Not knowing your past photographic experience but… my father taught me about photography when I was 11 years old (54 years ago); back then, things were certainly sluggish
First of all, we would never have thought of taking 3000 photos at a wedding, as that would have involved the purchase of 84 rolls of 36 exposure film. If you were shooting in B&W, you would develop the film yourself and print contact sheets from each film to use for culling. “Zooming in” to an image involved the use a magnifying glass but that didn’t always show as much detail as you would like.
If you used colour film, you would go through the same culling process but you would send the film to a lab to get it developed and contact sheets made.
All this didn’t just take time, it also cost “loadsamoney”!
Before tackling a digital workflow, I would seriously suggest that you look at your picture taking. Instead of thrashing away 3000 pictures and culling 2700, why not try being more selective and aim for 300 in the first place?
Anyhow, we are where we are with digital photography - it doesn’t cost anything to “burn film” like it used to so we tend not to think about what we are taking; instead relying on the machine gun approach. Even I sometimes do that, but mainly for things like catching the perfect shot of fast aircraft at an air show.
Now to looking at improving the management of large numbers of images (apart from not taking so many)
The main problem with any software that is showing RAW images is that a RAW file doesn’t contain a “visible” image, it contains data that is interpreted as an image, as and when you want to look at it. On my Nikon D810, that means that every file is around 75MB, which is quite a lot of data to process just to glimpse what the picture looks like. Hence the time it can take to show even one image, let alone a screenful.
Fortunately (at least with Nikon NEF files) the file does contain several jpeg versions of the image, to help speed up the process of previewing them on the camera as well as on a computer.
- A full size jpeg - around 1.5MB
- A 640 x 424 miniature - around 127KB
- Another low-res version 1620 x 1080) - around 677KB
If you use PhotoLab to cull your images, my educated guesses, it starts by showing you one of the smaller jpegs in the filmstrip and the full-size jpeg in the editing panel. Then, as you see the spinning circular arrows stop, it loads and renders the RAW data into a visible image. As you can imagine, all this takes time.
Some other software constructs a database and keeps hold of a jpeg copy of every image to make it appear that it works faster the next time you open the same library. However, all this takes up disk space and makes it difficult to move/copy partially developed images from one disk to another, since the previews and corrections are stored in a database on one computer. This then means that it is impossible to move/copy images the you are in the process of editing - you are limited to exporting either the (partially) processed images or the original (unprocessed) RAW file. Apples’s Photos works like this and is one of the reasons I was so delighted to find PhotoLab. That and the fact that Apple Photos really doesn’t like playing with 75MB files.
My recommendation to doing a rapid first cull is to use Finder, in icon view, with the size slider set to maximum, sorted by filename; on my setup, this gives me 433px x 288px thumbnails.
Culling is easy - all you do is select unwanted files and delete them.
You can also use Finder tags to add either a coloured dot to the icon or keywords, both of which are searchable in Spotlight.
If you want to examine the images more closely, for example to see if the bride’s dress is really blown or recoverable, then I would concur with @Sigi’s advice to use FastRawViewer. In fact, you might like to look at the docs on FastRawViewer as they outline a very good culling workflow, which you could use instead of using just Finder.
Deleting from PL3 either deletes a version’s adjustments from the sidecar file or, if you select the master, it deletes the master file plus the sidecar (both of which can be recovered from the recycle bin in Finder)
OK. I’m off to cull the possible one or two worthwhile images from the 200 that I took of breaking waves on the beach the other day