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Working with virtual copies

From: Lightroom Workflow Strategies

Video: Working with virtual copies

Let's take a look at a few more techniques that we can use when we want to get creative with our photographs when we're working on these personal projects. And here, let's focus in on using virtual copies, cropping, and also flip-flopping the perspective of our pictures. We'll be working with this photograph here. Let's go ahead and zoom in on this picture. Typically I like to zoom in on the picture at least at some point to evaluate the color and tone or detail, and this is the image straight out of the camera. While it looks really good, there is not a lot we need to do. Perhaps you'll want to boost the clarity, maybe the vibrance a little bit.

Working with virtual copies

Let's take a look at a few more techniques that we can use when we want to get creative with our photographs when we're working on these personal projects. And here, let's focus in on using virtual copies, cropping, and also flip-flopping the perspective of our pictures. We'll be working with this photograph here. Let's go ahead and zoom in on this picture. Typically I like to zoom in on the picture at least at some point to evaluate the color and tone or detail, and this is the image straight out of the camera. While it looks really good, there is not a lot we need to do. Perhaps you'll want to boost the clarity, maybe the vibrance a little bit.

But really, for the most part, it is great. You want to make any subtle adjustments first and then make your Virtual Copies and then get really creative. Okay. Well, we made these initial adjustments, next step press Command or Ctrl+Apostrophe to create a Virtual Copy. This will create a new version of the file. You can see the copy in the filmstrip. The benefit of this is that this copy-- it does not add any file size. A lot of times what happens with most workflows is that people are really functional in Lightroom, yet they reserve all of their creativity for Photoshop.

What I found is we can start to get pretty creative in Lightroom and we can do this in a way that is nondestructive by working on these Virtual Copies. We can always delete these or reset them, and again, there is no saving or render time, so we can do this really quickly. Okay. Well, let's do some creative cropping. To access the crop tool, press the R key. Next, what I want to do is I want to unlock the aspect ratio. You'll notice we have this aspect ratio here. Press your A key to either unlock or lock that aspect ratio.

We want to unlock, so press the A key. Next, hover over your image and simply click and drag, and here we're going to click and drag to create a free-form crop that we think might look good. Go ahead and reposition that and then press Enter or Return. There is our first crop. It is nothing revolutionary or exaggerated, but it does create a different mood for the picture. Rather than the subject sitting low in the frame, all of a sudden they are a bit more prominent. They're filling the frame. It creates a different story. Let's create a few more Virtual Copies, so press Command or Ctrl+Apostrophe. The next one that I want to do is a little bit unorthodox, so let's press the R key to reactivate the crop tool.

This time, rather than cropping and kind of keeping that same perspective as before, I want to communicate something completely different. I am going to move this near the top edge of the frame, and I'm going to crop off a lot of the photograph. Here, I'll go ahead and bring in the sides of the picture and just see if I can come up with something that might be--well--just different. Okay. I will double-click to apply that. Here, we have yet a completely different story. Now I know what you may be thinking: "Well, you cannot do that. You lost all this data. You cropped out too much." Well, what I found is with digital capture you can get away with cropping a ton, especially if it is a personal project.

Perhaps this print isn't going to be very big. Or maybe I am just going to post this on my blog. In those situations, well, it really is irrelevant. I can get down to a really small file size and still have enough data in order to create a post on Facebook or on my blog. All right. Well, let's take this even a little bit further. Another way that we could modify this crop, perhaps, is by removing even more. So lets press Command or Ctrl+Apostrophe. This will create another virtual copy of this. Here, I'll press the R key, and I am just going to click and drag up to remove the mouth and then double-click to apply that, yet another story with the same image. And the whole point here is that we can just start to get kind of creative. We can come up with some options for images that are perhaps a little bit off the wall or different, and sometimes what this can do for us is it can just get us thinking about composition.

