Lightroom Tips

It's Scott Kelby Guest Tip Week

Welcome to my Steal-a-tip-from-Scott-Kelby’s-New-Book tip week. Since I’m teaching a couple of 1-day Lightroom seminars on the west coast (LA and San Francisco) I figured it would be hard to keep up with the blog. Scott doesn’t know this yet, but to help celebrate the release of his brand new Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers I’m stealing tips from his book all week long (or until Scott finds out) 🙂

Here’s the first one and it has to do with showing Before and Afters in the Develop module. By default, if you press the (Backslash) key in the Develop module, it toggles you back and forth between the original untouched image (the Before view) and the photo as it looks now with your edits. However, what if you don’t want your Before photo to be the original? For example, let’s say you did some Basic panel edits on a portrait, and then you used the Adjustment Brush to do some portrait retouching. Maybe you’d like to see the Before photo showing the Basic panel edits after they were applied, but before you started retouching. To do that, go to the History panel (in the left side Panels area), and scroll down until you find the step right before you started using the Adjustment Brush. Right-click on that history state and choose Copy History Step Settings to Before. That now becomes your new Before photo when you press the key. I know—that’s totally cool.

Thanks to Scott for letting me steal his tips this week. If you’d like to check out his new book (and a freebie disc of all my LR presets that comes with it) you can find it right here.



  1. Miguel Palaviccini 21 July, 2010 at 11:08 Reply

    Yes! This tip is just awesome. It’s one of those things that you just wish that LR had built in but then you think that it’s too much to ask for … and then BAM … you (ummm I mean Scott) show it to us. Thanks!

  2. Marco 20 July, 2010 at 02:11 Reply

    Illegal use of tripods… stealing from Scott Kelby… When will this criminal be stopped? 😉

    Looking forward to the rest of the tips, although I will be ordering the book very soon.

    Keep up the good work.


  3. Dwight 19 July, 2010 at 21:22 Reply

    I’ve often spent time making modifications to a photo in Lightroom and then realized that there’s an additional way I’d like to see it (B&W, grunge, whatever); but I’d like to retain my current modifications to see which version I like better. I know I can create a virtual copy, but that just copies the version that I have already modified. Is there a way to create a virtual copy of the original so you can start from scratch on the second version?

  4. Adam 19 July, 2010 at 18:30 Reply

    I just got my copy of the book in the mail today – really looking forward to reading it a bit tonight. Should go great with everything I learned at your seminar in Boston last week, definitely one of the best I have been too! Great job.

  5. Glyn Dewis 19 July, 2010 at 18:06 Reply

    It seems like every day I’m glad I made the decision to stick with Lightroom having road tested Aperture which was good but was just missing that ‘spark’ of LR.

    Cheers for the tip Matt; needless to say Scott’s latest LR book is on it’s way Chez Dewis 🙂

    All the best to you and yours,

  6. Martin 19 July, 2010 at 15:12 Reply

    Good tip. I haven’t used the before/after settings because I was never interested in seeing the import prior to having import settings applied, or prior to applying those basic must do adjustments. This is a much better way to compare before/after.

    Suprisingly, the before view seems to ignore initial crops – which is good. Slightly less helpful is that the before view doesn’t show the position of the sliders or histogram in the before state.

    I suppose snapshots would be another way of handling this?

  7. Lyle 19 July, 2010 at 14:16 Reply

    Gee – was it something I said Matt ??? My posts don’t show up… was it the crack about the tripod in the cathedral ???

    I think your spam filter is too active – seems no posts are getting through…

  8. Mike 19 July, 2010 at 10:43 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    This is off topic but…

    How do you set up a graphical logo to be used as a watermark?
    I know how to edit my watermarks and create new ones but I need to put a logo on slide shows etc. What are the required dimensions,transparent BG?,ppi, etc?

    Would you do a “How To” video on this?


  9. Lyle 19 July, 2010 at 09:57 Reply

    This versions is Easily the best overall value of his LR books – lots of very handy stuff in it – including the frame technique you (and another guy) detailed in a recent PSU magazine. Very nicely done book – I read it cover to cover when it arrived Friday afternoon. Just wish I had bought it from you guys – but I’d pre-ordered on Amazon, so I don’t get the CD… :(…..

    Maybe you guys can make the CD available for a donation to the Spings of Hope (I think that’s the right name) …

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