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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Integrating Photoshop and Lightroom

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Lightroom is one of my favorite programs because when I started using it, it really completely changed the way I thought about organizing my images and really stream flowed how I work. Part of the main thing about that is lightroom allows you to use a lot of presets and if you spend the time to create presets, then it can streamline what you do in the future and therefor when I import my pictures, I use presets to do so, so that most of the settings I thought about long ago and saved them in some form that are easy to reuse and then I do the same thing when I'm printing, the same thing when I export, and everything else. It really streamlines things. Whereas, when I'm in Photoshop, usually there's not much streamlining. It's more manual work to do but Photoshop is capable of doing stuff way beyond what Lightroom is and so it's best if we integrate the two together. Before we really get into integrating the two together, you should understand a little bit about the fundamental differenc...

e between the two programs because they are quite different in how they work. You know how in Photoshop, if you want to work on an image, you go up to the file menu, you choose open, and you go find your image, and you have to open it, wait for it to load all the way, and when you're completely done with it, you need to save your work. Otherwise, you might lose it. Especially if your computer loses power. Well, that's not the case when it comes to Lightroom. With Lightroom, if I just click on a picture, it's the equivalent of opening it. All I do is click on it. Then, if I go to the develop module, you see there is no open command. It's already just sitting right there and the moment I make a change to my image, let's say in this case I think the highlights, the bright portions, are too bright, so I bring this slider down, called highlights. And I sit here and I adjust this a bit more, whatever it is I end up adjusting, I never have to think about saving and that is because the moment I let go of any one of those sliders, it's instantaneously saved what I've done and that's because Lightroom saves everything that you do as text. You know how your file has a lot of extra text attached to it, like the date it was captured on, the camera model it was captured on, the f-stop, shutter speed, you know, all that kind of information is attached to your file as text. Well, that kind of text that is not actually part of your picture, instead it's information about your picture, that happens to be stored in the same file, is called metadata and the way Lightroom saves all the changes you do is through metadata. All that means is when I moved the exposure slider, and I ended up at -0.55 it simply wrote down the name of the file, so it knows what file it should apply to, it wrote the word exposure, and then it wrote -0. and that's all it's saving. Therefore, the changes I make here in Lightroom take up so little space it's absurd. I can adjust 200,000 photographs in Lightroom, and have it take up barely any extra space in my hard drive. Usually it's about 12 to 20 kilobytes of information for each image. That's about as much space as it takes to send one text email that has three sentences, lets say three paragraphs. That's about how much space it takes up. Now if you work with Photoshop, you know that's not the case. You never end up with a 12 kilobyte extra file. Instead if you started with the raw file, you'll have your raw original, because a raw file by definition means the raw data that your camera captured without being modified. So we can't save anything back into that raw file otherwise it would no longer be raw, right? Because that means raw data unmodified. So, instead, if you open that raw file in Photoshop, you make any change to it, just change one pixel in there, get rid of a speck in the sky, suddenly you end up with a whole separate file for that. And that separate file is often larger than the original raw file. Especially if you added up ending layers to it and if you did fancy stuff in there. That file can get quite large. And so anything we do in Photoshop is going to take up a considerable amount of space on our hard drive and we're going to end up with the original file, if it was raw, and a secondary file. If it wasn't raw, we might be able to save back into the file. That's why I say with the raw file you get a secondary. But the amount of space it takes up is much greater and we have to remember to save and therefore, also not everything is infinitely undoable. Here in Lightroom if I'm in the develop module making changes, let's say I come in here maybe I bring my clarity up, maybe I make this more colorful, and then maybe I adjust my white balance. I'm just messing with the image to make it look different than the original. Well, everything I did is stored over here in the left side of my screen in my history. It lists everything I did from the moment I imported that picture through every single slider that I moved and none of it is permanent, because it's only been written down as text. That text is stored in your Lightroom catalog file and all it's keeping track of in your Lightroom catalog file is the moment you import your pictures, it writes down the name of the file, where on your hard drive it's located, and it saves a preview that's scaled down to about the size of your screen. That's what it stores when you import your pictures. That's why I can disconnect the hard drive that contains my original pictures and I can leave with this laptop and I can still view those images even though they're sitting on a hard drive at home, right? Now, if we keep all of that in mind, when I go between Lightroom and Photoshop, your mindset is going to have to change back and forth. Because one is writing things down as text, the other is completely saving the entire image and making changes directly to it and those two mindsets are totally different and so, sometimes your brain will be stuck in the mindset of one program. You'll be thinking Photoshop but you're in Lightroom and in Lightroom the things we can do are totally different because let's say all of your changes that I made right here are just saved as text. Well why can't I copy that text and paste it on another picture? And if so, all these sliders will move to the exact same locations, we'll get the same adjustment on the second picture. Wouldn't that make sense, be easy if it's just text? Well, in Photoshop it's not quite the same. If you made changes where you did retouching and everything else, to say, oh, 10 days later I want to apply that same thing to somebody else, to something else. Good luck.

Ratings and Reviews


This was a great course. It was very informative and Khara Plicanic did a fantastic job teaching this course. It brought light to and organized the essential Photoshop tools and techniques. Some of the tips are real game changers for me, such as to start learning the shortcut keys have made Photoshop much more fun for me. Fantastic course.

Ryan Redmond

This was very useful. I have been a photoshop user for 20 years but I have just recently gotten into photography and Lightroom is new to me. I knew there was some overlap in features but I wasn't sure how to manage workflow between the two programs. This short course helped to clear up some of those differences and understand and appreciate more the non-destructive image adjusting nature of Lightroom vs the more hardcore creative nature of Photoshop and going between them.

Joe Cosentino

Another great class from Ben, he has one of the most smooth flowing teaching styles I have seen. He always makes it easy to understand how PS and LR work, Thank you

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