Lightroom 5 gives us a few different ways to rate and cull our images. In the article and video below we’ll be talking about the 3 different ways to organize your photos as well as our suggestions on the best ways to rate and cull your images.


Keyboard Controls

  • Flag As Pick: P
  • Remove Flag: U
  • Set As Rejected: X

When we want to pick an image we can press “P” on the keyboard to flag that image as a pick, and if you want to remove the flag you simply press “U”. When we want to reject an image we press “X”, and when you view your images in the grid or loop view the rejected images are grayed out. This makes it easy to visually identify which images are flagged as rejects.

lightroom rejected image


Keyboard Controls

  • 1 Star Rating: 1
  • 2 Star Rating: 2
  • 3 Star Rating: 3
  • 4 Star Rating: 4
  • 5 Star Rating: 5
  • 0 Star Rating: 0

We can also assign 1-5 star ratings to our images. Some cameras, like the Canon 5D Mark III, have a designated “rate” button that will assign a 1-5 star rating on your photos that will transfer directly into Lightroom. This feature can be extremely helpful, especially when you want cull during the shoot without having to delete images. If you ever want to remove the stars from an image you can select the image and press “0” (zero).

rating with stars in lightroom


Keyboard Controls

  • Set Label to Red: 6
  • Set Label to Yellow: 7
  • Set Label to Green: 8
  • Set Label to Blue: 9
  • Set Label to Purple: Right Click with Mouse, Select Color Label, Purple

Lightroom gives us another option to rate our images with colored labels. You can assign what these colors mean to your photos depending on your workflow. You can remove any label by pressing the same number that designates the color.

setting labels in lightroom


Culling is the process of narrowing down your images to the ones you want to keep, reject, edit, and deliver to your clients. Our keyword for culling is “Simplicity”. We like to use the Flagging system when culling because there’s only 2 things we care about, whether a photo is good enough to be delivered or not. The faster you’re able to identify whether you want to keep or reject an image, the quicker your culling process will become.