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Lightroom To Photoshop And Back

Lesson 17 from: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

Lightroom To Photoshop And Back

Lesson 17 from: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

17. Lightroom To Photoshop And Back

Most of Lightroom's photography plans also include Photoshop -- and there are several times where those expanded Photoshop tools are essential. Thankfully, Creative Cloud programs are designed to work together. Here, Ben walks through the process of adjusting a Lightroom image in Photoshop, all while keeping the Lightroom catalog up-to-date.

Lesson Info

Lightroom To Photoshop And Back

Welcome back to Lightroom Classic: The Complete Guide. We have a whole 'nother lesson for you today. But first, let's look back on where we've been. In the first week, we tried to develop our firm foundation of knowledge so you knew how to think about Lightroom catalog files. You knew how to set up your folders so they are the most useful and how to manage projects using collections. How to get your images in and out of Lightroom. Then, on the second week, we talked about organizing and adjusting your pictures. We made your images so you could search for them with keywords. We did noise reduction, we used adjustment brushes. We did a whole bunch of things to refine your images. Then week three, we talk about the special features in Lightroom. How we can get it to recognize people's faces and automatically add their names to images. Therefore we could quickly search and find people within our photographs without us having to do a lot of work. We've got our images on maps, we stitched pa...

noramas, all that kind of stuff. Well now in week four, we did start-to-finish images where you could see instead of looking at features in isolation, how can we combine them all together to get an image from the raw capture that came from the camera using all the features we've talked about to an actual finished final result. Well today, we're gonna talk about incorporating Photoshop into our workflow. And therefore, we're gonna do what I call Photoshop round tripping. That means we'll have an image that's already in Lightroom, we're gonna send it to Photoshop to go do something there and when we're done, we want it to appear updated in Lightroom and we want to be able to go through that process as many times as we want to and be able to adjust our image in Lightroom as many times as we want in the process. Takes a little bit of knowledge though to do that successfully so let's jump in and get started. So here, I have an image in Lightroom. I would like to bring it to Photoshop. Now first, why do I want to bring things to Photoshop? We have Lightroom after all. It's got all sorts of controls available in it so why don't we just do everything in Lightroom. Well, to be honest, for about 70% of my images, maybe a little less than that, I can pretty much get an image from start to finish done in Lightroom and I love it when that's the case. Why? Because all the changes I make in Lightroom are saved only as text and therefore, it takes up very little space on my hard drive. I can easily copy settings from one image to another. They update within a second or two. And I have a full undo, that's a full history of my image. In Lightroom I can always go back, nothing is ever really permanent as long as they did it in lightroom. Now all that's different when I go over to Photoshop. In Photoshop the moment I open my image and make any change to it and re-save it, suddenly I'm gonna have a much larger file usually. Especially if I ended up using layers, which is the best way to usually work in Photoshop. Everything that I do in Photoshop is not undoable unless I really work at keeping it that way. And there's no full history of what I've done in Photoshop. The moment I save and close my picture, it doesn't remember how I got there. I just end up with the pieces that I have in my layers panel and it's up to me to remember how I did things. But there are some thing that are either inefficient to do in Lightroom or are simply Lightroom is simply incapable of doing something, like complex retouching. Or certain creative effects and in those cases, I need to get my image over to Photoshop, make some changes to it and then hopefully, when I'm done, I want it to appear back in Lightroom and make that process easy. So first, let's look at the absolute basics of it. You could go as simple as here, taking an image in Lightroom, you could go to the Photo menu, you can choose Edit In and there you should find the choice of Photoshop, if you have Photoshop installed that is. I'm gonna choose that and it'll take it just a moment but it should open that image over here in Photoshop. Then I could make a change to the image. For instance, in this case, I'm just gonna try to do a visually obvious change. I'm going to create a brand new empty layer and I'm not trying to teach you how to use the features in Photoshop right now. I'm just gonna do something. I'm gonna come over here and retouch out this little port hole that was there and let's hope that Photoshop can handle that without too much work. That'll be visually obvious. I put it so it's on its own layer. I can easily turn off the eyeball on that layer, turn it back on if I want. Then when I'm done, I'm simply gonna close the file by clicking the little 'X' that's up here and since I've made a change to the file, it'll ask me if I want to save it. I'll click Save and down in the lower left I can see the progress. Once it's done, I should be able to return to Lightroom and if all went well, I might see it here in Lightroom. Look at that, I do. So all that was necessary to send something to Photoshop and make a change and get it back showing up in Lightroom was to click on the image, choose Photo, Edit In, and then choose Photoshop. You can also type Command + E on a Macintosh. That's Control + E in Windows for edit. And that's what's gonna send it over to Photoshop. Just taking a moment to get there but it should eventually come to the front. Any change you make here, I suggest you do with layers so that you can easily undo it later by throwing away that layer and in this case, let's see, I'm just gonna make an adjustment to make the image look really weird. I'll do an adjustment layer and I'm gonna do make this a big M or W to make a special effect. There we go, looks really terrible, but at least you can tell something's been done. Then again, I'm gonna close the image and just choose Save. And because both Lightroom and Photoshop are both made by Adobe, they put in some features to try to make that work nicely together. But there's a lot more to know about working between the two programs. The first thing you need to know is notice I have more than one version of my file now. And that's because the original version of these two files were raw files. In a raw file, is the raw data your camera captured and you can't save things back into a raw file. Like to update what's there. That's one reason why Lightroom chooses to store its settings as just text descriptions of where you've moved various sliders and that's so it doesn't have to touch the original picture. But the moment you open an image in Photoshop, and then you want to save those changes, they can't be saved back into the raw file. It would no longer be the raw data that came from your camera. So it would no longer be a raw file. Instead, it has to create a brand new file and you