Finding Original Captures


Today’s Question: Is there a way to see the only the original images that were imported into Lightroom Classic, rather than the many copies that might coexist side by side?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can set a filter for “Original Photos” to exclude virtual copies from the current view. You can also filter based on file type, such as to only display raw captures.

More Detail: In Lightroom Classic you can create additional copies of an original photo in two ways. You can create a virtual copy, which represents an additional set of metadata (such as adjustments) for the same source image. You can also create an entirely new file, such as a TIFF image that might be created when you send a photo to Photoshop or another external editor or plugin.

To exclude virtual copies, you can select the “Original Photos” option associated with the Kind setting on the Attribute tab of the Library Filter bar. If the Library Filter bar isn’t displayed, you can choose View > Show Filter Bar from the menu. Then go to the Attribute tab and click the first button to the right of the Kind label, which is the “Original Photos” option. The second button is for virtual copies and the third is for videos, so you can toggle each of those buttons on or off based on the filter you want to apply.

To exclude derivative copies of the source image that were saved in a file format such as TIFF, PSD, or JPEG, you can set a filter for the file type. On the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar click one of the column headings representing the metadata fields for filtering and choose “File Type” from the popup. Within the File Type column choose “Raw” to filter based on raw captures, so that other file types will not be displayed.

Note that if you have a mix of virtual copies as well as derivative image types you can enable both filter settings outlined above to exclude everything except original raw captures.