Let’s set up a typical scenario. In the Develop module, you develop a photo as usual (white balance, exposure, toning, and so on). You’re happy with the result, and life is good. However, you’re interested in seeing how the photo might look in black-and-white or sepia, or maybe even with a different crop applied. Your first instinct probably would be to make those changes to the original. But then you’d have to remember whether you were happier with one version than another (and, if so, which one you liked best). Instead, you can use virtual copies as versions and compare them right next to each other.
Follow these steps:
- In the Library module, right-click the photo you want to use and choose Create Virtual Copy. This action makes an exact duplicate of the photo and stacks it with the original. You can tell which is the virtual copy and which is the original because the virtual copy has a little page curl icon at the lower-left corner of the photo (see Figure 1).
- Click the virtual copy photo to edit it, and move to the Develop module. Let’s start by applying a different crop to this photo so you can see whether you like that better. Just press R to get to the Crop tool, and crop away. After you crop, notice that your original photo—you can see it in the bottom filmstrip—is perfectly intact, just the way you left it (see Figure 2).