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Lightroom Classic & Photoshop Integration

Lesson 3 of 14

Round Tripping

Ben Willmore

Lightroom Classic & Photoshop Integration

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

3. Round Tripping
Send images from Lightroom to Photoshop & back again.

Lesson Info

Round Tripping

Now let's talk about light room round tripping. That's when we send our images, starting from light room, heading over to Photoshop. And when we're all done, we hope that image is going to show up again in light room. What's a round trip? Well, a round trip is starting with an image in light room. You go up to the photo menu in light room. You're going to find a choice called Edit in, and then you find a choice called Edit in Photoshop. Or you can type Command E on a Mac control Ian windows as a shortcut. When you do that, it should take your image that was in light room and send it over to Photoshop. Once you're in Photoshop, you can do whatever you'd like. Maybe add some layers. Some texts do some retouching whatever it happens to be, and then you're going to go to the file menu when you're done and simply choose save and if you choose, save it should save out that file, and we should end up seeing it in light room. And so this is a round trip of your image, starting and ending in li...

ght room. But there's a little bit more to know about this because remember, that light room is a nondestructive in image editing program, and that makes some of what it does unique. So let's look a little bit more at this process. So here's the image, as you might see it in light room. But you have to remember that light room is only showing you usually a preview of that image that stored in the little previous file that is in the same folder as your light room catalog file. If you were to actually look on your hard drive, you'd find a folder somewhere with that image resides inside, you might have a raw file, or it could have been JPEG tiff or some other file format. But it's going to look like the original picture at the moment you imported it into light room, And that's because light room does not change your original files in any way other than if you change the file name or you move it to a different folder. Sure, that will change the file, but going into light rooms develop module only makes the changes noted into your light room catalog file. That's where all the changes are. So you have these develop module settings, and only because of those does that preview in light room look so nice you may be brought out that shadow detail. You made the image look nice and warm, but you can think of that image as being theoretical. It doesn't exist on your hard drive. Instead, on your hard drive is the original unchanged image. And then you just have those settings written down as text inside your light room catalog file. So now we tell it to open that image in Photoshop. And so here's what happens. It finds the original image on your hard drive. It notices that in your light room catalog file, you've adjusted the image so it applies those changes. But it only applies that to the copy of the image that has opened in Photoshop. The original image remains unchanged untouched on your hard drive. So now we're in Photoshop, and we have the image just as it looked in light room and then in Photoshop, start making changes. Maybe you put a fancy border on the image. Maybe you put it back, ground around it and add some text and you do that using Photoshop layers, because then you can easily make changes later or throw away an element within the image. And nothing is really permanent as long as they're separated into those individual layers. Then you go up to the file menu and you choose save. And that ends up saving those individual layers that make up the image so that the next time you open the image in Photoshop, the layers panel gets populated with that information and you're back just as if you never left, uh, Photoshop. But a little bit more happens when you save. And that's because most programs you work with do not understand what Photoshop layers are. For instance, your email program or a word processor or most other programs would not be able to look into that file and see those individual layers that make up the image. So when that image gets saved, it actually saves two versions of the picture into a single file. It saves the individual layers the image was made from, but then it also combines those layers into a single layer. Uh, that is commonly referred to as the background or just a flattened version of the image in those two versions are saved into the same file. Usually it's either a tiff file or a Photoshop file format. Image and Light Room is one of those programs that does not understand the individual layers that Photoshop creates. And so it must have that second version of the image saved within that file in order to be able to import the result in display it in light room. And the same is true with most other programs. If when you open the image in another program, you don't see the individual layers, then it loaded that flattened version of the picture. So now we have our image saved into this file. There's two versions of it, but we only see one version of it in whatever program we view it in in our case, light room. But if we were to look on our hard drive, what we really ended up with now is to files. We have the original raw file in this particular case, and then we have the secondary layered file that was produced as well, and this isn't unique to light room ending up with two files like this. Instead, that is standard for just about any program, and we'll get into that just a little bit, Uh, in a few moments. But first, let me show you one other thing. You know, when we edit an image in Photoshop, the menu choice you go to is you go to the photo menu, choose edit in, and then it's called Edit and Photoshop. Well, when you choose that light room looks to see what kind of file your opening and if it's a raw thought, then it just opens the image without asking you any questions. But if it's not a raw file, it's always going to ask you for options. The options you're going to be presented with look like this. We have three choices, and we're going to cover these in a separate lesson while I get into detail in each one. I just wanted to mention it right now, in case you start opening images into Photoshop and you're not used to seeing this. And if that's the case, I would start by choosing the bottom option, and then you can start using the other ones once we've covered them, and you truly understand the way they work But for now, just choose edit original. Now let's talk about the file formats you might save into once you're working in Photoshop or any other program. It's the limitations of those file formats that might force you into saving a secondary image where you end up with two files. First, if you open a raw file, a raw file, by definition is the pure raw data that came from your camera's sensor and its unmodified. And if that's what defines what a raw file is, then we cannot modify that file in any way. Otherwise, it's no longer a raw file because it's no longer the unmodified data from the camera sensor. And so when you open a raw file into any program and you try to re save it, it's always going to produce a secondary file unless you're using light room to make those changes. Because those changes are just being stored in your light room catalog file, and it just saves them a simple text. And then you have a secondary file, which is a preview that's stored in your light room previews file, and that's what you're seeing on screen. But the original raw file is always unchanged. Then, if you save in PNG, that's known as portable network graphics format. That's a common file format used for the Internet. Well, that file format does not support layers. It just doesn't know how to save them. So if you open that file format into Photoshop and you do anything in your layers panel, so you have anything more than the background layer. Then when you go to save the image, it will not be able to save into the PNG file format without flattening your image and getting rid of those layers. And so that's another instance when you'll always end up with a secondary file. JPEG is another file format that does not support layers, and so it's just like PNG when it comes to getting secondary files created. Anytime you work with layers, you're going to end up with a secondary file unless you flatten your image in Photoshop before saving. Another limitation of JPEG is it only supports what's known as eight bit images, and if you go and convert your image to 16 or 32 bit mode, which some people do, you won't be able to save that image back into JPEG without bringing it back down to eight bits. And so that's another reason that you might find that Photoshop suddenly creates a secondary file when you attempt to save. Then there's Photoshop File format and tiff that supports all the features in Photoshop. It supports layers fully, and so secondary files are unnecessary. If you want a secondary file, you can always go to the file menu and to save as and give it a different name. But otherwise, if you ever open a tiff Photoshop file when you type command s to save, it just saves right back into that original file. So that's the general ideas of light room round. Tripping hopefully gives you a better idea for those file formats. Next, we're going to get into the options that asked you about any time you open a non raw file.

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