A bad photo might be just out of focus, might have a blown out area around the sun that shows up as a white blob, might be way too dark and when you brighten it up in Lightroom you notice tons of noise now in the photo. Here is my advice on such photos….forget about it! Quit wasting your time on it. It is a bad photo and get over it…there will be others.
A caution…keep that RAW file. Your editing skills may get much better or new software might come along that will help you fix that photo. So do not throw it away. I save them in a folder called “Problem Images”…and on very rare occasions, have been finally able to save one of those shots. Most time…not so much.
The problem with saving bad photos is that you will convince yourself that you have really improved it and finally put it out there…when in fact, you had to do some things you really did not want to do to the image. In our case, if we over crop it or mess around too much trying to eliminate noise or whatever…the problem is that someone might like it and buy it…and then we find out that it looks like heck when we blow it up large. Major embarrassment follows…so we very rarely make that mistake. We do not try to save “bad” photos.
The bird photo is one I saved. I love the photo…but would never try to sell it. It is a major crop and slightly out of focus. Ok for my memories…not ok for our gallery.
Save your editing time for your great photos…and it will be time well spent…and save that RAW file, just in case.