Snapshots are a lightroom feature that allows you to save a version of your image during the editing process to come back to later. This can be useful if you want to do a before/after of your image, try multiple editing styles, or showcase your editing process.
What’s the Difference: Lightroom Snapshot vs Virtual Copy
Lightroom CC snapshots allow you to save the state of your photo during the editing process. However, a snapshot is not a real duplicate, so you cannot keep two versions of the photo, as you can with created virtual copies. Even though you can go back to a snapshot, it will be at the cost of the other edits you make after the snapshot is taken. In this way virtual copies and snapshots are different.
If you intend to have several versions of the original image, you should instead choose to create a virtual copy in Lightroom.
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Create A Snapshot Of Your Image In Its Current State
Step 1: Open your Photo in the Develop Module
Find your photo in the Library, select it, and press D to go to the Develop Module.
Step 2: Create Snapshot
With your image edited, go to the snapshots panel located on the left-hand side of your lightroom interface and press the ‘+’.
A dialog will appear. By default is suggests a name using the current date and time.
Step 3: Name Your Snapshot
Give your snapshot a name and press ‘create’. The snapshot will be saved to come back to later in the snapshots panel.
Create A Snapshot Of Your Image In A Previous State
If you’ve forgotten to take a snapshot of your image in a previous state, and have continued making changes since then – don’t worry, you can still take a snapshot of your image in its previous state.
Step 1: Go To History Panel
- Go to the history panel, which should be located just below the snapshots panel.
- Expand the panel and you should find a history of all the edits you have made to your image so far.
- Find the point at which you want to take a snapshot, right-click and select create snapshot.
Step 2: Name Your Snapshot
Name your snapshot and click ‘create’. Your image snapshot will appear in the snapshots panel in its previous state.
How to Go Back to a Snapshot in Lightroom
Step 1: Open the Snapshot Panel in the Develop Module
If you are not already in the Develop Module, switch to it, and open the Snapshot panel on the left side of the screen.
Step 2: Choose the Snapshot
Now all you have to do is to click on the snapshot to go back to the editing state of the image when you created the snapshot.
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Update Existing Lightroom Classic Snapshots
If you need to update an existing snapshot after Lightroom creates it, you can do so by choosing the snapshot in the Snapshot panel, and right-click on the snapshot name, and choosing update with current settings.
Using Lightroom to create snapshots can be an efficient way to saving editing time when you are not sure whether your edits are moving in the right direction. Snapshots allow you to quickly go back to a previous editing state.
Liberty is a freelance content writer, designer, and avid photographer with a particular interest in landscape and nature photography. When not writing or editing she can be found outdoors with her camera or in a thrift shop.