Culling large number of images in PL5

I tried culling in other software (mostly FastRawViewer) but their Fujifilm RAW support is a bit limited and makes images look softer than what DxO achieves. Not often a problem but when trying to decide between two different shots which may have some small focusing differences, so that you only keep the sharpest image, it can be limiting.

If one wants to do culling in PhotoLab, my advice would be:

  1. Open a folder with images to cull, and switch to the Full Screen Viewer mode to see one image at a time. You can hit the I key to show or hide EXIF metadata (ISO, shutter speed, etc.).
  2. Go through images quickly (as quickly as PhotoLab will manage) with the left and right arrow keys.
  3. For images you want to delete, mark them as rejected with the 9 key.
  4. For keepers, mark them as accepted with the 7 key.
  5. You can also use stars instead or in addition, using the 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 keys. Come up with your own convention, maybe 1 for “will delete”, 3 for “maybe?”, 4 and 5 for keepers, etc.
  6. Once you’re done going through your photos: in the image browser, there is a Filter button (the icon looks like a funnel, triangular with a stem below). Use that button to only show your rejected photos. Looks at the list, confirm you want to delete all those photos, then select all and delete. If you’re using star ratings, you can filter on a specific star value, and review (is that photo a 3? do I bump it to a 4 or 5 or should I just delete it?)

I’d say the basic features you need for culling are there in PhotoLab 5, but they’re not always very discoverable. For instance, the Filter button has an icon but no visible label, and there is no corresponding “Filter…” entry in the menu (on macOS), so I spent whole minutes trying to locate that feature and almost concluded that PhotoLab could not do it. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think there’s a dedicated “Remove rejected images” action either (unless I missed it), you have to filter on rejected images, select all (Cmd + A on macOS), and delete.

Hopefully some of the usability issues with image browsing and culling will be improved upon in PhotoLab 6. While dedicated software like Photo Mecanic or Lyn will always be more complete, it’d be nice to see PhotoLab improve in that area.

Last bit of advice: if you have multiple screens, you can undock the Image Browser and put it on a different screen than the main PhotoLab window. That’s useful when looking at images in Full Screen Viewer.

I use PhotoMechanic for importing, culling, tagging and file renaming tasks. Tour Photo Mechanic - Camera Bits, Inc. Camera Bits, Inc.. It’s a great companion to PhotoLab

Adobe Bridge is a great piece of software. Not only can you preview images, you can rate them and mark the rejects for deletion and batch delete when you are done. It is also fast. The best feature is being able to partially change file names using text substitution. Very convenient for uploading processed files that have to be renamed in a certain format for a competition or for a client. It is free and it easy to download.

I still have an Adobe subscription so I do the initial import to Lightroom, assign keywords and do an initial run through during which I code rejects for deletion and do a batch deletion when I am finished. Then I either process in Lightroom or PL5 (or sometimes both). Obviously LR is not free but it has some features I need from time to time (such as HDR pano) and the catalogue is very good.

My vote also goes to Digikam. I had trouble using it some years ago as it was quite buggy, but I tried it recently and I was surprised how great it is working. It is even looking quite well, better than many of the other mentioned programs that have a look of old windows 98 programs.

There are only a few small things missing, that would make it perfect, but rather for creating virtual albums etc.

(MS-Windows): Fast: ACDC Std/Base or FastRawViewer SuperFast: FastStone

Have a look at FastRawViewer.