How you evaluate your pictures is bound to change over time. It might be with your mood changing from day to day, or over a longer period as your experience makes you so much more critical that pictures once considered worthy of 5 stars seem barely worth 3 when you see them again a couple of years down the track. A great way to develop some consistency is by defining what your star ratings actually signify.
Inevitably it’s a highly subjective judgement. For example a studio photographer might define 5 stars as what is good enough for the studio walls, while a stock photographer might see ratings in terms of saleability. Whatever your mental definition, consider writing it down – something as simple as a post-it note on the screen’s side may help.
Alternatively, with a tiny bit of imagination the decorations at the bottom of Lightroom’s panels – so frequently derided as a waste of programming time – can be made to serve more than their trivial purpose. These panel end marks are simply png files, so you can create your own in Photoshop.
To get you started, here are some I’ve made. One is my own, which you see on the right, while the other was made for a busy London photographer. They’re easy to install:
- They are in this zip file of panel end marks
- In Lightroom, go to the bottom of the left or right panel in Library
- Right click and select Panel End Marks > Go to the Panel End Marks folder
- Save my png files in that folder and close Explorer / Finder
- In Lightroom, right click the panel end mark and choose the image you want to use.