnification I prefer, and it is all controlled easily with single key strokes on the keyboard. I use the latter when I actually need to see the raw file rather than the embedded preview. There are other viewer programs that will allow you to look at up to four images, but FSIV has many other useful features that I like, so I have used it, despite any limitations. The heavy hitter in this category is Photo Mechanic. It has its own workflow that can dovetail nicely with LR, but it does take a bit of setting up. Post any follow-up questions if you need more information or suggestions.

Good luck,

--Ken
Thank you for the information. Yes, I know of Photo Mechanic (PM) but it's expensive and since I'm just doing cursory review I don't need or want to pay for an elaborate program but thanks for suggestion anyway. When you mentioned FRV and FSIV it reminded that I have Sony's Imaging Edge Desktop apps that includes a raw image viewer and even an editor. I'll try using it first. Thanks again for responding.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,390
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I can’t think of a speedier way to cull image than by importing them first into Lightroom Classic. You can start your culling process as soon as the first image is available in Lightroom. You do not need to wait for the import process to finish. Doing the outside of Lightroom means importing them twice. First into some Data asset management tool (Like PM) and then importing them again into another Data Asset management tool (Lightroom) Either way you need to import all of the images into some DAM tool whether you end up importing some of them into Lightroom or start with Lightroom.
I used to cull in Lightroom Classic, now I import into Lightroom on my iPadPro and do preliminary work there I don’t delete in Lightroom because Images are being sync’d with the cloud and down to Lightroom Classic on my iMac. I just mark culled images as rejected and delete once the sync process has reached my Classic catalog.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
1,661
Location
Queensland
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I can’t think of a speedier way to cull image than by importing them first into Lightroom Classic.
True. And if you use 'Embedded Previews' in the Import dialog- even faster as LrC does not need to create its own presets.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
81
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
I can’t think of a speedier way to cull image than by importing them first into Lightroom Classic. You can start your culling process as soon as the first image is available in Lightroom. You do not need to wait for the import process to finish. Doing the outside of Lightroom means importing them twice. First into some Data asset management tool (Like PM) and then importing them again into another Data Asset management tool (Lightroom) Either way you need to import all of the images into some DAM tool whether you end up importing some of them into Lightroom or start with Lightroom.
I used to cull in Lightroom Classic, now I import into Lightroom on my iPadPro and do preliminary work there I don’t delete in Lightroom because Images are being sync’d with the cloud and down to Lightroom Classic on my iMac. I just mark culled images as rejected and delete once the sync process has reached my Classic catalog.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I'm trying to import into another DAM. I am talking about reviewing directly from the card and deleting those that don't fit keep status. Then whats left import into my LrC catalog. I'm not sure I trust that LrC won't crash if try importing and culling simultaneously especially if there's 200 or more images. I'm talking about using an image browser only not a full blown DAM. I'll try it a few times and if it seems redundant I'll quit. It just seems senseless to import into catalog only to end up deleting. I wish LrC would let me review and mark for import or deletion prior to actually importing.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,580
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
I can’t think of a speedier way to cull image than by importing them first into Lightroom Classic. You can start your culling process as soon as the first image is available in Lightroom. You do not need to wait for the import process to finish. Doing the outside of Lightroom means importing them twice. First into some Data asset management tool (Like PM) and then importing them again into another Data Asset management tool (Lightroom) Either way you need to import all of the images into some DAM tool whether you end up importing some of them into Lightroom or start with Lightroom.
I used to cull in Lightroom Classic, now I import into Lightroom on my iPadPro and do preliminary work there I don’t delete in Lightroom because Images are being sync’d with the cloud and down to Lightroom Classic on my iMac. I just mark culled images as rejected and delete once the sync process has reached my Classic catalog.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Clee,

I have experience only with Fast RAW Viewer, and not PM or Faststone. I think that the question of culling before import to Lightroom depends on the subject matter.

I recently photographed a Giants-Dodgers game (Giants won) and i took hundreds and hundreds of photos, mostly at 9 fps. Every time the batter took a swing, I started taking pictures. I took photos of many infield plays, if I had the skill to point the lens in the right direction. I took pictures of the pitcher doing his windup and throw. Not suprisingly, on the first pass, I culled out over 95 % of the photos. Later in the workflow I did a critical cull.

