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I am using Lightroom, version 5.7.1 to be specific. I have shot many photos and edited (retouched) for a client, exported them. But my client is so paranoid that she also wants unedited version of the photo.

I know how to export photos simply. But how to export unedited one without losing my precious edits? Please note that I want to keep the straightening data (crop), but not other ones.

I want jpg format images. Not the originals, which is cr2 for me.

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I think I found a solution to your problem described by user C Wills in a DPReview Forums post from 2012. I have tried to make a step-by-step recipe of his advice here.

Part one - create an unedited photo to copy all settings but crop factor from:

  1. Create an unedited version of any photo in your Lightroom collection with no settings or modifications applied*.
  2. Go to the Library Module and select the unedited photo in 1.
  3. Select "Copy Settings" (Ctrl + Shift + C) - the "Copy Settings" panel opens.
  4. In the panel uncheck the settings you want to keep. So uncheck Crop settings in your case. I usually also uncheck Lens Corrections, Process version and Calibration since I like to keep those settings as well.
  5. Press the Copy button in the panel. The panel closes.

Part two - paste the settings from the unedited photo to virtual copies of your photos:

  1. Create virtual copies of all the photos you want to reset everything but their edited crop factor (Select the photos - press Ctrl + ')
  2. With all the new virtual copies selected (they're selected by default when making the copy) select "Paste settings" (Ctrl + Shift + V)

All settings that you had copied from the unedited photo are now applied to your selected virtual copies. You now have "unedited" versions of your photos with edited crop factor.

*) This explains how to make an unedited version of a photo from an edited version: 1. Create a virtual copy of any photo in your Lightroom collection with the same Process Version as the photos you want to reset (Ctrl + ') 2. Select the new virtual copy, and go to the Develop Module 3. Reset that photo back to it's original state with no changes by selecting pressing the Reset button in the bottom right corner of the right module panels or pressing Ctrl + Shift + R

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Answer to the new question :

I don't know any "automatic" method for what you ask. I'm afraid you will have to do it manually.

To be sure that you won't lose anything, you can do the following (no subtlety here) :

  1. Copy the cr2 images in a new folder ("B")
  2. Import this folder into Lightroom. You have now 2 folders : "A" with the edited images and "B" with the new unedited ones.

For each image of "B" :

  1. Select your edited version in "A" and copy the modifications you want to keep (CTRL+SHFT+C on windows).
  2. Paste those modifications to the image in "B" (CTRL+SHFT+V)

Finally you can export the images of "B" for your paranoid client... and get a beer and delete everything of "B" to save space.

Original answer to the original question :

In the export options, setting "Format" to "Original" should do what you want : it will export your pictures as they are on your hard drive.

Exporting "original" picture (meaning RAW to me) while keeping some modifications from Lightroom seems impossible, they are not "original" anymore.

If you client use Lightroom, you could try to export "original", which come with a .XMP file containing your modification. You could then try to edit the XMP to keep what you want, as XMP are in the XML format (human readable). More information on XMP here : https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/metadata-basics-actions.html

You can also give him DNG exports and tell him those are the originals...

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Go to the History pane in the Develop Module. Look for the event when you only straightened the photo. The photo will revert back to that very edit (unless you had made other edits before the straightening, they'll come too). Then export the photo as jpg. All your edits can then be restored by selecting the event with your last edit (with the "Export-" tag in the beginning. Hope this helps...

  • Good idea, but this will only work if the desired modifications are the firsts that has been made. Else, you will export a photo with all the previous modifications too, as you indicate. The last part of your answer (restoring the edits) isn't clear. Can you elaborate ? – Olivier Aug 13 '15 at 15:42
  • Suppose you have finished editing a photo and the last edit you made was a sharpness adjustment. You'll see "Sharpness" as the most recent event (the one on the top) in the history panel. Let's say you wanted to export the unedited (in this case only straightened) photo first. You'd the scroll down to that particular event where you straightened the photo and select it for reverting the photo. Then you'd export this photo. The export event will come at the top of the panel. To get all those edits back, you just click the sharpness change event that's just below it. Hope I've got it clear! – Rohan Shrestha Aug 14 '15 at 18:04
  • Thanks for the explanation Rohan. I though that exporting after coming back to a an "editing event" deleted all the events after this one, I'm probably mistaken. – Olivier Aug 14 '15 at 21:45

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