Editing In vs. Editing Out

Post Production Pro Tips - Weekly editing advice and workflow suggestions from the post-production pros.
Editing In vs. Editing Out

How do you edit/select/cull photos after importing them from your camera? Do you “edit in” or do you “edit out?”

“Editing in” means that as you go through the full set of images, you choose the ones you want to keep. “Editing out,” on the other hand, means you choose the images you want to discard.

So, which makes more sense, and does it even matter? Actually, the correct choice can save you quite a bit of time and mouse clicks. The method of choice varies depending on how many images you shot and how many you plan to keep.

For example, if you shot 100 images and plan to keep 90, then it’s easier to “edit out,” meaning you only have to mark the 10 discard images. If you “edited in” in this situation, you’d have to click on 90 images to mark them as keepers.

On the other hand, if you shot 1,000 images and plan to deliver 400, we recommend “editing in” to reduce clicks.

The choice is a subtle one but worth considering. 

Quick-Tip: Okay, mouse clicks aren’t actually necessary at all. In Lightroom, press the “P” key to mark an image as a keeper (a pick). “X” marks it as a discard. “U” resets it to neither. Quick-Tip: Save yourself mouse clicks and key presses by handing over the selection work to your Post editor. Let an impartial eye cut through emotional attachment and simply select the best images.
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