Lightroom makes it easy to experiment with image processing. So easy, in fact, you might find yourself trying all sorts of different things, from increasing color saturation, to alter local exposure, to converting a scene to black and white.
The challenge here: what happens if I want to revert back to another effect/treatment that I created earlier?
Well you could try going back through the history panel to get to that place, but that can be a little time-consuming; you may have to click on several steps before you find the right point in the image’s history.
Not only that, what if you ant to compare two different states in history, or even two completely different image treatments?
The answer is Virtual Copies. Virtual copies are easy to create and take up very little file space. They can be invaluable in your iterative process of adjusting or enhancing an image. And because each copy is a snapshot in time from when the copy is made, it starts off with a fresh history.
Let’s have a look at one image I shot last year, at the Ravine Winery in the Niagara Wine region. Aside from the great wines, they also have wonderful grounds, including this ancient pickup truck which gets used as a giant BBQ for large scale events on the site.
There are a few ways to create virtual copies:
· Choose the Photo menu and select Create Virtual Copy
· Using the Keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ‘ (Windows) or Command + ‘ (Mac)
· Right-click on a selected image in the Develop or Grid (Library module
· Right-click on a thumbnail in the filmstrip of the Develop Module
Virtual copies are identified visually with a page-turn icon in the bottom left of the film-strip or grid image. If you mouse over the thumbnail, you will also see a differentiation in the file name, along the lines of filename/Copy 1 (etc…), as well as an indication of its place in the stacking hierarchy (2 of 4, 3 of 4 etc…).
Once you create a virtual copy, any edits you make to the copy reside only with that version. The original – or other existing copies – are not affected.