can have it create either a tiff or a Photoshop file format image and that's what we have here. That's what these two are. But there are many settings involved and there's a little bit of a logic involved in working that way. So let's look at the details. First, I'm gonna go in Lightroom, I'm gonna go up here to Lightroom menu and choose Preferences. In my Preferences, I'm gonna find area, little tabs across the top here and one of them is called External Editing. And in there right now, at the top, it says Edit in Photoshop CC2018. These settings right here are used any time I open an image in Photoshop in the way that I just showed you. So let's take a look at what they are. First there's a file format. When it ends up saving that image from Photoshop, should it end up being a tiff file or Photoshop file format image, it's your personal choice which of the two to use. Both of them save the same quality of information. They do not degrade the quality of your image in any way. But I personally use the tiff file format. I find that tiff is a little bit more I don't know if I'd use the word modern? It's just more frequently updated to add new features to it, and therefore you could somewhat say more modern. There are some limitations of the two file formats. The Photoshop file format, the maximum file size you can get, is two gigabytes. That might sound huge, but if you ever stitch really big panoramas, or you do what I do a lot of which is light painting where there's maybe a hundred different exposures that are combined into one, then I frequently run into that limitation of two gigabytes for the Photoshop file format. The tiff file format also has a limit in how big your files can be but it's four gigabytes in size and so therefore, it can be twice as big. Not only that, we can use special compression with a tiff file that can make your files even smaller and therefore, you can fit more into that four gigabyte size. There are other advantages of the tiff format. One is that Lightroom supports certain special features like HDR in a tiff file, in other things that wouldn't support if it was a Photoshop file format image. Also the Photoshop file format has a limit of 30,000 pixels in the widest dimension in your picture. 30,000 might sound pretty huge but if you start stitching panoramas, we're using really high megapixel originals. Like my originals are 42 megapixels. If I stitch a 360 degree panorama of that, I can easily run into that 30,000 pixel limit. The tiff file format, as far as I know, doesn't have any limit on the dimensions that it can save. The limit is four gigabytes max file size. So in the end though, it's not critically important if you use tiff or Photoshop. So if you've been using Photoshop for like the last 10 years of your life and you're comfortable doing so, don't switch just because of what I just said. Instead, only switch if you start bumping into the limitations of the Photoshop file format. You start stitching huge panoramas, you start layering hundreds of layers together and you bump into those file size limits. Then it's a good reason to switch. Otherwise, if you've never chosen what to use, I'd simply suggest tiff. Below that, we have other settings. Let's take a look. First off, at the very bottom, there's a setting called Compression and you'll find that that's only available when you use tiff. If you set it to Photoshop, that just disappears. So let's take a look at the compression. When I click here, we can either use None or Zip. And the Zip compression is it's lossless compression. That means it does not actually change the data that you get when you reopen the file. The file when you reopen it is identical to the version you would get if you didn't use compression. And therefore, this is not gonna have anything to do with the quality of your image. It just makes your file size smaller but the one negative about it, is it takes longer to save your file and reopen it. So if you end up with a lot of big files, especially if you ever run into the four gigabyte limit on a tiff file, you might want to set that to ZIP. If, on the other hand performance is most important, and you don't mind larger files, you can set it to none. But when you use ZIP, sometimes your files get down to one-third of their original file size and therefore it can be a considerable savings. Could be worth it. We've got a few other settings in here. Here's the Resolution. When you first have a raw file, there is no resolution setting attached to that image. Your camera doesn't say it's 72 pixels per inch or 240 or anything like that. It just knows the width and height of your image and pixels, and at some point, by the time it gets to Photoshop, it needs to have a resolution number assigned. And 240 is good for most uses, for kinds of printing. Some people prefer to increase that to 300 or 360 but as you increase it, your picture gets smaller when you print it. Because you're fitting more information in each inch. 240 is usually fine, but if you have a good reason to deviate, feel free to type in something else. This choice here, we can go to either eight bits per pixel or 16. If, what you have done in Lightroom got your image to pretty much be really close to being final, and you don't need to make radical changes to the brightness or the colors within your image, then you could use eight bits and if you did, your file size would be smaller. If, on the other hand, you are gonna make radical changes to the brightness or color, or you plan on doing retouching across areas that are smooth, like a blue sky, that only varies a little bit across its width, I would suggest using 16 bit instead. Your file size will be twice as big, but the difference really that you're controlling here is eight bit means you have 256 brightness levels in your picture. That's your maximum. 16 bit means you can have thousands and thousands and thousands of brightness levels. Those extra brightness levels are useful for adjustment. It's up to you which one of the two you want to use, but if you're gonna do extensive adjustment, or you're gonna do retouching in skies, I would suggest the top choice. If your image looks pretty darn good and you're just gonna go to Photoshop, add some text to it, or something else that's not gonna radically change its appearance, usually eight bit would be fine and you're gonna have a much smaller file size. Personal choice there on your part. I'm gonna show you how to set it up though where you can easily choose between the two so... Above that we have Color Space. Color Space defines what is the most vivid we can make our colors within our image. SRGB will be the most limiting, where your colors just cannot get to become all that vivid compared to the other choices. Still, every picture... I shouldn't say every. 