Ready to watch this entire course?
Become a member and get unlimited access to the entire skills library of over 4,900 courses, including more Photography and personalized recommendations.Start Your Free Trial Now
- View Offline
In this course, photographer and author Jan Kabili shows how to combine both programs. The course begins with details on how to set up the two programs for maximum compatibility. The course then covers strategies for working with photos in a variety of formats, sending them from Lightroom to Photoshop to viewing the edited results in Lightroom. The final chapter demonstrates several real-world scenarios for using Lightroom and Photoshop together.
- Setting the Lightroom preferences for editing in Photoshop
- Passing photos from Lightroom to Photoshop
- Handling software version mismatches
- Viewing and organizing Photoshop-edited photos in Lightroom
- Creating Lightroom presets for external editing
- Using Lightroom with Photoshop Elements
- Building a panorama with Lightroom and Photoshop
- Passing multiple photos to Photoshop for compositing
- Sending photos to Photoshop for retouching and removing content
- Bringing photos into Photoshop to add text and graphics
Skill Level Intermediate
Lightroom and the Camera Raw plugin for Photoshop have the same engine for rendering raw files into images composed of pixels. This raw conversion engine is built into Lightroom, but it comes in the form of a plugin for Photoshop, the Camera Raw plugin. When an update to the Camera Raw plugin is released by Adobe, there is usually a matching Lightroom update, one with the same underlying code and features released at around the same time. The best thing you can do to assure full compatibility when you are using Lightroom and Photoshop together is to keep your versions of Lightroom and Camera Raw matched with one another.
In this movie I'll show what to expect if your versions of Lightroom and Camera Raw don't match and I'll show you one of the options that you'll have in that case. I'll show you another option in the following movie. I've switched to another computer temporarily, which I've set up with non-matching versions of all the software. The exact versions of that software don't really matter, but since I'm sure you are curious, I happen to be running Lightroom 4.1, which is the current version at the time of recording, but with regard to Photoshop I don't have the current version. This computer is running Photoshop CS 5.1, and with Photoshop 5.1 this computer has Camera Raw 6.4, which isn't even the latest version of Camera raw for Photoshop CS 5.
As I said the particular version numbers don't really matter, what matters is that Camera Raw is not aligned with Lightroom on this computer, which means that some adjustment that I apply in the newer Lightroom may not make it over to Photoshop, which is relying on an older Camera Raw. To see what I mean, I'm going to take this raw image in my Develop module in Lightroom and add a couple of adjustments. I'm going to convert it to black and white and then I'm going to apply a new adjustment, which is to tweak an individual channel in the tone curve panel. So first, I'll do the black and white adjustment by expanding the black and white panel, clicking Black and White, and then customizing the conversion by dragging the sliders to taste.
Now I'll go to the tone curve panel. If your tone curve panel looks like mine, in other words if it has these sliders down here, then you'll want to switch it to another view, the point curve view. To do that, click this icon right here. If you're already in this point curve view, in other words if you can see a channel menu here in the tone curve panel, then you are in the right place. So I'm going to click on that channel menu, which is set to RGB by default, and I'm going to choose one of the individual color channels. I'll choose blue.
When you tweak one of the individual color channels on top of a black and white image, you get some interesting creative color effects. I'm not going to spend much time here, I'll just click on this curve and drag up. And because this is the blue channel, dragging the curve up adds a tint of blue. But this isn't about this new feature, what it's about is the fact that this is a new feature, one that is in this new version of Lightroom, but that probably isn't also in my older version of Camera Raw in this computer. So let's see what happens when I pass this file from Lightroom to Photoshop for further editing.
I'll go to the Photo menu, and I'll choose Edit In, and as you can see, Photoshop CS 5.1 is the version of Photoshop that I'll be editing in. When I choose that I get this message, that this version of Lightroom may require the Photoshop Camera Raw plugin version 6.7 for full compatibility. And again, 6.7 isn't important. If you had different, non-matching versions of this software, this number would be different, but the rest of the dialogue box would be the same for whatever non-matching versions of Lightroom and Camera Raw you may have.
You get three choices. If you want to go ahead and update the Camera Raw plugin right now, you can cancel and go out and do the update. I don't really want to do that, because I'm in the middle of editing this image. So I have two other choices, Render using Lightroom and Open Anyway. We'll look at Render using Lightroom in the next movie. If I click Open Anyway that will trigger a workflow that's just like the one we saw in the last movie where my versions of Lightroom and Camera Raw did match. As we saw there, Camera Raw will take the responsibility of rending the raw file to pixels. But in this case, I can't be sure that the resulting image will look just like my adjusted raw file. But I'll go ahead and click Open Anyway, anyway, so you can see what happens.
That causes Camera Raw to try to render the raw file to pixels with the adjustments I've made in Lightroom, and this is the resulting pixel-based image that opened in Photoshop. The black and white adjustment that I made to the raw file in Lightroom came through just fine to the pixel-based image. And that means that the black and white feature is available in both my versions of Camera Raw and Lightroom. But the blue colorizing adjustment that I made to the individual RGB channel in Lightroom did not survive the raw to pixel conversion. That's because my older version of Camera Raw doesn't have that feature, although my newer version of Lightroom does.
So Camera Raw just couldn't include the color adjustment when it created this pixel from the raw file. I'm going to finish up by making a little change to this file in Photoshop. I'll add a bit of text and I'll save the file. That creates and names a TIFF according to my Lightroom preferences, and it adds the TIFF file to my Lightroom catalog, just like in the last movie. I'll switch back to Lightroom, and here is the TIFF, next to the raw source file from which it was created.
The Lightroom adjustment that did make it through the TIFF, the black and white conversion, is locked down in the TIFF file, so it really can't be re-edited here, as you can see over in the sliders, which are all back to zero. To recap, when your Lightroom and Camera raw versions don't match, and you pass a raw file from Lightroom to Photoshop and choose the Open Anyway option in the incompatibility message, then Camera Raw does the rendering, and there's no guarantee that the source file and the pixel file will look the same. Sometimes you'll get the result you'd expected and sometimes you won't, depending on the vintage of your Lightroom adjustments.
Other than that, choosing Open Anyway in the incompatibility message triggers the same workflow as when your Lightroom and Camera Raw versions do match. Now, there is another option in the incompatibility message, and that is, instead of Open Anyway, Render using Lightroom. And that's what we're going to look at in the next movie.