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Taking the photo from Lightroom to Photoshop

From: Enhancing a Travel Photo with Photoshop and Lightroom

Video: Taking the photo from Lightroom to Photoshop

Now that we've made basic global corrections to this photo in Lightroom, let's take it over to Photoshop for some more targeted adjustments. This is the workflow that I typically follow with the best photos that I take on my travels; the ones that I want to fine-tune before I show them off. In Photoshop, we'll have access to features that aren't available in Lightroom, like layers, masks, and content aware retouching tools that we'll use to correct isolated parts of the photo with more precision than Lightroom offers. In this movie, I'll briefly show you how to take this RAW file over to Photoshop with all the changes that we've already made in Lightroom, further enhance it there, and what happens when we save, and bring it back into Lightroom.

Taking the photo from Lightroom to Photoshop

Now that we've made basic global corrections to this photo in Lightroom, let's take it over to Photoshop for some more targeted adjustments. This is the workflow that I typically follow with the best photos that I take on my travels; the ones that I want to fine-tune before I show them off. In Photoshop, we'll have access to features that aren't available in Lightroom, like layers, masks, and content aware retouching tools that we'll use to correct isolated parts of the photo with more precision than Lightroom offers. In this movie, I'll briefly show you how to take this RAW file over to Photoshop with all the changes that we've already made in Lightroom, further enhance it there, and what happens when we save, and bring it back into Lightroom.

If you'd like to know more about moving files between Lightroom in Photoshop than I can show you in this brief movie, please take a look at another of my courses in the Lynda.com library: Using Lightroom and Photoshop Together. By the way, before you take this photo from Lightroom into Photoshop, please make sure that you've updated the version of the Camera RAW plug-in that goes with Photoshop, so that you get a smooth transition like I do. Now, to take this photo into Photoshop from Lightroom, I'll go up to the menu bar at the top of Lightroom to the Photo menu, and I'll go down to Edit In, and the first choice in this menu will be the latest version of Photoshop installed on your computer.

I'll either click here, or I could use the keyboard shortcut Command+E on the Mac, or Ctrl+E on the PC. That launches Photoshop, and opens our photo, ready for editing here. Notice that this isn't the dull bluish version of the photo that we started with in Lightroom; it's the version with all of the Lightroom enhancements baked in. I'm noticing some distracting content around the edges of this photo that I'd like to crop away. I'll select the Crop tool from here in Photoshop's toolbar, and then I'll move into the image. I'm going to hold down the Shift key to constrain proportions, and I'm going to click on the top left corner of the bounding box around the image, and drag in, and as I do, I'm keeping my eye on the left side of the photo to delete some of the unwanted elements there.

When I release my mouse, you can see the part of the photo that's going to be cropped away covered in this gray overlay. Now, I actually don't want to permanently delete those pixels. I may change my mind about this crop, and want to come back in later to bring these pixels back into view, so it's important that I go up to the options bar for the Crop tool, and uncheck Delete Cropped Pixels, like that. Now I'm going to commit this crop. To do that, I'll go up to the options bar again, and I'll click the big checkmark there. With that crop in place, I want to save my work so far.

I'll go to the File menu, and I'm going to go down to Save. Now, because I want to save this image in a way that will ensure that it appears in my Lightroom library, I'm going to be sure to choose Save, rather than Save As, and I'm not going to try to change the name or the location as I save this file. I'll just use File > Save. Notice that when I do that, the name of the file has changed. This hyphen and the word Edit was automatically appended to the end of the file name, and the file format has changed from DNG, which is a RAW file, to TIF, which is a pixel-based image.

That's because Photoshop is a pixel editor, so when you're working in Photoshop, you're always working on a pixel-based file, not a RAW file. Let's go back to Lightroom, and see what we have there now. I'm going to go ahead and close this file by pressing Command+W on my keyboard, that's Ctrl+W on a PC keyboard, and I'll switch back to Lightroom. Here in Lightroom's Develop module, I'm going to go down to very bottom of the screen, and click the bar there to open up this filmstrip, so that you can see that I now have in my Lightroom library two files, represented by the two thumbnails here in the filmstrip.

As I click on each of these thumbnails, you can see its name right here at the top of the filmstrip. So, this one is the TIF file that I just saved from Photoshop, and right next to it is the RAW file; the file that we took from Lightroom into Photoshop. If you look closely, you'll see that the RAW file still has the parts of the photo that we cropped away in Photoshop. In other words, changes made in Photoshop are not visible on the RAW file. But this RAW file does have all of the adjustments that we made in Lightroom throughout this chapter.

The only file that has both the Lightroom and the Photoshop adjustments is our TIF. I'll select that one, and if you look closely, you'll see that the cropped away elements don't appear here in the TIF file, but the TIF file does have all the changes that we made in Lightroom. Those Lightroom changes are baked into the TIF file, so I can't go back and Undo or reset those Lightroom changes in the TIF file as I could in the RAW file. But what I can do is take the TIF file back into Photoshop, and I'll have access to any adjustments that I made in Photoshop, so I can tweak those.

To show you that, with the TIF file selected down here in the filmstrip, I'll go up to the Photo menu, I'll choose Edit In, and Edit in Photoshop again, and this time, because we're taking a TIF file, rather than a RAW file, from Lightroom to Photoshop, we have another dialog box to deal with. In this dialog box, I'm going to choose to Edit Original. If you'd like to learn more about what all these choices mean, again, take a look at my longer course: Using Lightroom and Photoshop Together. For now, just know that Edit Original is the best choice when you want to go back and reedit the changes that you've made in Photoshop in this workflow.

So, I'll click Edit, and that reopens the TIF file here in Photoshop. If I'd added layers to this file, they would appear over here in the Layers panel. If you remember, what I did was crop the file, and I can go back and edit that crop. By making sure I have the Crop tool selected in the toolbar, I'll just click once in the canvas here, and that brings back all of those grayed out pixels that I chose not to delete when I made my crop. So, now I have the opportunity to change this crop. Maybe I want to crop away something on the side, so I'll move my cursor over the top right corner point on the bounding box, I'll hold the Shift key to constrain proportions, and I'm going to drag in, and that crops away that post on the right side of the gondola.

I'd also like to move the image around inside the bounding box to bring back a little more of the sky, because I really like the cloud up there, so I'll click inside the bounding box, and I'll drag down a bit. And I could make other adjustments here in Photoshop too, as we'll do in the next chapter, but for now, I'm just going to accept this crop, and save the file again with these changes. I'll close the file, Command+W or Ctrl+W, and again, I go back to Lightroom. The thumbnail for the TIF file is selected down here in the filmstrip, and if you look closely over on the right, you can see the change that we just made to the crop in Photoshop. The post on the far right of the gondola is cropped away, and I have moved the file down a bit, so that more of the sky showing at the top.

In the rest of this course, we'll be working on the TIF version of the file that contains both our Lightroom changes and our Photoshop changes. So, I'm going to go ahead and reopen this TIF file into Photoshop one more time, making sure that I have the TIF thumbnail selected in the filmstrip, and then again, going to the Photo menu, Edit In > Edit in Adobe Photoshop, choosing Edit Original, and clicking Edit, and here is our project photo, ready for more fine tuning in Photoshop in the next chapter.

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Enhancing a Travel Photo with Photoshop and Lightroom

12 video lessons · 5797 viewers

Jan Kabili
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