How to Create a Second Copy of an Image Inside Adobe Photoshop Lightroom v3

August 09, 2011 | | Comments 20

Two Copies of the Same Original Capture in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

A full color and a black and white version of the same shutter click in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

When I was a wedding photographer, I loved selling the bride and groom both a color print and a black and white print from the same shutter click. Selling my clients the full-color image, plus a black and white version, was an easy way to make a single capture far more profitable! I do the same thing with some of my portraits and some of my landscapes. Sometimes a great composition works with, and without, color.

Have you ever felt the need for both a full-color and a black and white version of the same image? Have you ever wanted to make a second copy of your photograph that you can turn into a black and white masterpiece without leaving Adobe Photoshop Lightroom? If creating a duplicate–a second copy of your original capture–without leaving Lightroom is a mystery then this video tutorial is for you.

Today’s tutorial is not on the black and white conversion process. Lightroom’s black and white image controls are explained elsewhere. Today’s video explains how to create a second copy–an additional file that you can tune up any which way you like–through Adobe Photoshop Lightroom version 3′s Export controls. Today’s video is all about how to use the Export Dialog to create a second file and how to automatically add this new file back into your Lightroom Catalog!

Just in case you missed it in the video, here is a screenshot of the Export Dialog settings that I used to make this “roundtrip” process painless. What you won’t learn from the screenshot alone though is how to control the second file’s name, or how to turn the process into a powerful Export Preset. You have to watch the video to learn all these tricks!

Duplicate Image within Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Settings

For an alternative to this technique, consider using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Virtual Copies feature. Virtual Copies take up almost no disk space but they are stored only at the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalog level. Do not expect a Virtual Copy to survive if your Photoshop Lightroom Catalog gets lost or corrupted. Our Printing in Lightroom with Virtual Copies tutorial would be a good one to explore next. Sean McCormack over at also has a good article on Virtual Copies for Lightroom Beginners.

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Filed Under: (06) Lightroom Image Enhancement (Advanced)(07) Exporting From LightroomAdobe Photoshop Lightroom Tutorials


About the Author: David Marx is a digital photography instructor whose engaging teaching style inspires photographers of all skill levels. David is an Adobe Certified Lightroom Expert. To learn more about David's Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software training seminars and digital photography field workshops please visit or follow David Marx on Google+.