Lightroom: Why Use Virtual Copies?
Now that Adobe has changed how Lightroom 4 treats the flags, labels and ratings, virtual copies have become much more important.
To create a virtual copy, select a photo, then:
Create Virtual Copy or
What's a virtual copy?
It's an "almost" copy of a photo. It's not a copy of that photo, it's a different version of that photo. You can have many virtual copies/versions of the same photograph. Personally, I prefer the term "version" to "virtual copy."
When to use virtual copies
- When creating Black & White photos. Even if I have no plan on also having a color version, I often need to refer to the color version to adjust the Black and White version.
- When needing to create something like Fake HDRs. Even if I have no plan on also having a "regular color" version, I often need to refer to the color version to adjust the Fake HDR version.
- When printing photographs. The crop for each size is different. A 4 by 6 is a different crop from a 5 by 7 or an 8 by 10.
- When needing to apply different keywords, labels or ratings in different collection. For the details, see: http://www.foto-biz.com/Lightroom/Lr4-searching-for-virtual-copies
How to save virtual copies
Usually, there is no need to do anything to save the virtual copies. But... the famous but, there are times when I want to create an actual photograph of the virtual copy. It's very simple:
- Select the virtual copy
- From the library:
Export to: Hard Drive
Select either JPEG, just set the
Quality to 100, or export to TIFF or to the DNG format. Then it's possible to reimport that photo in the catalog.
- To search for virtual copies, see: http://www.foto-biz.com/Lightroom/Lr4-searching-for-virtual-copies
- It's a good idea to give a "good" name to the virtual copy to remember what was the purpose of the virtual copy. Select the virtual copy and
Default> select the
Copy Nameand type the new "meaningful" name instead of