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In this movie we are going to take a look at the last command in the Photo > Edit In menu in Lightroom, Open as Layers in Photoshop. You could use this command to take multiple images from Lightroom, and bring them into Photoshop into a single file, and you might do that for many purposes. Maybe you want to make a layered composite or put together some bracketed exposures of the same scene. In this case I'm going to show you a very unique technique in Photoshop for taking multiple images, each of which has a different point of focus and all of which have a shallow depth of field, and blend them together so that it looks like you have one single image with an extended depth of field.
Well, why you would want to do that? It's because when you're shooting photos the available light sometimes forces you to open you F stop so wide that you can't capture the depth of field that you would like. So this is a work around for that situation. When you are shooting with this technique in mind, I suggest you put your photo on a tripod and your exposure and focus settings to manual. Set your exposure and leave it there, and change only one thing between shots, the point of focus, as I've done in these five images. The first thing I'm going to do is to make some adjustments to the first image.
Because I shot all these photos in the same light, I can adjust one and then apply my adjustments to all of them, a real timesaver. So with that first photo selected, I'll go to the Basic panel and I'll tweak some sliders. And now I'm going to synchronize those adjustments to the other four images. So with the first one selected, I'll hold the Shift key and click the last thumbnail in the filmstrip. Now the frame around the first one should be brighter than the frames around all of the other four, because the first image is the one from which I am going to take the settings. It's the most selected image.
Now I'll just click the Sync button at the bottom of the column on the right, I'll make sure everything is checked and I'll click Synchronize. That applies the same adjustments to the other four photos as well. Now it's time to take these four photos and pass them over to Photoshop as layers in a single file. With all five images still selected in the filmstrip, I'll go to the Photo menu and choose Edit In, and I'll go all the way to the bottom of that menu, Open as Layers in Photoshop. Lightroom passed over to Photoshop all five photos and stacked them into the layers that you see here in the Layers panel in a single document.
The next thing I want to do is have Photoshop align all these layers so that their content lines up. So with the top layer selected, I'll hold the Shift key and select the bottom layer and then I'll go to the Edit menu and I'll choose Auto-Align Layers. I'll leave all these setting at their defaults in the Auto-Align Layers dialog and I'll click OK. There are a few transparent pixels along the edges, indicating that Photoshop did rotate some of these layers to get them to line up perfectly. Now the real magic happens. With all five layers still selected in the Layers panel, I'm going to go over to the Edit menu, and this time I'll choose Auto-Blend Layers.
In the Auto-Blend Layers dialog, I'm going to leave Stack Images selected, because I'm not making a Panorama. I just want the images to be blended in a stack. And I do want to leave Seamless Tones and Colors checked, so that Photoshop does its best to blend the tones and colors in the five images. I'll click OK. Photoshop has now blended all five images together and look at the result. Remember that each of the five images had only one bottle in focus to start and now I have a single image in which all five bottles appear to be in focus, that's pretty amazing.
And if you look in the Layers panel, you can see that Photoshop accomplished that by creating these intricate layer masks, which it added to each layer. At this point if you wanted to, you could get the Crop tool and crop away these transparent pixels. I'm just going to leave them there for now, I'll take care of them in a minute. I'd actually like to apply a filter to this image, but when I go to the Filter menu I see that most of them are grayed out. So in order to apply filters or some other Photoshop features, I'm going to have to first take the image back to Lightroom and then bring it back to Photoshop, at which point all of these layers will be flattened and I'll have all the Photoshop tools available.
So I'll press Cmd+S, Ctrl+S on the PC, and I'll close the resulting TIFF. I'll go back to Lightroom, and in the filmstrip in Lightroom, you can see I have not only my first five raw files, I also have a TIFF, which was created in that Lightroom to Photoshop workflow. The TIFF format and the file name are derived from choices I made earlier in Lightroom's External Editing Preferences. I'm not done with this image yet, I'd also like to try to straighten up the bottles a little bit, and I think that the perfect feature to do that is a filter in Photoshop, the Adaptive Wide Angle filter. So in the next movie, I'll take this TIFF file back into Photoshop, as an example of yet another practical reason to use Photoshop with Lightroom.
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