Using Star Ratings

It’s important to think about how you use star Ratings (in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom). Not everyone uses them the same way. However you decide to use them, you should use them consistently. Otherwise, when you browse multiple folders, you’ll have to interpret the same symbols differently in different contexts. That gets confusing fast!
I like the 5 star rating system. It helps make useful distinctions with only a touch more granularity than 3 levels of distinction – typically high, medium and low. It doesn’t get as granular at 10 levels of distinction, so you can cut to the chase fast. It’s used in other venues like restaurants and hotels so it’s familiar. Still, I don’t find using 1 and 2 star ratings useful for ranking the quality of images; I have no use for images that are below average. The images use are either good – 3, better – 4, or excellent – 5. So, I use 1 and 2 stars for something else. I use 1 star to identify a good idea in a substandard exposure or composition; I’ll try and use the idea later with better material. I use 2 stars to identify images that are good for composites; the exposures are fine but the composition is unfinished.
How do you use star ratings?
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