For this situation, Fast RAW Viewer did a good job. (I have my issues with the interface, but that's a separate subject.)

I started by copying all my photos from the memory card to my "default import" folder. In FRV all I did was mark photos for deletion or assign a star rating, nothing more like white balance. The key here is that all the "deleted" photos were deleted from disk using FRV, from the default import folder, so Lightroom never had to deal with them. Pretty straightforward, and I think a lot faster than doing the same cull in Lightroom.

Also recently I photographed a number of headstones for family members who have passed on. One photo per headstone in most cases. For this situation, there was absolutely no reason for me to use FRV. I just imported all the photos into Lightroom for processing.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
81
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Clee,

I have experience only with Fast RAW Viewer, and not PM or Faststone. I think that the question of culling before import to Lightroom depends on the subject matter.

I recently photographed a Giants-Dodgers game (Giants won) and i took hundreds and hundreds of photos, mostly at 9 fps. Every time the batter took a swing, I started taking pictures. I took photos of many infield plays, if I had the skill to point the lens in the right direction. I took pictures of the pitcher doing his windup and throw. Not suprisingly, on the first pass, I culled out over 95 % of the photos. Later in the workflow I did a critical cull.

For this situation, Fast RAW Viewer did a good job. (I have my issues with the interface, but that's a separate subject.)

I started by copying all my photos from the memory card to my "default import" folder. In FRV all I did was mark photos for deletion or assign a star rating, nothing more like white balance. The key here is that all the "deleted" photos were deleted from disk using FRV, from the default import folder, so Lightroom never had to deal with them. Pretty straightforward, and I think a lot faster than doing the same cull in Lightroom.

Also recently I photographed a number of headstones for family members who have passed on. One photo per headstone in most cases. For this situation, there was absolutely no reason for me to use FRV. I just imported all the photos into Lightroom for processing.
@PhilBurton and @clee01l that is exactly what I'm talking about. When I shoot my grandkids sporting events I can come home with a 1000 images or more shooting 8-12fps in continuous Hi+. I really don't like trying to do a cursory pass while LrC is importing.
 
Solution

Zenon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,827
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Always. I use Canon's DPP - Quick Check - Full Screen. DPP's downsizing algorithm for 'fit to screen' display is very good and contrasty which creates the illusion of sharpness. It's like viewing a final Jpeg. I press x as I cull. At the end I select Edit - Rating - Select Rejected Images Only. Then File - Move to Trash.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
835
Location
Cheshire, UK
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
From a different perspective. I'm used to dealing with the low hundreds of photos, not thousands.
I find that for my m4/3 cameras DxO's PhotoLab gives the best raw conversion / noise reduction. So I view the photos in PhotoLab and export/import into Lightroom the "best" ones. I don't actually cull, they are still there on disk (I may delete the hopeless ones), but only a subset are in the Catalogue.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,390
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I'm not sure I trust that LrC won't crash if try importing and culling simultaneously especially if there's 200 or more images. I'm talking about using an image browser only not a full blown DAM.
The only reason that Lightroom might crash is due to inadequate hardware or Operating system . Lightroom crashing should never be a concern. It never has been for me. My camera card can hold around 1000 images. Though I rarely import more than a few hundred, I am confident that my Operating system and working storage are adequate to handle all of the images that I might throw at it

The Lightroom Import dialog has a Loupe setting that permits you to inspect a large view of each image. This acts like the image browser that you think you need. I rarely use the Loupe View in the import dialog because the import process is so much quicker that the import is done before I could review more than a few images.
 

Zenon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,827
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
To prevent crashing use Embedded and Sidecar at import.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
456
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
I'm used to cull in LrC. I sometimes have more than 1000 photos on the card (from a full day of horse competition) and I never experienced a Lr crash. I like the useful tools LrC has to cull : use X to mark as rejected and filter on non rejected, comparison mode, loupe view, etc. For me it's very fast and efficient and I don't think using anything else.
 