95% of the pictures you've seen on the internet have all been in SRGB mode. So if you thought the colors on those images looked fine as far how vivid they become, you've been looking at SRGB on the internet. Display P3 is what I would use mainly if I want to display this image on an iPhone or an iPad. Those devices are able to display more vivid colors and this would end up making sure that your image can contain colors just as colorful as those devices are capable of displaying. I would use Adobe RGB if you print your own images or you send your images off to other people to be printed and you've checked with them to make sure that they can handle Adobe RGB files. Some places that print images prefer the bottom choice. It limits how vivid the colors can be so it's not the most ideal necessarily, but just to simplify things, they kind of bring it to the lowest common denominator. But Adobe RGB, I would say, is the best heading for the vast majority of people that work with Photoshop. And then Pro Photo RGB are for those that like to push their color to the limits. Usually they have their own printers and they want to get the most vivid colors that that printer is capable of working with. But I would not casually send people to Pro Photo. Pro Photo is something that you want to become educated about so you truly understand what it means before you start to adopt it. Because with Pro Photo, you can create colors that are so vivid that no screen can display them. They're theoretical colors because they're colors more vivid than your eyes are capable of perceiving. That kind of stuff. So it's a good choice to use for certain purposes but in order to use it, you really should be educated about it and not use it casually if you don't know enough yet. So, what would I use? Well SRGB is not bad if you only use things on-screen like on this computer screen and on the internet, and that kind of stuff. Only do maybe newspaper printing. Fine choice to use. Adobe RGB, if you print your own images or you work with people that are used to working with that setting, you can ask them if they can handle it. And Pro Photo if you want to push things and you want to become educated about it. So I'm gonna use the following settings for my setup. What is it? Adobe RGB, eight bits, 240 for resolution and I might turn on my ZIP compression. You might have noticed with compression there, I actually got an extra choice in there, LZW versus ZIP. The reason why, 'cause before when I visited this menu, there are only two choices, is if you ended up setting this to 16 bit, then you'll only have one choice as far as either none or this. But once you get down to eight bit, you're gonna have an extra one. I don't usually use that one, usually the files are a little bit larger than with ZIP but it is another choice, both of them are lossless, meaning they don't degrade the quality of your picture. Just wanted to mention it though that that middle one's only available when you have it set to eight bit. All right so we've set up our editing. Now we could just close this, but let's take more advantage of the settings we had in our preferences. Check this out. If I go to the Photo menu and I choose Edit In, not only is there a choice here called Edit In Photoshop, but there's another choice right here, called Edit In Other Application. Well, if we go back to our preferences, and we go back to that section called External Editing, right here it says additional external editor. This is where you can set up what is used when you choose that second menu choice that was in there. What I personally do, is I mainly use Photoshop for editing so I actually set up two presents for Photoshop. Then I can have one up here which is the one I use every day that might be Adobe RGB in eight bits of data. Down here, maybe that's for when I have a higher end image and I want that one to be instead Pro Photo RGB and 16 bits per pixel. Then I'll be able to choose between the two just from that menu where I sent the image to Photoshop. So here I'll dial in those settings that I want to use. Probably want to put in a little bit of compression there too 'cause 16 bit images are a lot bigger than eight bit and the only other thing I need to do is up here. You see where it says Application, it says not specified. Well I need to hit the Choose button and then I need to go find the application that I want to use. I'm gonna go over here and say use Photoshop. I'll just find my Photoshop application, I'll hit Choose, and it might complain 'cause we're already using that. It says what? You've already chosen that as your primary editor. Use it anyway, yeah. So now we have this one that is kind of hard wired for using Photoshop. You can see it says Adobe Photoshop up there. This one where I had to hit the Choose button to dial in Photoshop and now we have two choices, eight bit, Adobe RGB or 16 bit Pro Photo. And I'll close this up and now if I choose Photo, Edit In, you see two choices right here for Photoshop and you just have to mentally remember. The top one we set up for eight bit, the bottom one we set up for 16, but you can choose it right at the time you want to open your image. So let's grab an image and let's open it in Photoshop. And there's some settings over in Photoshop we want to change. So we'll just wait for that to get open. Now in Lightroom we went to our preferences and we went to File Handling to find what we wanted to change. In Photoshop, we're gonna also go to our preferences and we're gonna change anything related to saving files. So here we're in Photoshop, I'll go to the Photoshop menu, choose Preferences and if you're on Windows, this would be found under the Edit menu. And so I look in here, you see the choice called File Handling and let's optimize our settings that are here. So in this area down at the bottom, we have a few settings we want to change. The first thing is right here, Ask Before Saving Layered Tiff Files. But we're going to make that a regular thing, to save layers into a tiff file so I don't want it to ask. Now if that tiff file was opened from Lightroom and saved like I showed you, by just closing the image, then it would ignore this setting. But if we ever use the choice called Save As in Photoshop, it would pay attention to that setting and I don't want it to bug me every single time I try to save a layered tiff. So we turn that off. Then down here is a choice called Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility. Well PSD is Photoshop file format. And just in case we use that file format, I want to change this setting to the choice called Always. What that does is give a layered Photoshop file, it also saves a flattened version within the same file. And that's so that Lightroom can read the file. Lightroom doesn't understand what layers are so if you have a layered Photoshop file format image and this is set to Never or when you save your image it's set to Ask, you say no, I don't want to maximize my compatibility, Lightroom just won't be able to show that image because there is no composite version, flattened version of the image. But, by changing this to Always, anytime we use the Photoshop file format now, Lightroom will be able to open that image. And so that's what we wanted to change. All right, so we turned off one check box here, changed one other to Always. Now we're gonna click OK. Now I don't actually need to save this file. There's nothing I need to do to it. I only opened it so it would send me over to Photoshop. I'm gonna close the file and I'm not gonna save it. As long as I don't save it, it won't create any extra files when I return here to Lightroom. All right, now we just gonna get into the more interesting features we can use with this. So far, I've only opened a raw file. Well if you remember when I went to Photoshop with that raw file and made a change to the image. Like here, I retouched out a port hole that was there. The end result was saved in whatever file format was specified in my Lightroom preferences. Those same preferences we looked at a few minutes ago. Well I don't remember what it was set at that time, if it was Photoshop, or if it was tiff. I could find out here if I look in, I think, my metadata, it'll