Sometimes this can help us when we go back to taking those pictures. Maybe we'll never ever use this, but again, it will get us to think about how usually when I take pictures, I compose one way and I just try different ideas out. All right. The last thing I want to look at is how we can flip-flop our images. So with this one, let's right-click or Ctrl-click on top of the image and then go to transform here. I'll select Flip Horizontal. This allows me to flip that image and just create a little bit of a different perspective.

We can also turn this back by right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking and then choosing to flip horizontal again. Now it's back at the original orientation. Sometimes with certain images, by flipping them, well, they can all of a sudden become dynamic or a little bit off balance in an interesting way. We can also right-click or Ctrl-click and then go to Flip Vertical. This with certain images, again, can just create something which is--well, in this case, completely different. We may have never ever have thought of something like this, and here we could move this even more.

Press the R key, crop in perhaps even further, change your crop, maybe rotate it a little bit, change the perspective on where the subject is coming into the frame and the overall crop, and then apply that, and again it is not necessarily great or wonderful or going to end up in our portfolio, but it is different. It is experimentation. Now here, out of all of these crops, we have the original file. We have this one which was just a bit more free-form, and then this next crop. Perhaps, like the middle two are the best, the last one, well, it was a bit too exaggerated, a bit too far.

I want to get rid of this. Well, to do that, just press the Delete key. That will open up a dialog which says your want to remove the selected Virtual Copy? Well, sure. Click Remove. And it is gone. That experiment, well, we kind of pushed it out of the way or crumpled it up and threw it in the trash can. No big deal. No skin off our back. Yet these two are keepers, and here is why: this particular crop, it reminds me of the importance of getting close. This crop, it reminds me of the importance I'm trying to capture non-traditional composition when I'm photographing people, to just experiment a little bit.

To just loosen up a little bit. And you know, sometimes the whole point of a Lightroom workflow is just to learn lessons like this.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom Workflow Strategies
Lightroom Workflow Strategies

38 video lessons · 10563 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 2m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 5s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 5s
  2. 44m 20s
    1. Importing images on-site
      7m 30s
    2. Creating a slideshow template
      7m 37s
    3. Selecting photos for a slideshow
      7m 26s
    4. Setting up for quick and easy batch processing
      7m 38s
    5. Finishing the batch processing
      3m 36s
    6. Launching the event slideshow
      5m 34s
    7. Uploading photos to Facebook during the event
      4m 59s
  3. 39m 47s
    1. Grouping photos into general collections
      5m 25s
    2. Using collections to sort out the keepers
      8m 30s
    3. Organizing collections based on subject matter
      4m 54s
    4. Batch processing color and black-and-white images
      4m 56s
    5. Exporting photos for lab printing
      4m 47s
    6. Exporting high-resolution photos for DVD or drives
      5m 35s
    7. Compressing and archiving the images
      5m 40s
  4. 23m 58s
    1. Getting started with travel collections
      3m 9s
    2. Labeling the photos
      5m 25s
    3. Adding travel-specific keywords and captions
      5m 28s
    4. Adding locations to the Map module
      3m 49s
    5. Processing the images
      6m 7s
  5. 32m 38s
    1. Combining multiple catalogs
      2m 49s
    2. Exporting images and merging laptop and desktop catalogs
      7m 37s
    3. Designing a Blurb book
      5m 53s
    4. Customizing the interior of the book
      2m 31s
    5. Customizing the book cover
      5m 6s
    6. Sending the book to Blurb
      2m 36s
    7. Creating multiple-image print layouts
      6m 6s
  6. 19m 35s
    1. Processing the images
      5m 57s
    2. Emailing low-resolution photos for client review
      4m 49s
    3. Creating a web gallery for client review
      5m 11s
    4. Exporting and sending full-resolution photos
      3m 38s
  7. 30m 32s
    1. Evaluating and processing the photos
      7m 3s
    2. Working with virtual copies
      6m 13s
    3. Exploring creative black-and-white processes
      5m 34s
    4. Removing and adding color
      5m 13s
    5. Using the Print module for virtual layouts
      6m 29s
  8. 40s
    1. Goodbye
      40s

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