Something which I find myself using often on my Mac when I’m looking through a collection of pictures is the ability to quickly start a full screen slideshow.
To do this, select all of the pictures in the Finder that you want to view, then hold down the Command+Option+Y keys together to create an instant Full-Screen slideshow of the selected images:
You can Play & Pause the slideshow, click the Left and Right Arrows to manually go through the images and also add the selected images directly to iPhoto. I particularly like the Index Sheet option. If you click on the icon with the 4 squares, your slideshow switches to an index sheet allowing you to see the all images and select a specific one to switch to:
This feature has been tested using Mac OS X v10.8.1 which was the latest Mac OS release at the time of writing and also using the latest Internal and external Apple keyboards.