Today’s Question: I understand the Quick Develop section in the Library module of Lightroom Classic might save me a tiny bit of time by virtue of not having to switch to the Develop module to apply a basic adjustment, but it doesn’t otherwise seem all that helpful. Is there some other benefit to the Quick Develop adjustments?
Tim’s Quick Answer: To me the biggest benefit of the Quick Develop adjustments in the Library module is that they enable you to apply relative (rather than absolute) adjustments to multiple images at once. The ability to apply adjustments without switching to the Develop module is a smaller benefit in my view.
More Detail: When you apply adjustments to multiple photos at the same time in the Develop module you are applying absolute adjustments. In other words, each image will be adjusted to the exact same value for a given adjustment. If you apply an adjustment of +0.5 for the Exposure slider to multiple images, for example, all of the images will be set to exactly a value of +0.5 for Exposure, regardless of what adjustments to the value for Exposure had been previously applied to the individual images.
When using the adjustment controls in the Quick Develop section in the Library module, on the other hand, the adjustments are relative.
For example, let’s assume you have selected three images. The first has the Exposure value set to -0.5, the second had no adjustment (so a value of 0.0), and the third has had the Exposure value set to +1.0. With all three images selected if you then click the double right-arrow button for Exposure in Quick Develop, each image will be adjusted by one full stop. So, the first image will go to an Exposure value of +0.5, the second will go to a value of +1.0, and the third will go to a value of +2.0.
This relative adjustment feature of Quick Develop can be helpful for situations where you have applied adjustments to individual images to compensate for specific issues, but then want to apply the same relative adjustment to all three. This can be helpful when you are preparing images to be printed, for example, and the printer has indicated the files need to be brightened in order to print properly.