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Creating and processing a virtual copy

From: Enhancing a Sunset Photograph with Lightroom and Photoshop

Video: Creating and processing a virtual copy

In this movie, we'll take a look at how we can create

Creating and processing a virtual copy

In this movie, we'll take a look at how we can create another version of this photograph by creating what's called a virtual copy. We'll then process the image in a different way, changing its overall color temperature so that we can have two different versions of the photograph which we will eventually combine together in Photoshop. Alright, well, to begin this process, let's go ahead and open up the film strip down below. To do so, simply click on the triangle icon here at the base of the interface. Now, you can change the amount of space that you dedicate to the film strip, which in turn will change the thumbnail size, by positioning your cursor over the dividing line right here, the top of the film strip.

Simply click and drag up or down to increase or decrease the size of that area. Well, next, you can see that we currently have one image. This is the original DNG file. Well, what I want to do is create a copy or a virtual copy of this photograph. And to do so, we're going to use a really handy shortcut. Simply position your cursor over the image and then Ctrl+click or right-click. And that will then open up a contextual menu. Now, in this menu, we're looking for the item which says Create Virtual Copy.

Go ahead and click on that, and you'll notice that it will create a duplicate version of this image. Here, we have Sunset-Surfer.dng/copy1. Now, the advantage of working with virtual copies is that it gives us some flexibility with how we process our photographs so that we can then process this image in a different way. Sometimes we'll create virtual copies just to get a little bit creative, to have some different options for ways that we might work with an image. Well, in this case, we want a virtual copy so that we can have two images, which we will eventually combine together.

Alright, well, I want to decrease the size of the thumbnails. So, here, I'll hover over the dividing line and then click and drag down so we have a smaller area there, which opens up more space for the photograph. Next, let's begin to work on the color and tone in the Basic panel. Choose the Basic panel or open the Basic panel, I should say, by clicking on the word Basic. Now here, rather than warming up the color temperature, what we're going to do is bring this back down. And we're going to bring it down past its original color temperature so that we can actually cool this image off.

We also may need to modify the tint just a little bit there. Actually, I think it was pretty good where it was, so that we can have some nice blue tones in the photograph. Now, if we want to bring out those blues even further, what we can do is use some other controls here in the Develop module as well. Let me show you where those are. Here we'll close the Basic panel. And we'll open up the panel for split toning. What split toning allows us to do is to add color into the sky or the bright tones, or also the deeper dark tones, the shadows.

Well, let's work on our highlights. Just for an exaggerated demonstration, I'm going to increase my saturation all the way to 100. Notice now, how, as I change the highlight color, you can see how it's affecting the image in an interesting way. Well, what I want to do is I want to find a nice blue. A blue which isn't purple and also, a blue which isn't cyan there. So one just right in the middle where we have a really nice color blue. And then, of course, we'll decrease the saturation, that was a little bit too strong. And just bring that up somewhere around there so that we have a nice little color in that area of the photograph.

Click on your toggle switch and you can see how that before and after view actually looks, with adding a little bit more blue to the photograph by using split toning. Alright, well, because this is a really important step, let me go through or let me review what we've just done. We started off by looking at our photograph here, which we worked on. Then, by Ctrl+clicking or right-clicking on the thumbnail, we chose Virtual Copy to create a virtual copy, or a duplicate of the file. Then, we clicked into that virtual copy.

We began by working in the Basic panel. Here in the Basic panel, we decreased the color temperature. We modified the overall look of the image by cooling it off. Then, after having done that, we decided to take things even further by working with our split toning controls. And here, we primarily targeted our highlights. We selected a hue, which is a color, chose a nice blue there, and then also a saturation amount for that. And you can always modify this a little bit here, and I just want to get just the right color.

I think that looks good. Alright, well, now that we have accomplished this so that we have two different photographs, what we need to do next is take a look at how we can open up both of these photographs in Photoshop, so we can begin to combine them together.

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