in the process of improving a photo, I often end up with lots of virtual copies (eg. I apply some basic adjustments, then create 3 copies to experiment with, then choose one of these and create a few more versions of it, add more settings etc..)

By the time I get to the final image, I have maybe 10 photos I am not interested in - including the original one - which I would like to delete. There are two problems with this: 1. Obviously, I can't delete the original otherwise I lose everything else 2. by keeping the last photo only, I lose the history of all the development stages (which are included in the intermediate virtual copies).

is there a solution for this? the ideal thing would be to be able to apply the entire sequence of transformations to the original photo, and delete all the virtual copies created in the process?

any ideas?


If I understand you correctly, you have one image you want to keep, but it's not the 'original image', it's one of the virtual copies. Not a problem. In the Library module, click on the VC you want to keep and go to Photo/Set Copy as Master. Done.

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  • P.S. As the history for each VC begins when it's created, if you delete the original file you will delete the history. – Mike Nelson Pedde Apr 6 '13 at 2:40
  • yep, that's correct. I can make a copy the new master, but will lose all the history that way. by the way, the history is distributed over several virtual copies (each of which is like a series of intermediate steps towards the final photo) – Patrick Apr 6 '13 at 12:29

My first thought is you could collapse the stack to conceal them on the UI and move your "final" version to the top of the stack. It doesn't get rid of the others or combine all the history, but it does at least clean up your UI.

I tend to work by applying things linearly and working my way back through the history if I decide I don't like something, so I don't have a whole lot of experience with edit history in virtual copies.

If you don't mind losing the change history, you can copy the settings from the final image to the original and clear out the virtual copies as well using the Copy and Paste options.

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