We’ve all had a situation where we think we’ve created the perfect image, but we want to try something. Perhaps it’s to test an idea, sometimes it’s just to see how it looks or play with a preset. Whatever the reason, the last thing we want to do is undo all the work that came before it.
“Undo” is great, but it’s easy to forget exactly where you were, especially with small changes. Making your own presets is also an option. Then you can easily revert to it after you’ve messed around with it. Virtual Copies are a much easier solution, and in this video from Phlearn, Aaron Nace shows you exactly how they work and how to use them.
Until lately, I’ve only really been using Lightroom to make profiles for the ColorChecker Passport. I’ve just preferred the Bridge/ACR workflow. Recently, though, I’ve found myself using Lightroom more instead of Bridge/ACR for my initial processing before bringing the images into Photoshop.
In the past, I’d end up making a completely new PSD file for each edit. Or, I’ll make different groups of layers within a single PSD for each version (especially if I need to do a lot of retouching). This way makes life much easier, much faster, and uses a lot less hard drive space.
Neither way is right or wrong, and there’s merits to both workflows. Now that I find myself using lightroom more often, though, I definitely need to start remembering that Virtual Copies exists.
Do you use Virtual Copies in Lightroom? Or do you prefer to keep multiple edits inside a single or several PSD files? Do you use something other than Lightroom? Does it offer a similar feature? Let us know in the comments.