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We're now going to have a look at virtual copies inside of Lightroom. As you know, when we make adjustments and changes to the images, it doesn't change the original raw file; all it does is create a new set of instructions inside the Lightroom catalog or the XML, XMP sidecar. And these instructions point to the photograph and tell it to display a certain way. Well, what happens is when we create a virtual copy, we're not actually creating a new photograph; what we're doing is we're creating a new set of instructions. It still uses the same raw file.
And it looks and it performs just like any other photograph: we can make its own adjustments, we can add its own metadata. But it doesn't take up a lot of hard drive space because it's not producing a new photo. So, let's go here, and we're just going to right-click here in the filmstrip, and we're going to choose Create Virtual Copy. Notice now we've got a stack here. I can open and close the stack just like any other stack. Let's grab the virtual copy. Now, the reason we can tell this is a virtual copy is because if you look at the lower-left, you'll see this page curl.
And if you don't see that, just right-click, choose view Options, and make sure Show Badges is turned on. At the same time, if we hit the Grid view, we can see here the same option. Just right-click, choose View Options, and make sure that the Thumbnail Badges are turned on. Well, now that we have a virtual copy, we can do all kinds of things to that that we would do to normal photographs. Let's go to the Develop Settings, and we're going to add a preset. So here we go! We've got the preset added.
But now if you look at the original photo, it's still there. It's unchanged. But now we've got the virtual copy as its adjustment. We can make another virtual copy. Let's go to the Grid view this time. I'll show you a keyboard shortcut. Hit down the Ctrl+Apostrophe. That's Command+Apostrophe on Mac. And now we've created another virtual copy. Well, actually I hit it twice, so we've created two of them. So what can we do with this virtual copy? Well, we can do anything we did with the other one.
Let's go to our Develop Settings. Let's choose Grayscale, zoom in and out of our image here. What we need to do is first of all just reset it, and now we'll hit the Grayscale slider. There we go! Now we've got a grayscale. Notice here's our original. Here is a copy of the original, which is the first virtual copy. We have another one with a preset and another one for grayscale.
I'm going to show you another way to create a virtual copy. Let's go to our original image here, and then we're going to go to Photo, and then we're going to choose Create Virtual Copy. That's another way of doing it. Once again, we can make all kinds of adjustments. I could choose the Color Settings and do all kinds of weird and wonderful things to this image. Make it look really weird. And there we go, we've got another copy.
As you can see, we can go through these virtual copies. Each one of them lives independently. And then anytime if we want to get rid of these virtual copies, all we need to do is just simply hit the Backspace on Windows and then choose Remove. On Mac, that would be to hit the Delete key. So we can remove another one. Now, if you notice here, they're still in the stack. So we can open and close the stack, and we have these virtual copies of the images. Now, if you want these virtual copies to come through as real photographs, that can easily happen.
What we need to do is just simply export it, and then when we exported these, settings will be baked into it, and we can export it as a PSD or a TIFF or a JPEG and we can export it as its own image, or we can open it in Photoshop. And if we choose to open this in Photoshop, it will open as its own image as well. So that's how you convert a virtual copy to a real photograph. So, you can see virtual copies are a great way to experiment. They give you a lot of creative freedom without adding a lot of overhead to your file size.
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