tell me right there the full file name where I can even see the end. In there it says .tiff. Now when I send this over to Photoshop, you'll notice that it adds this -Edit on the end of the filename. That's done automatically so I can tell which images have been to Photoshop and which haven't. And you can change that setting. You can change what text it adds to the end in your preferences. But I think -Edit is just fine. Now, let's take that tiff file that was made in Photoshop and let's send it back to Photoshop. Now when I send it back, I use Photo, Edit In and I say Edit In Photoshop. Now when it's not a raw file, I get this question. I would get the same question when I usually open a jpeg file. In the vast majority of the time when it comes up, I choose Edit Original. I click on Edit, it'll open the image into Photoshop and now I'm gonna make another visually obvious change. On the same layer, I'm gonna grab my spot healing brush and get a small brush and I'm just gonna see if I can retouch out this line that goes down the road. I'm gonna click just outside my document over here, I'll hold Shift, Shift draws a straight line when you click somewhere else, and I'll click on the other side and I'm gonna see, yeah it did an all right job except for this one spot where there should be no shadow. I'm not trying to teach you how to do anything in Photoshop right now, I'm just trying to make a visually obvious change. I removed the stripe going down the road. Now I'm gonna close this image just like before by hitting the little X in the corner that closes it. When it asks if I want to save it, I'll choose save. I watch the progress bar in the lower left, once it gets up to 100, the image will close and if I return here to Lightroom, it might take it just a moment but it looks like it's all ready updated. If you compare the two images that are side by side here, you should notice this one's got a little line on the road, this one does not. So you can see it's updated. So we can sent it back to Photoshop as many times as we want to, as long as we choose the choice of Edit Original. But I want things to be more convenient. I want to do more things. Let's say I take that image now and I type a letter D to go to the develop module. And I decide I want to make it black and white and after I make it black and white, I'm gonna go down here to an area called split toning and I'm gonna make it so the highlights are yellow. Those are kinda yellow. The shadows, maybe they're kinda blueish, so we gotta kinda special look and I'll dial in my balance there. All right, I've got a nice customized black and white toned image. Go back to the grid by typing the letter G. Now let's think about what we have. We have a layered Photoshop file. It went into Photoshop, came back to Lightroom and now we've made changes in Lightroom. Well remember how Lightroom saves its changes? It writes it down as only text. That means that that original file has not changed at all. It only has some text added to it that says it's black and white and it has split toning attached. So, check this out. If I tell it now to be sent to Photoshop, now this means something. Let's look more closely at the wording of what it says. Edit Original. Do you see here, it says Lightroom adjustments will not be visible. That means changes that I made after this image came back to Lightroom, but when I converted it to black and white and I added split toning, that won't show up in Photoshop because that is saved only as text and it's in a record that just has this filename. So it says hey, this filename whenever you view it, should have these settings as if they're attached even though it's only text. Well what this is gonna do is edit the underlying file, that underlying tiff file and it's gonna ignore the text that's attached to it that describes the Lightroom adjustments. So let's use that, let's click Edit and see what happens. When we get it open here in Photoshop, it's still in color. And that means it just ignored the text that was attached to it and says let's edit the underlying original image. I can come in here and maybe I decide I didn't want to remove the stripe that's on the road, so I grab my eraser tool and down here at the bottom, I just paint across there and I bring the line back. Then I want to save my changes. So I close this image and I say save. All right, I watch my little progress bar and once it gets down there, I switch over to Lightroom and I notice it's back in here, I can see the stripe is there, that port hole is gone but it's not black and white. So it seems like it just threw away those adjustments. Well, it didn't throw them away. It just doesn't know if you wanna reapply them or not. We can tell it to though. If we type a letter D to go to the develop module, in the develop module go to the left side of my screen and one of the choices in here is History and usually the top most history will have the settings that you've applied. Do you see right here it said Edited in Photoshop, right there, and after that we have all these steps up here. Well that's what was applied after my original editing in Photoshop. If I wanted to still apply all those things, I click on the top most choice under History. Then, it applies them. So it's kind of a weird thing that happens if you edit the original. It means edit the original underlying file without editing or incorporating the Lightroom changes we made. Take you a little while to get your brain around that, but it's actually really nice to be able to do so. Now let's go back up here and try to edit it once again. This comes up. Any time it says Edit Original, it's thinking about the underlying file, the original tiff file, and it's ignoring those additional changes that were made in Lightroom. We can always bring them back afterwards. We just go to the develop module to do so in the history. Sometimes it seems to automatically reapply them. I don't understand the exact logic 'cause it seems to be almost random, when it does and when it doesn't. All right, what are the other choices that we have? We'll here's Edit a Copy. And if you look at the text that it says, it says Edit a Copy and then what does it say? Of the original file which just means exactly like the one below but the only difference is... Let's see here, it says Lightroom adjustments will not be visible. Same thing as down here. So what this is going to do is say we want two versions of this picture. I want this version and then maybe I want to retouch out that line in the road. So I have one with the line and one without but I want to see them both in Lightroom. Well that's when I choose Edit a Copy. I want to create what you might call a derivative. Something that's based on that other one. So I'm gonna hit Edit, it'll take just a moment to get over to Photoshop. I'm still working on that same layer and I'll edit out that line once again. Click there, hold shift, click there. It decided to add an extra shadow so let's retouch that out. All right, now I'm gonna close it. When it asks me if I want to save, I'll choose Save. Take it a minute for it to finish it saving. Once it does, I return to Lightroom. Now I'm gonna type the letter G to go back to the grid so you can see what we have. Now, I have the original raw file which is this one. I have the other version we had created earlier and I have this version. This version doesn't have the black and white applied to it so I'm gonna go to the develop module by typing D and over here to history and let's