UNDER THE HOOD

 first photo

 Change One Photo, Change All

Let s assume a typical editing session. You re working on your photos in the Develop module. You make changes to one photo and it looks good, but there are a bunch of other photos that were shot under the same general conditions as the one you re working on. Lightroom makes it really easy to take those changes and apply them to multiple photos with just a couple of clicks (so you don t have to edit each one separately).

step ONE: Start out in the Develop module and choose the photo you d like to work on first. Here s the before photo just so you have an idea what we re starting with.

STEP TWO Edit the photo in the Develop module as you normally would. Here, we ve adjusted the White Balance, Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Clarity, and Vibrance.

STEP THREE: Since this photo could use a little cropping, we re going to do that now, too. You ll see in a minute that even though we cropped this photo, it doesn t mean that all the others will need cropping as well. Just press the R key to select the Crop Overlay tool and make your changes. When you re done, press R again to go back into regular viewing mode.

Okay, editing of the first photo is done. You re with us so far, right? We ve made some changes to one photo; however, there are a bunch of other photos from this shoot that were shot in the same conditions as the photo we just edited. So whatever changes were made to the first photo will need to be made to the rest as well. Let s pick up where we left off.

STEP FOUR: Take a look down at the Filmstrip. You should see the rest of your photos next to the one you re currently working on (the highlighted one). Once you identify the photos you want to apply the same settings to, select them so Lightroom knows which ones you want to target. Hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and click on the other photos that you want to apply the same settings to.

STEP FIVE: At the bottom of the right-side panels area in the Develop module, you ll see a Sync button. Click on it to open the Synchronize Settings dialog. Here s where you choose what settings you want to synchronize. For starters,

I always click Check None to clear everything out. Then I turn on the settings that I changed in the first photo. Basically, choose the settings you want to apply to the rest of the photos. In this example, I chose White Balance, Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, White Clipping, Black Clipping, Clarity, and Vibrance (all of the Basic panel settings I changed earlier).

STEP SIX: Notice that I didn t check the Crop box? That s because I don t want the crop from the first photo to be applied to the others. I mentioned that the photos were all taken in the same conditions so things like Exposure, White Balance, and overall toning make sense to synchronize, but something such as custom cropping usually doesn t.

STEP SEVEN: Once you re ready, click on the Synchronize button at the bottom right of the dialog. If you look in the Filmstrip, you ll see the thumbnails of all the photos update to reflect the new settings. It s a good idea at this point to go through the photos and make sure that the sync works well for each of them. Sometimes I ll have to tweak the White Balance or Exposure settings for a few photos, but this technique sure beats editing each photo from scratch.

ANOTHER WAV TO SYNC YOUR PHOTOS: the copy-and-paste method

If you don t have to synchronize a large amount of photos but still want a quick way to apply changes from one photo to another, then you can try the copy-and-paste method. Here s how it works.

step ONE: First, find the photo that you want to copy the settings from in the Library module. Once you find it, click on it and choose Photo>Develop Settings>Copy Settings. Note: If you re in the Develop module. Develop Settings is not available in the Photo menu. In either module, you can always use the keyboard shortcut, which is Shift-Command-C (PC: Shift-Ctrl-C).

step TWO: The Copy Settings dialog will open (and you ll notice it looks just like the Synchronize Settings dialog). Choose which settings you want to copy, then click the Copy button.

STEP THREE: Next, click on the photo (or Command-click [PC: Ctrl-click] to select multiple photos) that you want to paste the settings to. Then, click the Photo menu and choose Develop Settings>Paste Settings, or press Shift-Command-V (PC: Shift-Ctrl-V). This pastes the settings you copied from the source photo to the selected photos.

In the end, the copy-and-paste method does the exact same thing as Synchronize; it s a different way to do it. There s really no right way, though —just whichever way is easiest and works best for you at the moment. But I will say that if you re going to use this method, you d better learn the keyboard shortcuts for it. That s what makes it a really fast way to copy-and-paste settings from one photo to another.

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