Choosing The Shot: Using the Compare Mode in Lightroom

Andrew Beck Andrew 1 Comment

For many photographers, the hardest part of their work-flow comes down to choosing the images that will “make it through to the next round” for editing purposes. This is a crucial part of any digital work-flow, and being able to cull the 40 or so images from that awesome cheetah sighting you witnessed down to a handful of images can be a tough process.

In this series of blog posts, I will run through some of the criteria that I like to use when working through and selecting my best images from sightings.

So far I have touched on selecting only images which you are sure are sharp and in focus, how the devil is in the detailimplying movementbirds in flight and body posture. I then looked at using the Survey Mode in Lightroom and today, in the final instalment in this series, I will look at using the Compare Mode to select your best shot.

Using the grid mode to view all of the images from a particular sequence we select all of the images we want to compare and hit the “C” key.

compare mode lightroom

This takes us into a split panel view where the image on the left it titled “Select” and the image on the right is titled “Candidate”. Think of this as a competition that you are judging. Your choice is simple, do you prefer the image on the left or right – its that easy!

compare mode lightroom

WE can control the view of our images by using the slider at the bottom left, or choosing “Fit” “Fill” or our desired ratio from the top left next to “Navigator”. “Fill” works rather well for this sequence as it allows me to see more of the subject than is displayed in the “Fit” option.

compare mode lightroom

I can always click on the image to get a quick 100% view or 1:1 preview, allowing me to make a call based on the finer details of each image.

compare mode lightroom

So, we have our Hero image on the left of screen (our “Select” image) and our “Candidate” image on the right of frame. Using the arrow keys on your keyboard you can cycle through the images in your sequence until you have found an image that you feel is actually better than your current “Select” image. When we find this image, all we need to do is hit the “Make Select” option in the bottom of our control panel.

compare mode lightroom

This immediately takes our favoured image and places it as our new “Select” shot on the left of frame. The candidate image is then changed to the next image in the sequence. It is important to note that you can flag, label or reject any of the images in the Compare mode as well, making it easier to find the other favoured images in the sequence later on.

compare mode lightroom

Continue this process throughout the sequence and you will ultimately be left with your best shot of the series as your “Select” image by the end of the process. Once you have done this you can easily Flag, Tag and Label this Hero Shot for easy reference later on.

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  1. Pingback: 5 Images from the Masai Mara that didn't make the cut - Wild Eye Photography

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