see if it has it listed. Unfortunately it does not. Hm. How can we get around that? Well, it has the settings applied to this picture. I want them applied over here. We've done that in a lesson before where I had adjusted one picture and I afterwards thought "aw man, I really wish I would have applied that to others." What I did is I right click on an image, you're gonna find a choice called Develop Settings and we'll just say Copy the develop settings that are applied. And down here choose Check All so it copies every single setting. I'll go to this image and Paste. Now those black and white get transferred right over to the other picture. So we have two versions of the image. Now on occasion you'll notice that the preview won't update accurately like if that little lines on the ground are not in and if it doesn't update accurately, usually you have to go to the Develop module and zoom up to 100% view. That forces it to actually load the original data from the file and that will cause the preview to update. All right so we've seen that we can go to Photoshop back again, but we have other options we have yet to explore. First you'll notice the one that's a copy has the word Edit on it twice on the end so I can tell which is which. And now I'm gonna go to the Photo menu, Edit in, Photoshop, top most choice, Edit. So now we can see, you can actually see the black and white effect, the split toning, but over in our layers, like I said, no layers. That's the only way it's able to incorporate those changes from Lightroom is to flatten that file the moment it opens it, then it can apply the adjustments we have. Now with this one, if I want to save this, If I just close this, it's gonna be called Edit Edit right now but I could, if I go to the file menu actually just Save As. You're welcome to do that. And most of the time it'll take you to the same folder that the original picture came from and I can come over here and type a different name. So instead of calling it Edit Edit, I'm gonna call it maybe something more useful like BW for black and white, although I have a shortcut that always turns that into Ben Willmore so let me put B&W and I'll call it tinted. And all I'm gonna do is hit save. The most important thing is that you're putting in the same folder as the original. It doesn't absolutely have to be in that same folder as long as you opened it from Lightroom. Lightroom's paying attention right now and when I hit Save here I get these options because I'm saving from Photoshop. What was nice was we set up these options ahead of time in Lightroom. Do you remember in Lightroom when we chose what kind of compression we use and if it's gonna be a tiff file or Photoshop? Well since we're manually doing this from Photoshop, I do have to choose the settings so let's take a look at them quickly. Here I usually use ZIP if I want to use compression and it always gives me this dumb warning. I'll just say Yes, but this is the equivalent to the same preference we had in Lightroom of None, LZW or ZIP. I wouldn't use jpeg because that would degrade the quality of my picture and I always think of a tiff as giving me the exact quality I had in the original and that is the only time it doesn't. Let's see, over here on the right side, these settings don't matter. Modern software can handle either one of these settings but it's gonna warn you if you change it. It'll probably warn me if I change this too. Modern software can handle this, it's only if you have really old software or if you had a piece of scientific software that was programmed in the 1980's and the person who made it is no longer around and you still want to be able to open a file in that software, you'd have to know what's the proper setting to use that it can handle. But both Photoshop and Lightroom can handle any of these settings so it doesn't really matter in that case. Down here it says Save Image Pyramid. That also doesn't matter. That would save a full size version of your image and then scale down versions in case you opened it in software that can handle an image pyramid, but Lightroom would ignore it and Photoshop doesn't care so it doesn't matter. This section down here will be available if your image had layers. And if you want a smaller file size, you could choose ZIP to get that file size to be smaller which would be nice. All right anyway I just had chosen Save As, I gave it a file name and these options came up automatically. In general I either use default settings or I just click on ZIP so it has that compression. Click OK, we're saving our image, watch our progress in the lower left. Since I'm using compression, it can be a little bit slower than as if I didn't but once that's done, I should be able to close this image. In fact, I can close it now. It might warn me that it's not done saving, yeah. I'll say Don't show again and click OK. All that means is automatically close it when it is done. Now if we go back to Lightroom, you'll see that I have a new version of the image here. If you look at the file name up at the top, you see it says B&W tinted. So Lightroom did automatically load that file in for me. So now we have this one, which has no layers and we have these others that do have layers. I really don't need this file, I was just showing you what happens if you open it up and you tell it to use the top most choice, which incorporates the changes from Lightroom. The only time I'd really do that is if I'm really done with the image in Lightroom, I'm gonna head to Photoshop to print it and print it from Photoshop. I usually print from Lightroom though, I find it easier. Or if I need to go over there and maybe add some text to it and then send it off onto some web page, but I wouldn't usually get it back here in the Lightroom catalog. I would have just sent it over there, used it for whatever purpose it was and just not saved it into that folder. Here I'm gonna get rid of it. I'll click on it and hit the delete key and the only thing is that didn't delete it because at the moment, I'm viewing a collection. I'm not actually viewing the folder that this image is saved in, and so you can't actually delete an image off your hard drive if you're working on a collection. To actually delete that file, I'd right click on it and say go to the folder into my library so that I'm not working on a collection, I'm literally working on the folder that contains that picture. Then I'd see all the other pictures in the same folder and only when I'm viewing that can I hit delete and it'll ask hey, what do you want to do? Just remove it from Lightroom or delete it from the disk? I'm gonna delete it because I really don't need it. Now I should think about how would I incorporate this into my overall Lightroom workflow? Because I don't like seeing more than one version of the picture unless I really wanted more than one version. Well, what I usually do is I take the original picture, the raw file, that that image is based on, I click on it and I create a sub folder and I'll tell it to include just that one photo which is the original raw file. I hit Create and now it's sitting there in that support image's folder and therefore, I'm not gonna see it unless I happen to need to go back and retrieve it to use it for any reason. So in support images is where I put the original exposures that I merged together into a HDR image or the images that I stitched into a panorama or images that I have sent to Photoshop and ended up creating a derivative tiff or Photoshop file format image. Then