Lightroom Features I Love: Copy & Paste

I mentioned a while back that I was going to be doing a series of posts on specific features of Lightroom that I love. After two and a half years of using LR as my main editing tool, I couldn’t be happier. I love it. I don’t even use it to its fullest capabilities and yet it has changed everything about the way I deal with my photos.

Today I want to share with you a feature I use often: Copy and Paste.

It’s just what it sounds like. Copy…and paste. This is something I use a lot when I am editing a lot of photos from one event. One I fiddle with a photo and get it exactly how I want it, I can simply copy the settings I used and then paste them onto any other photo. When I have many photos in a specific lighting situation, this simple copy and paste method saves me so much time.

For example, I recently photographed a wedding and have many, many photos to sort through and edit. Doing this one at a time would be extremely time consuming. When I used to edit in Photoshop, I would duplicate all of my layers onto another photo, but even that was time consuming. But with copy and paste, I am just two clicks away.

Here is a photo I am working on:

I could fiddle with this for a while, but I already have a photo from the same time frame that I have edited and am happy with:

So, in the palette on the left of my LR5 screen, I clicked COPY in order to copy all of the settings from this already-edited photo.

Then this screen appears:

You have the ability to tell LR exactly WHAT features you want copied and to leave unchecked those settings you don’t want copied. I slightly change these depending on the photos I am working with, though I never check to copy crop settings since every photo is so different.

Once I click COPY, I go back to my unedited photo that I want to paste the settings onto. I think click paste and…DONE. The settings from photo 1 are copied to photo 2.

Even when the copied settings aren’t perfect for the new photo, it still gives me a great starting point. Take this black and white photo for example. I loved the settings I had for this photo:

So I copied them to one of the color photos above:

For the most part, I was really happy with it, but the exposure needed to be tweaked a bit so there was a better visual on their faces. But rather than having to start from the beginning, I could just tweak my exposure and whites sliders, and call it done:


Yes…another reason why I love Lightroom. Sigh. Editing this wedding will still take me many hours and days, but with options like Copy & Paste it will go much faster than going through the photos one by one!

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