In an ideal world, we’d all be shooting countless photographs and selling JPGs, or prints as fast as we could make them. Like in Scott Kelby-land, they’d all be 5* images and aside from counting all the revenues, our only concern would likely be ensuring everything is backed-up to further protect our photographic assets.
Here’s how that works here:
1 – Import new photographs
2 – Page through the new images, marking those that merit some editing with 1*
3 – Decide to keep the unselected pictures for now
4 – Edit the 1* shots. The best get 3*, the balance either 2* (very iffy), or lose their single star and return to the mass.
I use 4* and 5* to temporarily select images for various reasons – for example, prepping a DearSusan post. I need photographs to illustrate my words. The best photographs are all 3*, so I select them one-by-one and change the rating of each to either 4* or 5*. In Lightroom with the sort order set to Rating, this annoyingly moves the file pointer to the top of the file and it’s necessary to scroll back to where I came from to select the next shot.
The alternative is to sort in Capture Time, but that means wading through all the images, not just the 3*.
Anyway – all my temporary selects eventually gather at the top of the sort and are easy to find/export. Once that’s done, they remain selected and I simply press 3 and they are all re-rated and return to their original position in the file.
Star ratings doubtless have a myriad of other uses – but at the risk of repeating myself; just because something is possible, doesn’t mean it is necessary for you to use it.
That said, one additional and invaluable use took me a while to work out.
As in being forced to move on from Aperture. Initially, I fretted for weeks about how I might keep all of my RAW files and the edits as I transitioned to Lightroom.
Then, my solution was to buy a pair of 2Tb disks and copy everything to each disk. As long as Aperture continued to work, things were OK.
It wasn’t long before I wanted to put the idea to use. It worked as expected, but running two disks and two copies of everything is far from ideal. Eventually, Apple’s transition to all 64-bit apps was the writing on the wall for Aperture and I needed another solution.
Apple offered an import from Aperture option in Photos, so after a quick test, that was my chosen route to further protect my precious images. As I recently said elsewhere, if only Photos wasn’t so handicapped in other areas… But there’s no escaping that, except with round tripping, or awkward plug-ins.
So, the last step was how, how much and how to do it.
In a blinding flash of the obvious*, I realised that I could export all my selects (3*) and a few 2* as full size JPG files @ 300 d.p.i. into a Photos library, which would preserve my best photographs for day-to-day use. Along with them, I exported all of the RAW originals into an identical file structure, but not Photos. Now, I could access the selects easily and quickly and edit the originals by simply finding the RAW file. With time on my hands (anyone mention lockdown?), its possible to trawl those archives for the odd image I’d missed in the past.
As a methodology, this works really well. Plus, I learned that despite having been migrated once from Aperture to Photos to Lightroom and most recently, into Capture 1, in many cases, the links to the RAW originals had been copied along with their JPGs, making finding and editing even easier.
It will require re-editing where necessary, but who hasn’t developed better skills since those early digital days?
* Tom Peters – In Search of Excellence
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