I pop the original in support images. Therefore, the only thing that I see here when viewing my pictures is the end result. Now for the end result, you can see we have two versions of it. I'll hit the space bar to show you one. Remember on one of them I retouched out the line on the road? And then if I switch to the other one, we still have the line. So those are two versions. And it took it a while to update the little preview that's here. I can see the line there and I don't see the line. Earlier the line was missing from both and it just took Lightroom a little bit of time for it to update that. So what have we seen so far? Well if we go to the Photo menu and we choose Edit In, now we have it set up with two choices and the way I set mine up in my preferences is so that this ends up opening, it as 8 bit in Adobe RGB, this opens at 16 bit Pro Photo RGB. So I do this for day to day work and I do this for high end work, and therefore I can have both of those options. Should be aware there were a few other preferences when I went in here and I chose External Editing. Down here, we have a choice called Stack With Original and that would make it so it would have the original raw file and then when I make that layered file, it would stack the two on top of each other. I personally don't do that because I instead move my original into a sub folder called Support Images. If you do that then there's no need to stack 'em. Just want to let you know it's available there. And right down there at the bottom, this is where you decide exactly what is added to the file name. Remember how it added -Edit? Well down here's where you can choose exactly what does it add and if you hit edit down here you can create a template for it. And you can have it add any words you want on the end. Maybe you want to call it Sent to Photoshop or something on the end. But that's where you do it. There are a few things that I try not to do in Lightroom. If I know I'm gonna be sending an image over to Photoshop and that is cropping the image or adding vignetting around the edge. That's where it darkens the image. Because those are things that are difficult to undo in Photoshop. You're kinda making them permanent once you've headed it over to Photoshop it's gonna turn into a tiff file. So I try to hold off on cropping and vignetting until the image has already gone to Photoshop, I've done whatever changes I need there, and now it's back in Lightroom. 'Cause if I make those changes in Lightroom, they're not permanent. I end up putting in the cropping and it's just text attached to that image. I put the vignetting on top, I just do it after I've done my edits in Photoshop. So in the end, we end up with two files. Raw file if that's what you shoot with and layered tiff file is what I use for my end result. Now there are other ways of opening your images into Photoshop and so let's take a look at them. Just take me a moment to get back to the collection I was in so I can find my images. All right, I have two images here. This one and this one and I want to composite them together. I want to combine them in Photoshop and that's something I can't do in Lightroom. I don't know how to combine these two images, but I want this little monkey that's on my wife's arm on the backside of the photo but on the other side of the photo, over here, I prefer this version. That's an example of something that's just impossible in Lightroom so I'm gonna select both images, I'll go up here to the Photo menu but I'm not gonna choose Edit In and then choose Photoshop. Sure I'll go to Edit In but I'm gonna go lower in the list, that's where I'm going to find a choice called Open As Layers in Photoshop. And when I do that, I'm gonna end up with a single Photoshop file or tiff file in the end and I'll have one layer for each image. If I had 10 images selected, I should end up with 10 layers, or in this case, I have two images selected so once it opens the file, I'll have a total of two layers. And again, I'm not trying to teach you Photoshop technique here, I'm just gonna make a change to this image and I'm gonna do kind of a quick and dirty version of it so it's probably not gonna look all that perfect. But you'll get the idea. So this top layer contains the monkey I like that's on the left and so what I'm gonna do is I'll take the bottom layer and actually move it on top and I'm gonna mask this layer so all we have is this little guy. I'll add a layer mask. If I hold option it'll be a black mask and I'm gonna paint with white. White will allow it to become visible again and let's just get that in there, get a little bit of Karen's leg and get her arm. Maybe be up to about the elbow. I'll use Photoshop's Move tool and like I say, I'm not gonna be all that critical of what I'm doing here. Usually I would make sure this perfectly lines up and I might need to use something called puppet warping to distort the arms and get them to be just right. But that is beyond this particular tutorial. So here's my composite, quick and dirty. Her leg's kind of broken there but that's okay. When I'm done, what do I do? Well I have a couple choices. I could just close the image and tell it to save it when it asked if I want to. Or like I've showed you before, I could choose Save As if I want to give it a name. Maybe I want to have it -composite. That's just fine. Just make sure you save it back into the same spot as the original so Lightroom knows about it. Don't put it in some weird part of your hard drive. So I'll go over here and say -composite and I'll save tiff file format, yes include my layers and if you ever get in here you use Save As, be sure you always turn on this checkbox. If you ever forget to turn on this checkbox, it'll use anything other than SRGB to edit your pictures, your picture will look dull when it gets back to Lightroom. Because Lightroom is not gonna know what that image was actually made out of because you didn't turn on this checkbox and anytime that checkbox is not turned on, it will assume your image was created in SRGB and if it wasn't, you images will look dull. So turn that on always. I'll hit Save. I'm gonna just use my ZIP compression to make sure we've got a nice small file. And I see it's saving it. I'll just close the file. I can do that when I'm in the middle of saving and it just means close it when you're done. And we'll see, I'm somewhat hoping that Lightroom will mess up and not import it 'cause then I can show you how to fix that. If it doesn't mess up, I'll show you how to fix it anyway. Come on, almost done. Okay, let's go over to Lightroom and there I can see it, it already imported it. I see the word composite on the end so it worked just fine. But what happens if for some reason you do that and Lightroom doesn't import it? Well first, why wouldn't Lightroom import it? Well, let's see, I could have quit Lightroom while that image was still open in Photoshop. And then when I saved it from Photoshop, Lightroom wouldn't know what happened 'cause Lightroom wasn't alive at that time and therefore, it couldn't have imported it. If that was the case, the next time that I launched Lightroom, I would go to the folder that I expect it to be in. Right now I'm looking at a collection so I'm gonna say Go To Folder and Library, I would go to the actual folder and I would right click on it and you're gonna find a choice called Synchronize Folder. What synchronize folder means is inspect my hard drive, compare it to what Lightroom is showing me as being in this folder and