Adding a star rating to an image is a quick way to quickly sort through your images. Each image can be given 1–5 stars, but what’s your system? How do you rate your images?

Adding star ratings

Adding a star rating to an image is really easy. With the image selected in Bridge, press the Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) key and tap the number for the number of stars that you want to assign. In Lightroom Classic, hold down the Ctrl key on both Mac and PC and tap the number you want to assign.

Alternatively, click the dot relevant to the number of stars you’d like to assign.

What ratings should you give?

Here’s the question. If you’re rating your images depending on how good you think they are, with 1 being your least favorite and 5 being a keeper, what are 2, 3 and 4 for? Are they slightly less bad than a 5 or not as bad as a 1? And just what are you planning to do with a 2?

Here’s one method for star ratings:

  1. No good. Forget it.
  2. This is a texture image. Pop it in your Textures folder.
  3. Taken for future use as a composite or reference. Pop it into your Random Finds folder (I have subfolders in there, too).
  4. So close! But this is going to need a little more post processing than most images, but its a keeper.
  5. Yay me! It’s a good shot that needs a quick run through in Adobe Camera Raw or the Develop module and it’s done.

Why rate with a 1-star?

For me, two reasons. First, I don’t throw images away. I should, but I don’t. I’m a digital hoarder. Second, remember when Camera Shake reduction came along in Photoshop? There were a couple of 1 stars that became 3 stars because of this. Who knows what else might happen?

This is just what I do but Id love to know what your system is. Maybe you only use 1 and 5? Whatever it is, drop them in the comments and let’s debate the 1–5 star system!