3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2012 9:27 PM by jrd1993
Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

(Added:  I see it's been 18 months since I settled on the now "old" system.)


There are seven ratings in the built-in star rating system: Rejected, Un-rated, and 1- to 5-star. Do you use all of them?  What specifically do they signify?


I'm about to change my long-used rating system in my personal Library.  I had used 1- and 2-star to indicate "saves" and "best of" in a Stack of similar Images while I culled those stacked Images for the one to develop.  I stopped stacking similar Images (to avoid the confusion with Version Stacks, which I use continuously), and so have not used 1- and 2-star ratings for many months.  My ratings had been limited to 3-, 4-, and 5-star, which I used to rate Images per project (keep, good, best).  For Library-wide ratings, I used Keywords (mostly "Portfolio").


Working to renew my portfolio(s) has caused me to rethink this.  I am now likely to bump down my ratings, and make 5-star = "Portfolio".  Like so:


KeepThere are often Images I keep but won't develop.  This let's me know I've decided to keep them, and that I shouldn't delete them. (Example: excellent composition, misplaced focus.)
★★Good for ProjectThese have a potential use within the Project.  In essence: development potential.
★★★Superior in ProjectDevelop these!  Will likely be used.
★★★★Portfolio NomineeThese I want to consider adding to my Portfolio.  I actually keep several portfolios, distinct by genre, or sometimes type (Grayscale flowers, for instance).  This is a Library-wide rating.
★★★★★Portfolio SelectionThese won't be marked in the Projects, but rather in the Smart Albums that collect developed nominated Images.  This, too, is a Library-wide rating.


Imported Images are unrated.  Then, on a per-Project basis, they get either rejected, or rated 1-, 2-, or 3-star.  Developed Images which are exceptional get bumped to 4-star status.  I have Smart Albums that collect all 4-star Images by genre.  From here I will upgrade Images to 5-star (= "in Portfolio").  Or from the 5-star Smart Album, I'll downgrade ones to 4-star when needed.


Before I implement this system, I like to hear how you use the built-in star ratings.  Thanks in advance  .

MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), OS X Mountain Lion, 16 GB RAM; 500 GB SSD; NEC; Munki
  • léonie Level 10 (90,454 points)


    I like your list and the categories you have chosen for the ratings i.e. the clear distinction of ratings within project and portifolio.


    My use of (final) ratings is similar, but I did not put in so precise words as you did. My ratings change over and over again, while I am working with the images.


    During the first few month, while I am still working solely on one project, all ratings are relative to the project. 

      • When first browsing the images the ratings are quick and intuitive:
        • Reject (techically bad,delete immediately),
        • 1 - (techically bad, but keep, wait and see, if it is not the only picture of the bear, the lion, or a very special moment),
        • 2 - o.k., but boring,
        • 3 - o.k., and there is something I like, needs a lot of work
        • 4  - great picture, but there is a still better one, keep it for the screen saver for variety
        • 5 - wow - I like it the first time I see it, show it off in collections
      • Usually the really good images start off with the rating 5 and are downgraded, when I see more pictures and have looked closely at details. This is the phase, when I use stacks of similar images. Redundant images in the categories 1, 2, or 3 will be deleted, many 5s will be downgraded to 4.  Continue, until all stacks of similar images only contain one image.
      • When I start to use the new images in library wide projects and compare them to other images, I downgrade more 5s to 4s, start to use version stacks, and all other rating is done by using keywords: slideshow, weg gallery, book, screensaver, wallpaper




  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    Léonie -- thanks for the thoughful reply.  Interesting that we've settled into a similar use.  I will likely go forward with my plans.


    Anyone else use ratings?  .

  • jrd1993 Level 1 (35 points)

    I do. I work for my college newspaper shooting photos.


    Upon import, I rate everything as one star. I then do a pass and rate ones that I think are good as two starred. From there I further edit the two starred to three starred. These three starred then get treatment with Nik Define and Photoshop. From here, I pick my favorites and give them four stars. At the end of the year, I pick my favorite photos and they get five stars.