if there's any difference between the two, I update. So when I choose synchronize folder, it's gonna say it didn't find any new photos because the photo's already there. But if it hadn't shown up, there would be the number one here to indicate there's a file in there that Lightroom didn't have. And if you hit Synchronize it would import it. That was right clicking on the folder in choosing Synchronize. Once this is in Lightroom, you can move this file. If you want it on the base area, just drag it right here, let go, now it's on the base folder, although I think I dragged the wrong image so let me choose Undo. If I can't undo, go over here and manually do it. No, there I got 'em. Both of them. I thought it was the wrong one. Anyway, that's how you can do it. If it messes up, you choose Synchronize. But there are more ways we can open things into Photoshop. You don't need all these ways but it is nice to know about them because some people who work in Photoshop like to work in specialized ways so I want to make sure you're aware of it. I want this image to open in Photoshop but I want it to be what's known as a smart object. A smart object will actually be a layer that contains a full copy of the original raw file. And it will allow me to change the develop settings, like the ones we applied in Lightroom, you know the ones we have exposure and all those things? It allowed me to change that afterwards when I get into Photoshop. So here's how you can open as a smart object. I go to Photo, I choose Edit In and I don't use these 'cause those aren't for smart objects but right down here, it says Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. I choose that, take it a little while to open since actually the transferring more information to Photoshop than usual. And when it's done, if you look in the Layers panel you'll find that the little thumbnail image for that particular layer will look different. I think it'll be in the lower right corner will be an extra icon on top of it that will indicate it's a smart object. So if you look in the layers panel, do you see that extra icon right there? That's what a smart object looks like. The picture doesn't look any different here but it does have special qualities to it. If I go into my layers panel and I move my mouse on the little thumbnail image for that layer and I double click, it will show me the various adjustment settings that can be applied to the image. These are the same settings that you would see in Lightroom's develop module but because we're not in Lightroom, we're in Photoshop, it uses Photoshop's equivalent and that's called Adobe Camera Raw. So now instead of having the various sections in Lightroom's develop module, we have black and white, we have split toning, and all that kind of stuff. We have little tabs across the top here and you just click on 'em to find all the same adjustments you would usually find in Lightroom. And so you're welcome to come in here and fine tune this image as much as you'd like. Maybe you want to adjust the contrast, maybe you want to adjust the exposure, darken it up, whatever it happens to be, you click OK and that layer updates. Just know that editing that layer does not update the original raw file in Lightroom. This is independent of that. It doesn't know that this image came from Lightroom and that it's related to a file that's there. But anyway, that's how you can open it as a smart object. Other things that are special about smart objects if you ever apply a filter and let's say you came in here and you used I don't know let's just emboss it just to pick a visually obvious filter. Click OK and you have this effect. Well, that's not permanent. If you look in your layers panel, the original picture and then here is that effect. I can turn off its eyeball, the image goes back to normal. But that's an advantage. And if you were to go over here and transform your image. If you do something like scale and rotate it, it just told me that filter will be turned off. It was already off. If I do something like this, press return. It's not permanent. If I were go to right back even a month later and choose free transform once again, then up here in my options bar, I could just change the angle to zero, and I could change the width and height to 100%. And if I want, I can change this number to the original position or just move it back. And it's as if you've never scaled it, it's perfectly back to the original whereas usually those changes would be permanent. There are a lot of other advantages but this isn't a class on smart objects so I'm just letting you know there are some advantages of using it and therefore some people would want to open their image as a smart object. I'm not gonna save this 'cause we don't need another version of it. Just gonna say don't save. Go back over here to Lightroom. There are other ways of opening this as a smart object. You can just drag it to the Photoshop icon in your doc. If you drag it to the Photoshop icon and hit open image, it's gonna open in Photoshop but you'll find it's not a smart object. See that icon's not there? If you wanted to open as a smart object, you can still drag and drop. You just need a document that's already open in Photoshop. And instead of dragging to the icon in your doc, no, drag right over here to the document itself. You have to be able to see both. If I drag it there and let go, click OK, now when it's done importing, watch in the layers panel that's a smart object. So what did I do just then? I dragged from Lightroom to the icon in my doc of Photoshop. And that just opened the file. Did the same thing as choosing edit in Photoshop. But instead of dragging to the icon of the doc, if I just drag to an open document where I can see that document, it would open as a smart object. But that's only for those geeks that use smart objects, like me. I don't use smart objects for everything though. And a few last details about sending your images to Photoshop and back again into Lightroom. First, that's only possible if you have the original file available actively, meaning you have the hard drive that contains the original. If you're traveling with a laptop and all you have is the preview file that Lightroom uses to show you your images, not gonna work. If you only have a smart preview, that's something that usually allows you to adjust the images even when your hard drive's not attached, still not gonna work. Although you could cheat there. You could export that image at up to 2,540, I think, pixels wide and then you could open the exported version. So you kind of get around it but it's not the full high res picture. So that means I need to click on an image and on the right side of my screen when I'm in the library module, I can look just below the histogram and I need to see the word Original here. If it only says smart preview or just preview or something like that, then I won't be able to send it over to Photoshop. Other things you should be aware of is just like with the previews that you saw here with these images, they didn't update at one point where both of these images did not have the stripe down in the road and it took a while for one to update. If that ever happens, and you realize the preview doesn't look right, press the letter D to go to the develop module and then just click on your picture to zoom up to 100% view. That forces it to read the full high resolution picture and it'll usually cause it to generate a new preview and update this, that can happen on occasion. You