Culling large number of images in PL5

Say I come back from a session of bird photography with five hundred images; 400 of which are unusable for various reasons. How do I “cull” them quickly?

It is easy enough to delete individual images in the Photolibrary but time consuming with large numbers of them.

And linked to that question, I have access to the Online Manual for PL, but there is no index! However are we supposed to find the topic we are looking for?

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On a Mac, I just use Finder (Explorer). Doesn’t Windows Explorer provide a preview facility?

If Windows 10 that we use at work is any indication, it’s a mess. There are multiple applications that can preview images and they seem to fight over the job.

In PL, you can use the PhotoLibrary view with a suitably large top viewer section (if I am doing this, I shrink the grid to a single row) and then use the left and right arrow keys and 'P’ick and 'U’npick as you go. When you’re done, you can simply filter by picked to work on them, or filter by unpicked and delete them.

So you cull them outside Photolab?

My approach is generally to select images and move them to a different folder before processing rather than to cull them per se. As you have discovered, until now, Photolab has not been great at culling/selecting large numbers of images. I use FastRawViewer for this which is a great tool designed for the purpose. It is not free but neither is it at all expensive at around 27GBP. FastStone Image Viewer is a free tool than can also do a job but not as efficient as FRV.

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It’s probably “Filter by unpicked” that I need to find, then! Thanks.


Absolutely. Finder (equivalent of Explorer) includes tags, with or without colours, that I can award and filter on…

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Yes - that’s the best approach … you’ll find PhotoLab to be too slow for this process (because it will be “processing” the images as it works its way thru them).

There are many Win apps that are very well suited to the task … Irfan Viewer being my favourite.

John M

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I use Photomechanic. Superfast, will cull through 500 photos in a few mins.

If you want something similar but which is free (donation), use Faststone Image Viewer. The latter has the added benefit of having code included which also permits the automatic playback of video files.

Photomechanic (on a PC, not Mac) requires the installation (which can be fiddly) of a separate program in order to also play back video files. That may not be an issue for you if still images is all that you do.

I do most of my culling outside PL as well.

Mostly with Lyn.
And for DAM I use PhotoSupreme Server.

PL does what it shines for - wicked fast raw development with an amazing quality on the finalised photos.

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I also use Lyn. However, it’s colour labels are useless here in Europe. Apparently its’ beyond the imagination of Lyn’s American devs that colour labels on a Mac come in the language chosen by the user. Which has not to be English. All colour labels except orange don’t show up in finder if the Mac is setup in any European language other than English.

Else than that, Lyn is very fast in culling, but still needs some work to be done. Batch renaming is one thing. So culling in one app, renaming in another, EXIF and GPS in another, developing in another and printing of course also in another. That’s picturepatchworking 2022… not to mention keywords.

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Yes, because you work with Nikon cameras. Try Fujifilm and finder…

Lynapp and Mirko is actually from Italy.

But send a bug report. He have always been very responsive when I’ve expressed my wishes and bug reports.

Answer was

I have just tested with other languages and it seems that Lyn behaves as Finder that does not translate color tags.
I understand that is quite weird but color tags are handled as an extension of previous finder labels but using strings.

The “Grün” comes from finder tag, “Green” comes from Lyn.

You think, I should ask Mirko, why GraphicConverter can read finder tags, but Lyn can’t?
This screenshot I made after I deleted the Lyn tags.

Photo Mechanic (Win & Mac) - Tour Photo Mechanic - Camera Bits, Inc. Camera Bits, Inc.
IrfanView (Win) -
FastRawViewer (Win & Mac) -
FastStone Image Viewer (Win) - FastStone Image Viewer - Powerful and Intuitive Photo Viewer, Editor and Batch Converter
Narrative Select (Mac) - Narrative Select | Fast image selection | Photographers
Lyn App (Mac) -
DigiKam (Win & Mac) -
Adobe Bridge (Win & Mac) -

IrfanView is free for non-commercial use, Adobe Bridge, FastStone & DigiKam are free for all use.

Narrative Select has a free tier and a paid tier (both fully functional though).

All the others offer free trials, and are paid for thereafter.

FYI, I use Narrative Select for culling on a Mac desktop, Photo Mechanic for culling on a Windows laptop, PL for editing on Mac and Windows, and Bridge for jigging the order of the final edited images around in an edit (ie to tell a story, but the images may not have been captured in the order the story is to be told, or the images were captured using multiple personal cameras and multiple photographers (who in turn may also have multiple cameras)) and for the renaming of the images so they remain in sequence in the client’s computer.


I can highly recommend FastRawViewer. I think it works superbly and was well worth the money spent. It gave me all of the functionality that is missing from PhotoLab and that I missed from Lightroom…plus a lot more.


Yes I tried it myself as well.
It appears it read the standard names in English and not the localised names.

Unless you already have sent a bug report I’ll do it.

Thank you very much, I answered him yesterday to the mail I quoted. No reply so far.

Interestingly, Graphic Converter makes a difference between labels and tags. If I tag “purple” instead of “lila”, the tag remains and the label disappears - but it’s the label showing up in finder.

That’s because Finder tags are a special structure that can contain a list of:

  • a numeric value which is mapped to a localised colour name
  • an optional string value that can be any word you want in addition to the colour

If there is no additional string, the default colour name is used.

On the other hand, the xmp:Label metadata tag is just a simple string that can be any word you want. It’s just that some software writers have decided to use it to represent certain colours.

xmp:Label is not guaranteed to have any connection to any colour and is not localised.

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Download DIGIKAM - a free open source professional level photo viewer, culler, database. See reviews online. It’s great.