- Applying "Looks" Using Creative Profiles
- Virtual Copies- The "No Risk" Way to Experiment
- Using Presets for One-Click Looks
- Creating Your Own Presets
- Creating Presets That Automatically Adapt to Your Image's ISO
- Other Places to Apply Presets
- Changing Individual Colors
- How to Add Edge Darkening (Vignette) Effects
- The "Gritty City" Look
- Creating a Matte Look
- Making Great Duotones
- Creating Black- and-White Images
- Sun Flare Effect
- Painting Beams of Light
- Making Streets Look Wet
- Quick and Easy Spotlight Effect
- Adding a Light to the Background
- Getting the "Orange and Teal" Look
- Creating Panoramas
- Creating HDR Images
- Creating HDR Panos
Virtual Copies— The “No Risk” Way to Experiment
Let’s say you added a vignette to a bridal shot. Well, what if you wanted to see a version in black and white, and a version with a color tint, and a really contrasty version, and then maybe a version that was cropped differently? Well, what might keep you from doing that is having to duplicate a high-resolution file each time you wanted to try a different look, because it would eat up hard drive space and RAM like nobody’s business. But luckily, you can create virtual copies, which don’t take up space and allow you to try different looks without the overhead.
You create a virtual copy by Right-clicking on the original photo and then choosing Create Virtual Copy from the pop-up menu (as shown here), or using the keyboard shortcut Command-’ (apostrophe; PC: Ctrl-’). These virtual copies look and act the same as your original photo, and you can edit them just as you would your original, but here’s the difference: it’s not a real file, it’s just another thumbnail with a set of instructions, so it doesn’t add any real file size. That way, you can have as many of these virtual copies as you want, and experiment to your heart’s content without filling up your hard disk. So, let’s go ahead and create a virtual copy.
Once you create a virtual copy, you’ll know which version is the copy because (a) virtual copies have a curled page icon in the lower-left corner of the image thumbnail (circled in red here) in both Grid view and in the Filmstrip, and (b) virtual copies are named Copy 1 (as seen here), Copy 2, and so on.
This virtual copy is pretty much independent from the original, so you can make changes to it, experiment, and get creative with no risk to your original, and again, it doesn’t take up any real space on your hard drive, so you can make as many as you want. Let’s go ahead and tweak the white balance on this virtual copy. Here, I dragged Temp to –2 and Tint to –58, and you can see the original (on the left) is untouched. This is why virtual copies are so awesome—you can experiment as much as you want. Note: When you edit a virtual copy, you can hit the Reset button at the bottom of the right side panels to return it to how it looked when you first created it. Also, you don’t have to jump back to the Library module each time you want to make a virtual copy—that Command-’ (PC: Ctrl-’) shortcut works in the Develop module, too. To delete a virtual copy, just click on one and then hit Delete (PC: Backspace) .
One thing I use virtual copies for is to try a bunch of different edits to see which one I like the best. For example, go ahead and make seven more virtual copies (so we have a total of nine thumbnails—the original and eight copies) and change the white balance of each one. Then, select all nine and press the N key on your keyboard to enter Survey view (seen here), so we can clearly see which one (or ones) we like best (and we could mark them as Picks or give them a 5-star rating). To remove a thumbnail from Survey view, move your cursor over it and click the “X” that appears in the bottom-right corner. What’s really cool about these virtual copies is that they act just like the real thing. If you wanted to export one as a JPEG, you’d click on it, choose Export from the File menu, and it pings the original to export a copy that looks identical to your virtual copy. It’s like they’re separate, but they all point to the original if it’s time to export or jump over to Photoshop.