should be aware that if you've put an image like one of these into a collection in Lightroom, if you send it to Photoshop and back again, it will be part of that collection but only if you open the image from that collection. Meaning that if I go to the left side of my screen, what is highlighted over here is a collection at the time I opened the file. If, on the other hand, this file happens to be in a collection, but that's not what I'm currently viewing. Instead, I've right clicked on it and said Go To Folder Or Library, so I'm looking at all the other images that were captured in that day and so when I look at the left side of my screen, I'm not viewing a collection here. I'm viewing a folder. Now if I open that in Photoshop, and it comes back to Lightroom, it'll appear fine in this folder but it won't automatically be added to all the collections that this picture happens to be in. You just gotta keep that in mind. You don't always want it to be added, but it's just nice to know. Will it be in those other collections or not? Then finally, if your image has any keywords applied to it, so over here, you have your keywords, then those same keywords will be applied to all of the versions that got sent to Photoshop and came back. That means I have two images here with identical keywords. So if you use keywords for things like automatically creating a portfolio for instance, and you decide that after tagging an image with word portfolio, that you just happen to want to bring it to Photoshop to retouch out some little speck in the corner and when you're done, it came back into Lightroom. Now you have two versions. That raw file that's already tagged with the word portfolio and now that tiff file that came from Photoshop. It's also got the tag of portfolio so when you go to view your portfolio, you got two versions of the picture in there. So oftentimes, I need to glance at the keywords for an image after I'm done getting it back into Lightroom. Just make sure they're all appropriate and that I truly want them on both versions of that picture. Oftentimes, I strip them off the original version of the image so it won't show up in any searches and I'm only seeing the final version. So that should give you an idea of how to round trip your images. You start in Lightroom, send it off to Photoshop, and get it to come back again. It can be just as simple as going up to the Photo menu, choosing Edit In and choosing that first choice. I usually type Command + E which is the keyboard shortcut for it. I just think of editing. When I'm done in Photoshop, all I do is close the file and when it asks me if I want to save it, I say yes, and that's all that's needed. But, at least once, you should go in and check out your preferences in Lightroom for file handling to make sure that those settings are optimized for your particular use. You should do the same thing in Photoshop to make sure those settings are all set up. You only need to do both of those once. And then there was a few other details of ways I could send thing to Photoshop that I might use if I do specialty techniques in Photoshop or just like to work in a different way. But it doesn't have to be difficult. It can be as easy as Command + E to send to Photoshop and when I'm in Photoshop, I type Command + W, that means close the window, Control + W in Windows, and it would ask me to save or not and I just hit return when it asks if I want to save and that uses the default setting, which is save. And so I can go really quick. The main thing to think about is once it comes back to Photoshop, if it does not apply any Lightroom adjustments that you have on it, you might need to go to the develop module and there in the list of your history steps, you need to click on the top most step if it didn't automatically reapply any Lightroom adjustments you had on there. When I open most of my images for the second time, the choice of the bottom called Edit Original out of the three choices is the one I use the most. And, in fact, I use that pretty much 98% of the time so I almost wish that I could make that screen disappear. And maybe have to hold down a special key to get to it. It just slows me down. I hope you're gonna join us tomorrow because that's when we're gonna cover troubleshooting in Lightroom. Lightroom is capable of so much. That means there are times when you're gonna run into little problems with it and so tomorrow I'll go through all the things I can think of that you might run into when it comes to issues with Lightroom and how I get around them and solve them. But before that, why don't you head over to our Facebook group. That's where you can type in your questions and comments and you can interact with other people that are watching the class. Know that if you purchase class, that's the way that you can learn the most. Why? Because you get images to adjust that are the same images that I use onscreen, or I give you extra images that will have challenges you need to solve based on the lessons that we have here. You get a workbook for each lesson. Usually we group them I think one per week. And there it will remind you of what we did in each lesson so you don't have to replay the video every time just to remember how something was done. You also get a bunch of presets, graphics, and other things. Just anything I felt would make it easier to learn and actually absorb the material. Well if you want to find me online, first there's my main website which is digitalmastery, and then I have other social media outlets you're welcome to visit. This is Lightroom Classic: The Complete Guide.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Week 1 Workbook
Week 1 Homework
Week 2 Workbook
Week 2 Homework
Week 3 Workbook
Week 3 Homework
Week 4 Workbook
Week 4 Homework
Week 4 Catalog
Develop Presets
Develop Presets Pre 7.3
Lightroom Endmarks
Develop Presets Guide
Lightroom Keywords Guide
Lightroom Keywords Sampler
Lightroom Endmarks Guide
Ben's Smart Collections
Lightroom Classic Q&A (very large 3+ gb zip file)

Ratings and Reviews

fbuser 199e5619

Just wow! Ben is such an amazing instructor - he is able to explain everything very succinctly and in just enough detail that your eyes don't start glazing over. I've used Photoshop for over 20 years and have been afraid (and didn't really want to learn yet another program) of using Lightroom, until I've heard how awesome it is from my fellow photographer friends. This course is extremely comprehensive and if you're a more experienced user, you can skip some of the lessons and just watch the ones you want - but even experienced users might get at least a few nuggets of information that they didn't know in every lesson. Highly recommend! And thank you, Ben. P.S. You're wife and her yoga poses are amazing. I just got into yoga a few months ago and can only hope to be half as good as she is! :o)


I was taking a lightroom course from another provider and decided to give Creative live a shot as I wasn't happy with the other class. This class blows that one out of the water! I love the detailed instructions, he goes at a good pace and I love the transcription (I didn't even know that was there until I scrolled down). I would definitely recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn lightroom. Thank you Ben for giving this great class!


I have been searching for something to help me with my images. I am fairly confident with my ability to take nice photos but sometimes they need help. I might actually enjoy editing now!

Student Work