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Post Production Tips

Comparing the Different View Modes in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on November 26th 2012

In this tutorial, we are going to talk about the four View Modes within the Library Module that can help you view and compare your images more effectively and efficiently. Each View mode serves a different purpose and function in your photographic workflow. The four View Modes are as follow: Grid, Loupe, Compare, and Survey.

The following tutorial is from the comprehensive Lightroom 4 A-Z DVD Guide. The full DVD including 130 tutorials and nearly 14 hours of Lightroom 4 training is available in the SLR Lounge Store for only $99.

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Grid View

Grid

The Grid View displays the thumbnails of the images in the selected Catalog, Folder, Collection, or Publishing Service Folder. This View Mode is great when you want to quickly scan through your images similar to a contact sheet in the film days. The shortcut to access the Grid View is the letter “G” on the keyboard.

A great feature with the Grid Mode is that you can change the size of the thumbnails by pressing the + or – button on the keyboard. You can decrease the thumbnail size if you want to see more images at once. Conversely, you can increase the thumbnail size if you want to see more of each thumbnail.

Grid-Min-Max

Loupe View

Loupe

The Loupe View is useful when you want to see one image in greater detail and in a much larger preview size. This mode is great for culling and setting the ratings for an image. You can quickly see if an image is sharp and in focus. To access the Loupe View, you can press the letter “E” on the keyboard or you can double click on an image while in Grid View.

Additionally, you can also zoom into the image at a 1:1 zoom ratio and all the way up to an 11:1 zoom ratio.

It is quicker to cull and rate in Loupe View as opposed to the Develop Module because it is quicker to move from one image another in Loupe View. This is because the Loupe View only renders the image in a standard-preview size as opposed to the Develop Module’s larger full-preview size.

Compare View

Compare

The Compare View allows you to compare two images sides-by-side. First, select two images to assess and press the letter “C” on the keyboard to switch to Compare View. You can then zoom in to an area, and compare the sharpness and detail between both images. This is also useful when you want to compare the facial expressions of a subject between two similar images.

The zoom and pan is synced for both images, so both images will zoom and pan together.

Compare-Zoomed

Survey View

Survey

The Survey View allows you to select and view a handful of thumbnails either from the Grid or from the Filmstrip at the bottom of the Library Module. The keyboard shortcut for this View Mode is the letter “N.”

The Survey View is a great way to compare a selection of images together to see if the overall look or setting is uniform across the board. It is also useful when you have created a panorama and you want to see all the panoramic images side-by-side together.

While in this View Mode, you can add more images into the Survey area by either using Ctrl+Left Click to choose the images individually or Shift+Left Click to choose a range of images. In order to remove an image, all you have to do is press Ctrl+Left Click on that image.

Summary

The Library Module has four View Modes that can help you view, compare, and cull your images. When you want a group of thumbnails of images, you can use the Grid View. If you want to see one of the images in greater detail, you can then switch over to the Loupe View. You can also use the Compare View if you want to see two images side-by-side. Finally, to compare more than two images together, you can use the Survey View.

In the next tutorial, we will go more in-depth with the View Mode and talk about how to further customize each mode.

 

Purchase the Lightroom 4 A-Z DVD Guide

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The Lightroom 4 A-Z training DVD will turn any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The DVD which can be played on a Mac or Windows PC includes the following:
– 130 Video Tutorials and nearly 14 hours of content!
– Over 6 hours of tutorials dedicated to developing techniques
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About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Very helpful.

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  2. Joel and Amber

    That’s super helpful!  I find most of the time for culling I’m in the Survey View.  Easy to blow through 6-10 images or more at one time.

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