Setup Lightroom External Editing Settings
So let's go and send an image, just grab an image here in Lightroom, let's send it to Photoshop, get it to show back up in Lightroom again. Then we'll look at the details involved of what was happening behind the scenes. We'll refine the settings needed to do that. And then we'll just start exploring what's possible when we go back and forth between Lightroom and Photoshop. Just in the process keep in mind how Lightroom works. Save stuff as text. It's text in your Lightroom catalog file. All right, so here I have an image, I'd like to open it in Photoshop. Well, first off I need to have the original image available. So if, when you import things into Lightroom, remember I said it writes down the name of the file, its location on your hard drive, and it also saves a preview, about the same size as your screen. Well, that preview can sometimes mess with you, because you're traveling, your hard drive's sitting at home, the original file is at home, it's not with me when I'm traveling, and...
I can't open that file in Photoshop then, because it needs the original, 'cause it needs to open the entire file. So that's the first thing. But I'm just gonna go to the Photo menu, I'll choose Edit In, and right here it says Edit in Photoshop. Get used to the keyboard shortcut of Command + E, that's Control + E in Windows. Just think of edit. And I could type that. Now there is an extra command below that that talks about Photoshop. That doesn't always say Photoshop there. I'll show you how to set that up. And there's not usually a keyboard shortcut there. If you're on a Mac and we have time today I'll show you how to add a keyboard shortcut, even though that's not a feature built into Lightroom. Also, if you happen to go down here and use things like Load as Layers in Photoshop or Open as Smart Object in Photoshop, which are nice commands, we'll talk about them. If you're on a Mac I know how to add keyboard shortcuts for them. I say on a Mac, because it's built into the Mac operating system. It's not built into Lightroom. All right, so I'm gonna choose Open in Photoshop. Now it's accessing the original file, it's taking that original file and opening it in Photoshop. Should just take it a moment. Usually the more people are watching the longer it takes. And here we are in Photoshop. Now just to prove that we're in Photoshop I'm gonna do something to the image. Something that's visually obvious. Over here I have little like watermarks and things that I use, I'm just gonna drag one on top of the image, and I'll scale it down, and I'll put that in the corner. It's not that that can't be done in Lightroom, we can add watermarks, I'm just doing something that's visually obvious. The other thing I'll do to make sure it's absolutely obvious is I'll make an adjustment layer. At the bottom of my Layers panel I'm gonna click on this half black and half white circle and I'm gonna do something like a, oh let's see, maybe a Photo Filter adjustment layer. That will allow me to, if I turn off Preserve Transparency, do something that's visually obvious. Now I can make a look similar to that in Lightroom, so I'm not saying these are essential changes, I'm just making sure it's obvious if this image shows up back in Lightroom that it's showing what we've done here in Photoshop. And I've constructed this out of layers. So now I want it to finish the image, I wanna see it back in Lightroom. So all I need to do is close the file. If I go to the upper left where there's a little X, I click it, and it asks if I wanna save the changes, and I say Yes. Okay, so then it says in the upper right Saving, it's at 91%, okay there, it just closed. Now let's return to Lightroom. In Lightroom you see it sitting right there. So it can be as easy as that. What did I do? Here in Lightroom I clicked on the original picture, I went to the Photo menu, choose Edit In, and I chose that top choice. Most of the time I just type Command + E for edit, because you do it so often that you get used to the keyboard shortcut. And here it is. Now I do have two versions and that's because the original was a raw file. And remember, raw file means raw data, unmodified from your camera. And therefore, we can't save those changes back into that file, so we must have a second file. If you don't care about the first file feel free to throw it away. I wouldn't, but if it just bugs the heck out of you that there's two you're welcome to do that. Now when we did this, if you look closely in the upper left of this little thumbnail image it tells me what file format it was using. And it used the TIFF file format. Well, we can tell it what file format to use and what settings to use. And we're gonna go look at that in a moment. But just so you know what's surrounding my images, top and bottom, is something you can customize, so you might not see the file format up there. But that happened to be a TIFF file. So let's take a look at the settings that were used behind the scenes. And this is where Lightroom starts being nice, because it starts letting me use the (mumbling) preset. In this case it's a default setting. I'm gonna go to the Lightroom menu and I'm gonna choose Preferences. Now in Windows there is no Lightroom menu, that's a convention on the Mac. You always have a menu that's the name of your program. On Windows that's not the way it works. So you'll find this under the Edit menu in Windows. In my Preferences we have a bunch of tabs across the top here and one of them is called External Editing. That's where I wanna go to control what happens when I try to open a file in Photoshop. When I type Command + E or I choose that menu command it's looking right here to figure out what should be used when we open the file. So let's take a look at the settings. First at the top we have the File Format. TIFF or Photoshop, PSD is Photoshop file format. There is no quality difference between those two. You could flip a coin and it wouldn't matter how it lands, you could pick between those with a flip of a coin. The quality is not different. For me personally I use TIFF. The reason I use TIFF is because both of these have a limit in how big the file can be. And my brain won't remember it. I probably have to look down here to see it. But just off the top of my head I'm guessing that Photoshop file format, it's either two or four gigabytes file size is