Batch Editing

Batch Editing

Batch editing is a post-processing technique that allows for adjusting a bunch of images fast. If you have images shot under similar lighting conditions, you can apply the same tweaks to them all at once. Exposure gives you a few different ways to batch edit photos.

Photo: Jenn Aan

Making selections

In order to process batches of photos, we first need to select them. Selection operations in Exposure work the same way as in your operating system, so ⌘+A or Ctrl+A selects all of the images in the grid, ⌘+Click or Ctrl+Click selects or deselects one image at a time, and Shift+Click selects a consecutive group of images. You can select or deselect images that match certain metadata information.

You can also invert your selection, which deselects all selected images and selects all unselected images. This might be useful when you’re trying to select all images that do not have a particular value. For instance, to select all images that have a rating other than 0, you could first select all images that do have a rating of 0, and then press ⌘+U or Ctrl+U to invert the selection. You can apply these same selection commands to entire groups of images by clicking, shift-clicking, or ⌘-clicking on the group headers.

Our goal here is to edit multiple images at the same time. There are a few different ways that you can make that happen. Let’s take a quick look at each one.

Previous button

Sometimes you may want to apply an edit you just made to a group of images. The Previous button allows you to do this. I’ll select an image and apply one of Exposure’s film presets. I’ll make some customizations to the look as well.

Now that I have the shot edited the way I like, I’ll make a selection of images that I want to apply the look I just developed to. Then I simply press the Previous button and the effects will propagate to all of the photos. All effects are applied, including any specific adjustments you made after applying the preset. So if you adjusted your bokeh for one image, make sure that it’s properly centered over your subject in the other images that you’re batch editing.


Another way to reuse a previous edit is by copying and pasting. First I’ll remove any effects from all of these images, effectively starting the editing process from the beginning. I’ll press ⌘+A or Ctrl+A, then press the Reset button (⌘+R or Ctrl+R).

Now, I’ll select and edit one image in the folder. Once I’m done, I’ll copy the preset from the Edit menu. The next step in the process is to make a selection. I’ll grab all of the images in the folder with ⌘+A or Ctrl+A, and I’ll paste the copied preset from the menu, or with ⌘+Shift+V or Ctrl+Shift+V.

Copy and Paste is extremely handy when you’re using Exposure as a standalone app. You can revisit your favorite looks from past shoots, copy the preset, and paste the same look into the new shoot.

Multi select & edit

You can directly edit a batch in Exposure. Just select a group of shots and start making adjustments. Any edits that you make will be applied to all of the photos that you have selected.

If you’re working with a diverse set of images with varying lighting conditions, start with a large group of images to make the majority of edits, then work with smaller batches of photos that are similar. For example, I’ll grab a few photos with ⌘+Click or Ctrl+Click, and I can adjust a slider or two.