Oct 232013

Lightroom virtual copies and snapshotsIf you want to experiment with different versions of develop work on a photo, virtual copies and/or snapshots are two great ways to do this — all without having to create a second file on your hard drive. Snapshots allow you to save your work at different points in time so that you can easily get back to any point, and allow you to go off in different directions with a photo. Virtual copies in effect are separate copies of your photos, that can be developed differently.  Watch the video below, from my Lightroom 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond workshop on video, to learn how to use virtual copies and snapshots.

(For best quality, hit Play, then click on the Youtube sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD).

If you enjoyed this 8 minute video, check out the full 12½ hour series!

Aug 042011

If you want different versions of an image, such as with different crops or both a black and white and color one, you can create virtual copies in Lightroom.   These aren’t duplicates of your file — you will still just have one file on your hard drive, but multiple sets of Develop instructions for that file.  To create a virtual copy, right-click on your image and select Create Virtual Copy.  In the filmstrip you will see that the virtual copy has a turned-up page corner (if your filmstrip is big enough), and that Lightroom automatically stacks (links) the two together.

You probably already knew all that, but did you know that you can name virtual copies?  Continue reading »

Mar 302009

I wrote a post recently about making snapshots while you work  so that you can explore different versions of your image — for example, a black and white and a color version —  with the goal of having just one version in the end.

If you want to end up with two or more versions — to export to share with others, or to use in the output modules, you can do so with virtual copies.  Simply right click on your image and select “Create Virtual Copy”.   You’ll see in Library Grid view or in your filmstrip that you now have two copies, and that the second one has a bent page corner symbol, indicating that it is a virtual copy.

Virtual Copy

You can now work on this second one as a completely independent image, converting it to black and white, cropping it differently than the first one, etc, etc.

Why is it called a virtual copy?  Because no duplicate of your original file is created.  A virtual copy is simply a second set of instructions to be applied to the one original file.  The days of having many different copies of your images on your hard drive for different purposes are over!

If you use virtual copies, leave a comment here sharing what you use them for.

Mar 192009

Have you ever worked on an image, been satisfied with your work, but then wanted to try some other things with the option to get back to what you had?  Perhaps you want to compare different versions of your work to decide which you like best — for example, a color version, a black and white version and one with a mix of black and white and color;   or you want to compare a straight-photo look and many  different versions of a highly-stylized look.

Snapshots are perfect for this —  every time you reach a point that you want to be able to get back to, create a new snapshot.  Then later you’ll simply click on the snapshot name to get back to that version.

In Lightroom, the Snapshots panel is located on the left in the Develop Module, below Presets and above History.  Click on the + sign, and name the new snapshot.  If you later want to delete the snapshot, click on the – sign.

Snapshot Panel in Lightroom

Snapshot Panel in Lightroom

Continue reading »

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