Lightroom: Moving Between Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5

It is possible to take an image or several images from Adobe Lightroom and then use it in Photoshop. This program contains several tools and functions that make it quite easy to go between the two different programs. The reason that it is possible to easily move between both programs is because they are both created by Adobe. Lightroom and Photoshop together provide the complete editing software solution for photographers.

1. Editing Preferences

Setting up the editing preferences only needs to be done once. This is the first time you jump between Lightroom and Photoshop. First, go to the edit and then preferences. Then, click the external editing tab. Lightroom will automatically detect Photoshop as the external editor. You can then further set how the files should be sent to Photoshop.

2. Format

It is possible to choose the format in which the pictures should be sent to Photoshop. Normally, the choices are PSD and TIFF. TIFF will allow for a type of compression level so the files can be kept small. The color space options include Adobe RGB, sRBG and PrPhoto RBG.

3. Lightroom to Photoshop

In order to jump between the 2 programs, simply go to the tool bar and choose photo and then edit in Photoshop. The keyboard shortcut will be CTR-E. Then, the edit photo in dialog box opens. It is possible to edit the copy in Photoshop with the Lightroom adjustments, edit a copy of this photo or edit the original photo. The edit a copy and edit original options will ignore any changes that were made in Lightroom. Then photo will then be open in Photoshop.

4. Smart Objects

Smart objects will preserve the source content of the image but will still allow the user to do editing though out different layers. There are several different ways to use this. It is possible to convert the Photoshop layers to mark objects, paste the data into the new window or open the photo using the smart object command. It is possible to skew, rotate, distort, scale, warp a layer and do a perspective transformation as none of these will change the original photo data. Simply save the object as a smart object in Lightroom and then open it as such in Photoshop.

5. HDR Controls

Photos form Lightroom can be opened in Photoshop in order to use high dynamic range photography. This is an advanced use of Photoshop. Basically, the different photos taken at different exposures are layered together in order to get the full light and dark color tones. These combined shots create a much truer single photo as it contains all the light exposures. Eventually, this option will be available in Lightroom but it is not found in Lightroom 3. It is also found in Photoshop C5.

6. Panorama Stitching

It is possible to use the panorama stitching function to put panorama photos together in Photoshop and then import them into Lightroom. However, Lightroom was not originally set up to do this and Photoshop really does it much easier. While Lightroom can create panoramas, the main advantage of Photoshop is that it is possible to also do HDR.