If you're a Lightroom user, then one of the first tasks you might perform after import is culling your images. So, how do you hide images you've rejected from the library grid view? Like me, you might have been left scratching your head.
The move to digital has made the marginal cost of shooting that extra photo essentially zero. While you do need to invest in increasingly larger amounts of storage in terms of memory cards, hard drives, and backup, when you are at a wedding, waiting for the couple's first kiss or the bride tossing the bouquet, then shooting two images doesn't cut it. You'll be shooting 50 so that you know you really have got everything they asked for. In the days of analog, each frame had an associated cost in terms of film and developing, but now, there is no actual cost to clicking the button and viewing the image.
The process of culling and ranking your images is critical when you have 2,000 to work through. You really need to get rid of those duds, flag the ones that are obvious keepers, and then return to everything else in a process of re-ranking. You might use colors or stars, but ultimately, you want separate those you definitely don't want from those you definitely do.
For the ones you don't want, it's prudent, at least in the short term, to keep them in case you need to re-visit them (for example, that elusive guest appears in nothing but a dud). I wanted to hit the "Hide Rejects" button in my catalog so that they didn't interfere with my workflow but remained, well, hidden! Except Lightroom doesn't have a "Hide Rejects" button. In customary Lightroom fashion, the power of the interface allows you largely to achieve what you want, but often in unintuitive ways.
The solution in this instance is not to think about what you want to achieve (hiding the rejected photos) but the inverse of it (showing everything else). When it comes to selecting certain photos, it's a job for filtering and so, the filter toolbar.
I find this one of Lightroom's worst designed user interface (UI) elements, made more difficult by the small icons. The starred and colored sections allow you to filter on any tagging you might have made. However, what the flags mean and how they operate is less obvious. The best option is to hover your mouse over the graphical elements so that you get the tooltip telling you what their function is. When you do this, you will see that they refer to flagged, unflagged, and rejected images.
Your first thought might be to click on the rejected images, but this actually does the opposite of what you want by showing the rejects. The key thing to understand is that all images have a flag status, which means if you click on the flagged and unflagged icons, it will show these images and, crucially, hide the rejects. It's not helped by the poor button design intended to show if the icon is selected — it can be difficult to tell! The final step in making this an easy process is to save the filter settings. Click on the dropdown box and select "Save As New," give the filter a name, and now it will show in the list.
It may be a small usability enhancement, but hiding rejects after shooting a job helps speed up my culling and ranking workflow, while ensuring I don't overly hastily delete any images. Anything that improves both speed and security is a boon in my book. Do you have any Lightroom filter tips to improve image processing workflows?
Icon in Lead Image courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay, used under Creative Commons.