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How to Use Quick Collections to Cull Photos in Lightroom Classic

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Quick Collection is exactly as it sounds, a handy place to store photos that is accessible in Adobe Lightroom Classic with an easy shortcut key. There are many potential uses for this collection, but in this tutorial we'll focus on using Quick Collection for culling your photos.

When to Use Quick Collection

When I finish a shoot, my first step is to upload the RAW photos from my card to a folder on my computer. I then import those photos into Adobe Lightroom Classic to begin reviewing. Culling is the process of sorting or making a specific selection from a larger set of photos. 

Create a Container Collection for Your Session

Once you've imported your photos into Adobe Lightroom Classic, first create a collection containing your entire shoot's photos. Under Catalog, click Previous Import and then select all of the images. With everything selected go to Collections and click on the + symbol to add these images to a new collection. Now you can begin your cull.

Culling

To cull your images, simply select the first image in your collection, and use the Right and Left arrow keys to toggle between your photos. When you come to a photo you'd like to edit, press the keyboard shortcut B. This shortcut will add your selected photo to the Quick Collection catalog. Proceed with culling the rest of your shoot, continuing to press B on all of the photos to keep, or at least to review again.

As you finish culling your shoot, select the Quick Collection catalog. This is where you'll find your culled photos, and only your culled photos.

Now that you've culled your chosen photos into the Quick Collection, it's time to store these in a more permanent space. Select all the photos in the Quick Collection and again create a new collection. When naming this new collection, I like to add the word Selects in the name to easily identify them in the future.

Now that you've moved the selected photos into their new home, the last step is to clean out your Quick Collection for the next time you'll need it. Simply click the Quick Collection catalog, select all of the images, and with one stroke of the keyboard shortcut B, your images will be removed from the Quick Collection — but not from the new selects collection you just made.

You'll find yourself with two collections at the end of this process: one containing all of the images from your session, and a second, the 'Selects' collection containing only the photos you'd like to work on. This makes life easy down the road should you ever need additional photos from your shoot to include in your edits. Depending on your project you might now also want to do an even finer tuned cull with star-ratings, flags, and colour labels.

Keep Learning Lightroom

Here are more free resources to help you learn Adobe Lightroom Classic:

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