maximum, one of those two, and TIFF is about twice that. And so what that means is if you ever work with huge files, you stitch really big panoramas, or you combine together multiple exposures into a single file where your file sizes can start getting really big, then this choice can matter. But for most people it doesn't really matter. So if you're using Photoshop with that setting up there there's no need to change it, there's no compelling need, unless you're running into a limit of the file size, where when you attempt to save in Photoshop file format you get an error message that says, couldn't do it, this file's too big. Well, then switch to TIFF. If you get beyond the limit of the TIFF file format, which I've done many times, then there's another file format you'd have to use called PSB, that's Photoshop big, but unfortunately Lightroom doesn't support it. So we'd have to do some tricks to get the file to show up in Lightroom. If we have time we could talk about it if we get into advanced things, but I'm not sure if we'll get quite to that. So anyway, this is your File Format. It's gonna use, when you save something from Photoshop where you don't go to the File menu and choose Save As, you just close the file and it uses the default, well, there you're choosing your default. I use TIFF. Below that is a choice called Color Space. Color Space determines how vivid can the colors become in your document. And as you start at the bottom of the menu you're gonna have the most limited range of colors you could have. sRGB will not allow you to have nuclear colors. And as you work your way towards the top you can have more and more vivid colors within your picture. Well, you might be thinking, well, why wouldn't I just want the most vivid, period? Well, if the way you use your pictures is only on the internet, you're an Instagram star and not nowhere beyond that, it's just Instagram. Well, everything on the internet in general gets saved in sRGB, it's a standard. And so you could use that. I wouldn't necessarily suggest it for most people, but if that's all you wanted to use your picture for you could use that. Display P3 is the standard that Apple uses on their I devices, like your iPhone, your iPad, and all that, if you have a newer one, it can display more vivid colors than what sRGB would allow you to create. So therefore, if my end result is going to be for an iPhone or an iPad, that's my primary use for the image, then that would be a relatively ideal setting. Adobe RGB allows you to have even more vivid colors and I would say that's the most popular, common, and not a bad suggestion for the general public. It will allow you to create more vivid colors than some of the other choices that are here. It will allow you to take most of the advantage of any desktop printer that you have. And it's a relatively safe mode to use. The one at the top will allow you to have the most vivid colors possible, in fact, you can make colors so vivid that they can't be displayed on any computer screen, they can't be printed on any printer, and your eyes are incapable of perceiving the color. Meaning you can't see the actual color being described, you would see something less saturated with your eye if you actually had it shown in front of your face. But we can't show it in front of your face, 'cause we can't print it, we can't display it on our screen, it's a theoretical color, because how do you see it? So therefore I think of the top choice as being for people that are serious about color and who are not just gonna blindly take what I say as a setting to use and go with it without further knowledge. Instead what they're gonna do is get serious about color. They're gonna learn how do I preview what color's gonna look like on a printer. That's something called soft proofing. They're gonna learn about what happens when I need to send the file to somebody else and they don't need that choice, they need something else, how do I preview it and make sure nothing weird's gonna happen. Meaning if you're gonna get serious about color and actually spend some time learning it then that's a great choice at the top. And you'll find many of my files will have that choice chosen. That doesn't mean I suggest it to the general public, I would call this one the safest. Meaning if you just wanna know what number to use, put it in and forget it, that one would probably be a little bit more safe for general public. So anyway, we gotta chose that. It simply, what it does is behind the scenes your picture in Photoshop is made out of red, green, and blue and it's simply telling it how vivid are those colors when we make up the image behind the scenes. But Adobe RGB is not bad. Below this, Bit Depth. That means how much information will you send to Photoshop. You have a choice of 8 Bit or 16 Bit. It'd be nice if they used plain English in there instead of bits, because that doesn't tell you much. But what it controls is if your image can have different brightness levels in it and the brightest we have is white, the darkest we have is black, well, how many shades do we get in between? Are you gonna get just 10 shades of gray? If so, your image is gonna look kind of posterized or banding is gonna be throughout it, 'cause you only have 10 shades of gray to be used. We don't have that choice in here. Instead that choice called 8 Bit means 256 shades of gray, or brightness level if it's a color picture. That's enough to print your image most of the time and it's enough to make your image look good. But what it's not enough for is if you're gonna make radical changes in Photoshop, if you're gonna make a huge change to the color in your image or a huge change to the brightness or the contrast in your image you have just enough information to display the image and make it look good, and now you're gonna start pulling on that stuff like Silly Putty, and that Silly Putty is just gonna break. And it's gonna suddenly start looking like your image has banding in the sky, where you see bands across, it's known as posterization. You're gonna start seeing other things if you try to do extreme manipulation. Also, if you ever do retouching on a sky and you're trying to retouch across, you're using a tool like the Healing Brush or the Spot Healing Brush and you can see where you've painted, you can see an exact outline of where you just went, you have that set to 8 Bit. There