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As a photographer, two of the most integral and important applications that I work with are Lightroom and Photoshop; therefore, I really want to have a good handle on how I can go to Photoshop from Lightroom. And what most photographers know is that they can take their image-- like this photograph here-- they can go to Photo, and then they can choose Edit In and then choose Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS5. But what most people don't do is they don't take advantage of this Edit in Other Application. Well, most people don't take advantage of this because they think, you know, I don't use other applications.
I only use Lightroom and Photoshop. Well, even only using Lightroom and Photoshop, there's something that you want to do in order to set up Lightroom so you can take advantage of both of these different options here. Let me show you what I mean. What we want to do is navigate up to our Lightroom pulldown menu and then choose Preferences. In the Preferences dialog, we're interested in going to External Editing. Now what you want to do for your primary editor is you want to dial in the settings which give you the largest file with the widest gamut. I mean this is the file that has everything in it.
In this case, it's a TIFF format, Color Space, ProPhoto RGB, 16 bits per channel--a lot of information there-- Resolution 240 pixels per inch. Great! Well, this one is all dialed in. What about this Additional External Editor? Well, what you can do is you can choose Photoshop here as a second application, and then you can change your settings. Let me show you what I mean. Here, we'll go ahead and click Choose. This will take us to our Applications folder, and I'm going to go down to Photoshop and select Photoshop and hit Choose.
Now, this is going to give me this warning message: "Lightroom has already automatically chosen Photoshop. What do you want to do?" I want to use this anyway, and the reason why is because I want to have some settings that I can take advantage of-- say this really big file--and then perhaps I want something different. Maybe it's a TIFF format, ProPhoto, but rather than 16 bits per channel, it's only 8 bits per channel. Or for that matter, maybe I want to change to a PSD file format. Or I could change it to a lower, or a smaller, color space.
Now why would you want to do that? Well, let's say, for example, that you know that this image is only going to be e-mailed, or you're going to post it on your blog. It's not going to be a photo that you're going to print. You're just going to work on it in Photoshop with that final intent in mind: online usage or online sharing. Well, in that case, do you really need 16 bits/channel? Well, maybe not. 16 bits/channel is great because it can prevent banding. It can really help you out in those situations where you need everything. In my workflow, I'm almost always working in the situation here with these settings.
Yet in other situations, when I want a smaller file size, when I'm in a bit of a hurry, I'll dial in my options here for my External Editor--whatever I want to choose here. And in this case, I'm going to leave these as is: TIFF, Adobe RGB(1998), 8 bits per channel. Or of course you could choose a different color spaces as well, but let's just keep with Adobe RGB 98, and then I'll go to my Preset pulldown menu. I'll save this out as a preset. I'm just going to call this one "tiff - rgb - 8" and then click Create.
That way what I can do is I can select this from my pulldown menu. Now, I could also create other presets and then choose whichever one I wanted to use for my additional external editor. Now it's not really a different editor. It's just different export settings, or different Edit In settings. All right, well, how then do we take advantage of this? What we're going to do, I'm going to go down to my Filename here, and I'm just going to go ahead and say Filename with the Sequence. That's fine. I'll start it out with number 1 there and then close this out. All right, well back to the image in Lightroom.
This is a photograph of a monkey in Costa Rica, a whiteface monkey. Let me zoom in on this guy, a really curious looking critter. Monkeys are just such fascinating animals. Well, what I'm going to do is first open this one up inside of Photoshop--edit it in Photoshop using our normal shortcut. You remember that: It's Command+E on a Mac; that's Ctrl+E on Windows. So this file that I'm opening up now is going to be the one that is the big bad boy. I mean it has everything, and it's a huge file. Let's save this out.
Go to File, select Save As. I'm going to save this to my Desktop and just call it 16, for 16 bit, and then click Save. All right, let's go back to Lightroom. Here, I want to open it up with my additional editor--two ways to do that. One way, the best way is to use a shortcut. Here it is. We already know that Command+E or Ctrl+E is Edit in Photoshop. Well, if you add one modifier key to that--on a Mac it's Option, on Windows that's Alt.
And that kind of make sense, right because it's giving me another option, open this in a new alternative way. So you press Option+Command+E on the Mac, Alt+Ctrl+E on Windows in order to open it up with those additional settings. Or you can always go to your Photo pulldown menu > Edit In and then choose this second option here: Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS5. Now what this is going to do is it's going to open this up with those secondary settings. We can see them here. Here we have TIFF, Adobe RGB, 8 bits per channel. We could make any changes as needed here, if we wanted to.
Here I'll simply click Edit, in order to open that image up with those settings applied to it. All right, well now that I have this other image, I'll go ahead and save this file. And I'm going to save this out to my Desktop again. I'll call this one 8, just so we have a 16-bit image there and an 8-bit image. Then I'll hit Save and click OK to save the file. Next, what I want to do is compare these two images. So I'm going to go to my Finder here, and here you can see that I have two very distinct files. Now my 8 bits per channel Adobe RGB file is only 26 MBs.
So it's relatively small, especially in comparison to this one. The one that has 16 bits per channel ProPhoto is now a whopping 154 megabytes. So as you can see here from this comparison, it can really be advantageous to have two different settings, so that you can work with Lightroom in a little bit more of a nimble way. In other words, when you have time to really work on the file and you want that really big, huge file, we'll go with your primary option. And in other situations when you want to work a little bit more quickly, you can take advantage of that Additional External Editor option that you've dialed in over those options, and you can open up your file that way in order to expedite and speed up your overall workflow.
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