Welcome to the forum.
The simplest thing you could of done is take any image you have in the LR catalog, create a Virtual Copy of it then create another VC of the VC then delete the first and see what happens.
That would of taken less time than it did to login to this forum and post your question. I did it in less than a minute and found out exactly what happens. Give it a try.
It makes no difference if you use another VC to create additional VC’s. They each reference the original master image so you will see e.g. 1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3 when hovering over thumbnails. VC’s are just small amounts of metadata. There is no file created in the folder. You would need to export from a VC to create an actual file. Use copy names to keep track.
Snapshots are good for creating individual versions.
VC’s are good when selecting a batch of images because you can export from the Library. With snapshots you would need to go back to Develop for each separate image.
Thank you so much for your reply!
I thought VC worked just the way you said... so maybe I did something else wrong.
Here is the workflow, and where I lost some VCs:
1. I selected a photo and put it into a collection.
2. I made a whole bunch of virtual copies of the photos in the collection as I tried out different edits.
3. After and during a bunch of edits, I deleted many of the virtual copies from my collection because I decided against the edits after doing some comparisons.
4. When I went in to folders to select my next photo to work on and thus to add to the collection, I discovered that every one of my virtual copies from my collection was in the originating folder, even tho I had deleted a bunch of them from my collection. Some of the changes were so minor, it was going to be hard to identify which were the many deleted ones and which were the keepers.
5. Under collections, I went in and added a Copy Name (in the metadata) to all of the virtual copies I still had in my collection so that I could easily recognize them in the Library module while in the originating Folder.
6. I then went to the originating Folder, and started removing all the virtual copies that didn't have a name assigned to them in the Copy Name metadata field. Sounds great, right?
7. Well, when I came to the last virtual copy that I needed to delete, for some mysterious reason that I still have to figure out, it deleted almost all of my keeper virtual copies but one!
So there was probably some tie-in to that last one I deleted, but what? That's why I was wondering if the VCs had some kind of tie-in to the previous VCs, if they were created using a previous VC.
Thankfully, I had all but one of the virtual copies I wanted to keep exported to a JPEG, so at least I am not dead in the water. I was able to re-import them to my originating Folder.
Do you have any idea why all those VC's deleted?
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help!
OK I think I may have confused you Anne, as I was talking about the Folders on your hard drive or external drive wherever you keep your photos.
VC’s make no files on your hard drive – it’s just metadata in the catalog.
In the folders panel of the LR Library you will always have numbered copies. Removing from collections does not remove from the folders panel. That’s by design. So you must always delete from the foldes panel. Or just hide them all and you only see the top copy.
Photo >> Stacking >> Collapse All Stacks
Photo >> Stacking >> Expand All Stacks (when you want to see them in the folders panel)
I knew the VC were just stored steps in the catalog, but I thought the delete key was removing them from it because it was created within the collection. Apparently it only removes it from the Collection, not from the Folder/Catalog as well. My thought was that since it is just a virtual copy when I deleted it from the Collection it would just delete. I had another reply that said I could delete the VC from the Catalog from within collections by using the Opt Delete key (for Macs).
So no matter where I am in Lr, I have to know the set of commands that affect either at the Collections level, the Folders level or the Catalog level. I was thinking that where I was within Lr determined what the commands affected. For the most part this is true, but apparently, like with the Opt Delete command, I can affect something further up/down the organizational levels of Lr like deleting a photo from the catalog from within Collections.
I also need to understand that Collections is like a playlist on an iPhone, even with VCs created within a Collection. So since VC updates the catalog, that overrides any hierarchy I would conceive from virtue of my location within the Lr software.
So anything that updates a photo tracked within the catalog is reflected in all copies of that photo no matter where it is. Also, a VC created within a collection is automatically added to the folder in which the originating photo is located.
I'm hoping I've got all that right...
I always delete from the folder panel. I don’t like using Alt+delete on Windows or Optn+delete on the Mac as there is no warning.
Deleting from the Folder tab always gives a warning.
Remove the selected virtual copy?
You must then click the Remove button.
Also if you only ever delete VC’s from the folder they automatically vanish from the collection.
Making a VC of an image in a collection also adds it to the original file so you see it when you go to the folder that file is stored in.
Removing a VC from a collection is just Removing It From the Collection. Just like removing an original image from a collection does not Delete or remove that image from the catalog or from the hard drive.
True enough. Thank you very much!
Hi Just Shoot Me,
Thank you for the info and confirmations. I've experimented with a bunch of stuff to verify what happens and I think I am getting a better understanding of how the collections/catalog/folders work.
When a body is first starting out, it's just a lot to take in at once. I know I read some of this stuff, then I think I got some things mixed up with something else I read.
It's seeping in slow but sure.
Thank you so much for your help!
After you are done editing your virtual copies in a collection you can select the "Keeper" and use the menu command "Photo/Set Copy as Master" and the Keeper edit will become the new MASTER photo edit. Then you can get rid of ALL the virtual copies for that photo if you want. This works in both the collection and the folder.
Ah, yes, you are right. I remember reading that somewhere now. Thank you for the reminder.
So much to learn and remember.
Thank you, thank you!