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Lightroom Classic & Photoshop Integration

Lesson 8 of 14

Open as Layers in Photoshop

Ben Willmore

Lightroom Classic & Photoshop Integration

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

8. Open as Layers in Photoshop
Automatically combine multiple images as individual layers in Photoshop.

Lesson Info

Open as Layers in Photoshop

Now let's take a look at another method for opening our images in Photoshop. This time, we're going to use open as layers in Photoshop. That's where we're going to end up with one layer for each image we have selected, and the width and height of that document will be based on the widest and tallest of the images we had selected. This can be used for all sorts of things. In this case, I'm going to use it for trying to remove tourists from a photograph by taking more than one photograph and combining them. This is the end result I was looking for, and I was standing there with my camera, just waiting for a clean shot of my wife. There's Karen on the right there and these fingers that are coming out of the sand, but I wasn't able to capture that in a single shot. Instead, this is what I ended up seeing is there were always tourists getting their photos taken with these huge fingers coming out of the sand. And so Karen was doing a yoga pose here. And if you want to see this series, by the...

way, look up on Instagram the world is my yoga mat, and there's over 600 pictures in the series, but this is one of them. And so I took this shot and then I was able to get this shot. And unfortunately, when all the tourists were cleared away by that time Karen was done. Her face was all red from being upside down, and I couldn't get her to pose for me again. There were constant tourists that it was only a moment I can get a clean shot, so I'm going to combine together those two images. I have one image selected already. I'll hold shift and click on the second one, and then I'm going to choose photo edit in open as layers in Photoshop, and therefore we should end up with a new Photoshop document that contains a total of two layers. And now you can see over in the layers panel. We have one layer for each image, and if I hide the topmost layer, you'll see it reveals the layer that's underneath. But I was taking these photographs handheld, so my camera was moving, and if I turn this layer back on, you'll see the position of everything in the photograph shifts a little bit, so let's do something to try to get them to a line. I'm going to select both layers. The top layer is already selected. A hold shift and click on the bottom layer. Then I'll go to the edit menu, and that's where I'm gonna find a trois called Auto Align Layers in Ottawa line layers. I'm just going to leave all the settings alone, which means it will just be set to Otto and I'll click. OK, that's going to use the same technology would use to stitch a panorama to align those images. So now, if I hide the top layer by turning off its eyeball icon and I turn it back on, you'll see everything's in about the right position. Then I'll work on the top most layer, and I'm going to add a layer mask so I'll go down here. Then I'll grab my paintbrush tool and I'll paint with black because black hides things when working on a layer mask. I'll use a soft edge brush, and I'm gonna paint where these tourists are so that I hide them and I reveal the version of the picture that's underneath. I'll do the same thing over here on the left. So if I were to hide the picture that's underneath, you'd see we just have a whole, you know, some missing areas in the top layer that are filling that in. And therefore I can get the image that I wanted to. The only other thing I'd probably do in this case is crop the image because when it aligned the images, it had to bend them a little bit to get them to be in the same alignment so I could grab the crop tool in this pool is in a little bit Professor Turner enter when I'm done, and then I could just save and close the picture. I'm not actually going to save it in this case, though, because if I go back to light room, I already have a version that I did earlier, and it is sitting right here, so I don't need two versions now. The only thing I need to do in addition to what I've shown you here is if I apply to any adjustment settings to one image, I'd want to make sure identical settings were applied to the second image. And you can do that usually by selecting both images when you head to the develop module. And just make sure the setting near the lower right called Auto Sync is turned on before you start adjusting any of the images. When that's turned on, then any adjustment I apply to this picture will also apply to any other picture that is selected at the same time. I make those adjustments, and so that is load files in Photoshop layers and use it all the time. I'd say at least once a week. Next, we're going to explore how you can make some unique layers in Photoshop that will make the integration with light room a little more useful.

Class Description


  • Optimize your settings and explore the multitude of options for round-tripping images between Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • Apply adjustments in Lightroom that are usually only available in Photoshop.
  • Make multiple passes of Lightroom adjustments on layered files while retaining the ability to edit all the layers.
  • Mask an image in Photoshop and then transfer the result to Lightroom in order to preview how it would look on top of images in your catalog.
  • Teach Lightroom to automatically create complex layouts in Photoshop.
  • Work on your Lightroom images in Photoshop even when the originals are not available.
  • Learn tips and tricks to increase productivity.


If you’ve ever sent an image from Adobe Lightroom to Adobe Photoshop and have been confused by the choices of “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments”, “Edit a Copy”, and “Edit Original”, then you’ll love this class from the start. After all, developing clarity on the fundamentals is essential before you can feel comfortable with Lightroom Classic.

If you dig a little deeper, you’ll learn that both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom have unique strengths that become dramatically more versatile when they are used together. For instance, Photoshop’s advanced masking and layering capabilities are great when you want to replace a dull and boring sky. But, it’s only when you partner it with Lightroom’s ability to overlay a Photoshop image that you can experiment with various skies and interactively adjust the raw file until it looks like it belongs in the resulting image.

Once you have a solid feel for the strengths and limitations of each program, you’ll learn to push them and combine features to accomplish things you had no idea were even possible. This is Ben Willmore’s special gift: He gets you comfortable by relating the technical aspects to things you already know and use every day, which develops clarity. Then he guides you through real-world projects to help build your confidence before showing you just how far you can push the boundaries so you know what’s possible.

This class will help you:

  • Understand the preferences and choices that control how Photoshop and Lightroom Classic interact
  • Learn under which situation each option makes sense so you can always choose the best option for your images
  • Discover how uncommon features add a lot of functionality once you see concrete examples of their use
  • Eliminate the frustration of having Photoshop images not appear in your Lightroom catalog after editing
  • Understand how to round-trip your images while retaining Photoshop layers and multiple passes of Lightroom adjustments
  • See how Metadata conflicts can cause issues and how to resolve them


  • People who have Adobe Lightroom Classic and Adobe Photoshop (not elements) installed and have some familiarity with the absolute basics of both programs.
  • Those who desire clarity, confidence and efficiency based on proven logic.
  • Please who want to develop versatile workflows that go beyond the basics.


Adobe Lightroom Classic (v10.2)

Photoshop (v22.3)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase


Lightroom Class Catalog and Images

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Fantastic, clear explanations of these features. i have a much better understanding of how to go back and forth between LR and PS. Thank you Ben. this is must watch class for anyone that uses LR and PS