In the beginning, while still learning much about editing photos, I decided to keep an untouched version of the image files. Today, I still do a dual import: one to an external hard drive and the other into LR where I can be ruthless in the selection of images. Knowing I can go back any time and import a photo again, allows me to delete all images that, at this point in time, don’t appeal to me as ‘keepers’.
The selection process has several rounds, the number depending on the number of images. In the first round, I delete all the obvious ones. Normally I have more images of moving objects – wildlife, trains, wave action along the coast – than of stationary ones – landscapes, clouds, trees, etc. I look for good composition. With the landscape images, for instance, I analyze the ones I toss for the mistakes so I can learn.
After the first round, I go through the remaining images again and again until I feel I have the best ones left. In those instances I use the compare feature and begin to mark with a star those that stand out for me. With a larger shoot, I often need to take a break and come back the next day with fresh eyes to finish the selection process. A third round often includes minor editing to be better able to discern if an image truly has potential. The final round is done completely in the develop module of LR with an occasional ‘excursion’ to Photoshop.