Virtual Copy to Photoshop


Today’s Question: Can you edit a virtual copy in Photoshop that was created in Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can send a virtual copy to Photoshop from Lightroom Classic, which will create a derivative image based on the original capture, with the adjustments based on the virtual copy applied.

More Detail: A virtual copy in Lightroom Classic is simply an additional reference to the same source image. So, for example, you might have a color original, then create a virtual copy and create a black and white interpretation for that virtual copy. You could then create an additional virtual copy and take that further with a sepia tone interpretation, for example.

The virtual copy behaves just like an original capture, just with different settings for that original capture. If you send a virtual copy to Photoshop from Lightroom Classic, the settings from the virtual copy are applied to the source image, which in turn results in a derivative image. That would be a TIFF or PSD file, depending on the settings established in Preferences.

So, if the virtual copy was a black and white interpretation of the original capture, the derivative created by sending the virtual copy to Photoshop would be a black and white image.