Jimmsp

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
1,096
Location
Green Valley, Arizona, USA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
I'm used to cull in LrC. I sometimes have more than 1000 photos on the card (from a full day of horse competition) and I never experienced a Lr crash. I like the useful tools LrC has to cull : use X to mark as rejected and filter on non rejected, comparison mode, loupe view, etc. For me it's very fast and efficient and I don't think using anything else.
I am like you (except for the horse ). This weekend I unloaded about 1000 images from a walk through a local canyon, looking for autumn shots. I follow a National Geo philosophy I learned of "work the scene": varying composition, varying aperture, occasional HDR, etc. If I threw away a lot of shots before I did some initial processing in LR, I would lose some of my better shots. LR makes it easy for me to do a first pass following an Auto tone where I can mark some obvious ones for deletion, mark some with 1 star (as probable keepers) and 2 star as definite keepers. The 0 star shots are kept and probably deleted a day or so later - but worth looking at them a second time. The 2 star shots are processed first.

I have found over time that the brain can get tired looking at a series of photos that are close to one another, and picking out the best one takes some time. I suppose if I were in the newspaper business with tight deadlines, I'd feel differently. Then I would cull quickly, and not worry about tossing a great shot away, and move on.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,873
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
I'm with Jim here and prefer to get the pictures into LR (and copied), then decide at my leisure which to keep.

At some events it's not hard to shoot hundreds and even thousands of pictures. I do often begin by culling before Import, but rather than complicate life with another app I review new pictures in LR's Import dialog which displays the embedded previews and lets me cull with the X shortcut.

But the more photos I've taken, the more tedious this becomes, and the more I am likely to be tired or need to eat/sleep etc, or just want to get working on some of the images. So after a while, I'll just hit the Import button. In other words, why introduce a bottleneck by culling before import?
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
1,390
Location
Dublin, Ireland.
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I think there is no “one size fits all”.

I am very familiar with PhotoMechanic, Fast Raw Viewer and have just purchased Gnarbox 2. My personal photography style (landscape,street, travel with occasional sport) means I do not need to pre prune images before import ( except sometimes I want to import jpg only, sometimes raw only and sometimes for specific dates). lr is not helpful here.

As a pre processor for Lr, PhotoMechanic(PM) is the most mature and has a lot more functionality than most people need. It does allow you to preselect from an sd card and provides lots of tools to assist the workflow of a sports shooter or someone who needs to get the best images quickly to a client or editor, but PM learning curve and or pricing might be barriers.

Fast Raw Viewer (FRV) has very effective functionality for preselecting images. Further, they are extremely responsive to end user suggestions. They have implemented some of my suggestions already and have indicated they will add others in due course. When they do it will make FRV my favourite tool as a preprocessor to Lr (ie solve the issues I raise in the brackets above).


It is too early for me to comment on GnarBox2, but I can see the attractions of the device to support many of the workflow needs of photographers in the field, where backing up their images safely and quickly is vip. The ability to link to this device with smart phone or ipad provides options to rate and review and preselect what i ages get copies to your main workstation.

I have first hand experience of wild life photographers, shooting at 30 frames per second, who desperately need a solution to preselect the keepers before they reach the main workstation, otherwise the volume of data completely overwhelms the available storage.

Regularly wildlife photographers will have a whole string of images, maybe 30 maybe 100 that they know just do not make the grade and can be screened out of the workflow at the earliest point, preferably before landing on your main disk storage.

The ultimate solution is proportional to the volume of images you need to handle, the turnaround time and other factors.

While I am familiar with these options, I am not an expert, but will be happy to try and answer any questions anyone might have.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,430
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
But the more photos I've taken, the more tedious this becomes, and the more I am likely to be tired or need to eat/sleep etc, or just want to get working on some of the images. So after a while, I'll just hit the Import button. In other words, why introduce a bottleneck by culling before import?
I share that feeling about the tedious nature, but the counterpoint is why import everything and then have to deal with the "mess" later on? I tend to fall in the middle. I do cull outside of LR, but if in doubt, I keep the image and move on.

--Ken
 
Top