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This chapter is from the book

Taking the Changes You Made to One Photo and Applying Them to Others

This is where your workflow starts to get some legs, because once you’ve edited one photo, you can apply those exact same edits to other photos. For example, let’s say you did a portrait shoot in your studio, where you shot 260 photos and most of those were taken in a similar lighting situation (which is fairly common). Well, now you can make your adjustments (edits) to one of those photos, then apply those same adjustments to as many of the other photos as you’d like. Once you’ve selected which photos need those adjustments, the rest is pretty much automated.

  • Step One. Okay, we’re picking up right where we left off (with a portrait of Scott Cowlin), but now you’ve adjusted this one photo just the way you want it. Once you’ve done that, there are three basic ways to apply those changes to another photo. The first is to simply copy the settings from this photo and paste them onto another photo (or photos). If you’re in the Library module, go under the Photo menu, under Develop Settings, and choose Copy Settings (as shown here), or just click on the photo and use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-C (PC: Ctrl-Shift-C). If you’re in the Develop module, just click on the Copy button in the lower left Panels area.
  • Step Two. Whichever way you choose, it brings up the Copy Settings dialog (shown here), which lets you choose which settings you want to copy from the photo you just edited. By default, it wants to copy every tonal attribute you can apply in the Develop module, but since at this point we’ve only adjusted the white balance and Basic panel Tone adjustments, start by clicking on the Check None button (as shown), then turn on the checkboxes for White Balance and Basic Tone, and click the Copy button.
  • Step Three. Now you simply click on one of the photos you want to apply those same edits to, then press Command-Shift-V (PC: Ctrl-Shift-V) to paste those copied settings onto this photo. Of course, rather than just selecting one photo the idea here is to click on the first photo, then Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on all the rest of the photos you want to have the same edit, and then do that pasting shortcut you just learned (as shown here, where all the photos have now been corrected by pasting). The second method is handy if you want to apply your edits to just one other photo. First, make your edits to a photo in the Develop module, then go to the filmstrip and click on the next photo you want to have those exact same edits.
  • Step Four. While you’re still in the Develop module, click the Previous button at the bottom of the right side Panels area (as shown here). This takes every editing attribute from the previous photo and applies it to the currently selected photo(s). If you’re in the Library module, then use the keyboard shortcut Command-Option-V (PC: Ctrl-Alt-V). The third way works if you’re in the Develop module. You can Command-click (PC: Ctrl-click) on any photo(s) in the filmstrip and apply all the edits you’ve made to the current photo by clicking the Sync button in the lower right side Panels area. This brings up the Synchronize Settings dialog, which looks identical to the Copy Settings dialog. So, what’s the difference? None that I can tell. Now, which of these three ways is best? The one you feel is most convenient for you. There is no single right way, as all three pretty much do the same job.
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