The Easy Way to Create Snapshots in Lightroom 3

Snapshotter Created Snapshot Lightroom’s snapshot feature is a great way to create a permanent record of the current develop settings for an image.  You can record multiple snapshots against a single image, storing the different interpretations you made while developing it and allowing them to be recalled at the click of a mouse.  These snapshots are accessible in both Lightroom’s Develop module and Photoshop’s Camera Raw plugin making it a powerful and efficient way to communicate settings between the two tools.

I’ve recently created a Snapshotter plugin for Lightroom 3 that allows you to bulk create Lightroom snapshots while within the Library module. Lightroom’s interface will only let you create snapshots from within the Develop module, one image at a time.  This is fine if you are using snapshots only for recording creative interpretations of an image but is too restrictive when considering other uses for snapshots such as:

Personally I create virtual copies (VCs) to experiment with different image develop settings and then compare the results side by side.  Once I’ve chosen the best I’ll create snapshots for each of the VCs worth keeping, then delete the VCs, because all of those snapshots are actually stored against the master image so will not be deleted.  This is also a great approach for dealing with multiple crop sizes for the same image.  My family have three different sized digital photo frames in use and converting VCs to snapshots is a great way to ensure this doesn’t clog my catalog with more thumbnails than truly necessary.

Snapshotter Plug-In Extras menu item Snapshotter plugin main dialogThe Snapshotter plugin assists the snapshot creation process by adding a new Create Snapshot(s) from Images menu item to the File –> Plug-in Extras menu.  Selecting this opens a dialog allowing configuration of the snapshot name to be used, and the option to restrict snapshot creation to virtual copies only, when creating snapshots for all selected photos.  The snapshot naming function currently supports one substitution variable:

{CopyName}    Virtual Copy name

that will be replaced with the relevant metadata from each image.  Information about how this and the other elements of the dialog operate are described in the online help accessible using the button labelled with a question mark (?).

Please leave a comment below to let us know how you use Lightroom’s snapshot feature, and how the Snapshotter plugin helps this or could be improved to help it more.

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Released as "donationware". If you use this plugin a donation via this page or the plugin entry in Lightroom’s Plugin Manager would be appreciated.

Requires Lightroom version 3 or greater. Installation instructions here.


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Posted on June 15, 2010 at 1:30 am by Matt · Permalink
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