Lightroom Virtual Copies

Virtual copies are pivotal in saving same photo with different processing, without physically occupying disk space or duplicating files, in Adobe Lightroom.

One problem with the application is that the virtual copy data is only saved in the Lightroom catalogue. So if for any reason the catalogue is lost, there is no way to restore the virtual copies.

On the other hand, xmp sidecar files can be used to save the master file metadata and processing, so if the catalogue is lost the data can be restored, apart from the editing history.

One way to save the virtual copy data is to create a snapshot once the virtual copy editing is finished. This will automatically save the same snapshot in the master file, which in the event of catalogue loss can be used to generate a new virtual copy. This method of course requires a manual restoration of the virtual copies, which may be near impossible in one go in a large catalogue of many thousand photos, but at least saves the data to be used when required.

Photo Processing

Most people, me included, are very excited after a shoot, and they want to use and show off their photos immediately .. what people usually miss is the excitement of going through the photos very slowly and processing them properly;

  • Renaming for organisation
  • Inserting keywords, tags and labels
  • Rating (stars and colours)
  • Discarding bad photos
  • Basic processing (White balance, exposure and contrast)
  • Intermediate processing (lens corrections, perspective corrections, colour corrections, noise and sharpening)
  • Advanced processing (area and spot corrections, vignette, graduated and colour filters)
  • Cropping and levelling
  • Creating several versions with different processing options
  • Artistic processing (Photoshop)
  • Exporting for sharing, printing, publishing, and archiving

How to organise photos

First thing after taking photos and importing them to a PC is to organise them in a way that allows finding them in the future

I use Lightroom to organise my photos (always shoot in RAW).

I have set LR to re-name files to yyyymmdd_filename and import to a folder named yyyymmdd into a folder named yyyy . So all photos are renamed to date shot, imported into a folder of the day and inside a folder of the year.

I have not mentioned of course that for special occasions, persons, travel, holidays etc I put the files in a folder named after the occasion or activity but still under the year .. i.e. activity/person_yyyymm

How to organise photos

First thing after taking photos and importing them to a PC is to organise them in a way that allows finding them in the future

I use Lightroom to organise my photos (always shoot in RAW).

I have set LR to re-name files to yyyymmdd_filename and import to a folder named yyyymmdd into a folder named yyyy . So all photos are renamed to date shot, imported into a folder of the day and inside a folder of the year.

I have not mentioned of course that for special occasions, persons, travel, holidays etc I put the files in a folder named after the occasion or activity but still under the year .. i.e. activity/person_yyyymm