wasn't enough information in that file to make it produce a smooth result. But if all I was doing was adding text to the picture, adding a border around the edge, that's fine, because it's enough to make the picture look fine, print the picture just fine. It's that if I wanna do big changes to brightness, contrast, or color, then I would shy away from it. So 16 Bits means send all of the information my camera captured to Photoshop, brightness level wise, and that usually means multi-thousands of brightness levels between black and white. Doesn't make the picture look any different, 'cause the brightest is still white, the darkest is still black, it's just we have extra information, more than we would usually need and that's useful when we wanna mess with it. We wanna start pulling on it to brighten the image, add contrast or anything else, we have an abundance, and so the image doesn't start falling apart. When you retouch on a sky it looks smooth. So for me I usually have this set to 16. The problem is when you set it at your file's twice as big. If you add layers you make that even more pronounced. So it's just good to be aware of it. Then down here we have Resolution. Resolution has to do with printing and it just means how big are the little specks, the little pixels that make up your image when they're printed? And 240's fine. Some people prefer 300, but 240, there's no huge reason to deviate. But if when you print you know about resolution and there's a setting you prefer you can type it in there and it would be your default. Finally, below that we have a choice called Compression and I can choose either None or ZIP. Doesn't ZIP sound like None? That's only gonna be there when you choose TIFF. If I choose Photoshop that just goes away, because Photoshop doesn't have options for compression, but TIFF does. So if I set it to ZIP my file sizes will be smaller, the quality will not degrade whatsoever, 'cause it's known as lossless compression, but it takes longer to save. And so it's up to you to decide would you rather have smaller files or faster saving? Pick one, you can't have them both. It's a personal choice. For me, I don't care, because I have, hard drives are cheap, so I don't mind that they take up a little bit of space and I sometimes have files that are massively big and if I have that turned on it just takes longer to save it. But it's a personal choice. It does not degrade the quality. So if you find your drives always filling up and you're complaining about it all the time, turn that on. All right, so we need to set this up and choose what to use. What I personally use the majority of the time is TIFF, ProPhoto, but remember, I don't suggest that for general people that wanna just set it and forget it. Instead you wanna be educated about color if you're gonna use that. 16 Bit, 240 is fine for the default, and Compression, I actually just don't really care down there, but I might set it to None, just so my things save faster. Then down here, if you use a program other than Photoshop, you bought something else that can edit pictures, and you wanna be able to send images from Lightroom to that program, whatever it happens to be, then this up here is just for sending things to Photoshop. Down here you can set this menu to the name of another program. And if you do, down here you get to choose the same choices that you have up here to say what file format will be used and the other settings if it gets sent to that secondary program. For me personally, I cheat. I set both of these for Photoshop. The top one is automatically Photoshop, but this one, do you see right here? It says Application, Photoshop. I have two, because then up here I can say ProPhoto 16 Bit and down here I can say Adobe, 8. Meaning this is what for when I'm adding text and borders to my image, stuff that doesn't make radical changes to my picture, this is when I do radical changes to my picture, where I need more info. This produces a file half as big than that. So now I can choose in my menu system which one I use. Not everybody needs that, most people just wanna set it and forget. And if so, just use one choice. Don't make yourself think when you open your file. But that's what I do. Down here at the bottom there's a choice little checkbox called Stack With Original. And that means that if I have a raw file or any other kind, I open it in Photoshop, I do something, save, it creates that secondary file. It can actually stack the end result that came from Photoshop on top of the original, so you only see one image when you get back to Lightroom. And there'd be a little number in the corner of it, that it'll have the number two, meaning there's actually two files here. If you click on the number you'd see the file that's hidden underneath. So that's a personal choice. I personally don't, but I know a lot of people that like to have them stacked. I'll show you what I do as an alternative. Finally, at the bottom whenever it's gonna save a new file it changes the file name. It uses the original file name and then it puts a dash at the end and just inserts the word edit, to mean you edited that in Photoshop. You down here could choose, you can choose an alternative. You can change the way it edits the file name. Maybe you wanna put dash layered or dash from Photoshop or whatever. So you're not stuck with it, you could do that. There's a way to create a template and you can choose it from here, but you'd have to go down here and choose Edit. That's something I'm not gonna get into here, 'cause it's not usually all that critical of a thing. So anyway, whenever you choose Edit in Photoshop it's looking right here to figure what to do. It just looks at these settings and it means when I go into Photoshop and I hit the little X to say close my file and I say yeah, save. Right there determines the file format and all the settings that's being used. And if I set this one up here then when I go up to the Photo menu and I choose Edit In you see there are two choices here. That second choice right there is determined by the second preference that was there, the one in the middle of the screen. And that's why I have two that say Photoshop. Yours, this one might be darn near empty, because you haven't set it up yet to be any program. So for me this makes a 16-bit file, that makes an 8-bit. 8-bits are half the size, it's just a convenience factor.