After I do the first culling, where I remove unusable pictures (unrecoverable bad exposure, lack of focus, etc) I like to use survey mode to choose the best pictures and avoid pictures that are too similar.

The only problem I have with survey mode so far is that I have to manually go down in the film strip and select which pictures I would like to survey. When culling 3 or 4 thousand pictures getting out of the keyboard and reaching for the mouse to to that selection, (Shift + Click) or even do that selection using the arrows can get really tiresome.

Is there a way to to automatic surveys in batch? Like, I set something like 10 pictures to survey, and after that Lightroom automagically selects the next 10 pictures for me to survey and so on?

  • \$\begingroup\$ 3000-4000 photos? What percentage of those are keepers? I'm guessing you have burst mode enabled. Have you considered turning it off or reducing its rate and taking photos more deliberately? It would reduce your culling time and increase your keeper rate. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 4:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xiota Thank you for your input. Yes, I have considered that. However I work mainly with concert photography. And with low-end gear. So the first challenge is focusing and lighting with cheap gear (750D + 50mm STM). Most of these "concerts" are just gigs in venues with really bad lighting. I also like to use burst mode to capture that perfect picture of the drummer or the lights in a really cool setting. I know I'm wearing out my gear really fast, but I find the keepers that I get to be worth it (about 10% keepers). \$\endgroup\$
    – adamasan
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


Use LR's "Auto-Stack by Capture Time" feature (Photos/Stacking/Auto-Stack ...). This will group your images based on the amount of time between stacks, and you can adjust it for more or less time, until you get the right balance to collect most of your related images in a single stack.

In a perfect world, you could select a collapsed stack and view the images in survey view. Unfortunately, that doesn't work. You have to expand the stack and select the group of images in the filmstrip. To expand a collapsed stack, click the badge with the number of stacked images. Then select the group and click the Survey View icon.

Someone else might have a quicker workflow, but this eliminates the need of identifying the group of images manually, so it should speed up your selection process.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I wasn't aware of this feature. I take a lot of shots in burst mode, so it will probably help me out a lot with the culling. \$\endgroup\$
    – adamasan
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 15:32

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