Do You PUX?

Wait! Wait! I'm not being rude! Really! PUXing is another way to rate your images after a shoot.

Whether you come back with 300 images from a landscape shoot or 3,000 from a wedding you still have the inevitable task ahead of you of going through the images and deciding what stays and what goes. There are many ways to approach this. Some people will rate images with stars; 5 stars are OUTSTANDING and 0 stars go to the cyber trashbin. Others use the color coding method; RED for great shots, BLUE for the trash. Still others will do a combination of stars and colors.

I don't know about you, but for me, with very few exceptions, I have three categories of images:

  • Keepers
  • Losers
  • Hmmm...I don't know yet

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom provides an excellent system for me in the form of the Pick and Reject flags. Here's what I do when I'm ready to start my review process.

After I've imported the images into Lightroom I go down to the filter bar in Library grid view and filter for unflagged images. Then I close all of the panels with SHIFT+TAB which leaves me with a screen full of thumbnails. I tend to make my thumbnail previews fairly large so I can see some detail. You can even do this in loupe view.

Now I'm ready. Looking at the first image I either hit the P key or the X key. P is for Pick and X is for Reject. (We'll get to U in a minute). Once I do that the image disappears from my view! It's not gone it's just that the image is no longer unflagged so the filter removes it from the view.

If I'm undecided then I move on to the next image and leave the previous one alone. As I progress through my shoot the only thumbnails I can see are the unrated ones. When all the images are gone I know I've made a decision on all of them.

I can now change the filter to show me Rejected files only. I take a quick run through of these and if I've changed my mind I hit the U key to unflag the image and remove it from the rejects. It's a simple matter at this point to create a directory and drag the rejects to it for holding. I like to keep the rejects around but sequestered until I'm sure I really don't want any of them.

Turn off the filter and now your picks and unflagged are there. Now is the time to bestow the honor of 5 stars on those marvelous few images.

This has been a real time saver for me. No longer do I hover over an image stuck in the unanswerable quandry "is this a 3 star or a 4 star? 4...no wait it's not tack sharp so 3...but the composition is stunning so 4...and so on and so on...." So if you haven't PUXed yourimages give it a try. You'll like it!