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Open Lightroom Photos as Smart Objects in Photoshop

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  1. Opening Lightroom Photos as Smart Objects in Photoshop

Article Description

Martin Evening wanted to merge a couple of images, while still being able to edit their Lightroom Develop settings from Photoshop. He found the solution in the Smart Objects feature as he explains here.

Opening Lightroom Photos as Smart Objects in Photoshop

We start here with two photos in Lightroom 2’s Library module (see Figure 1). I wanted to merge them into a single composite image, yet retain the ability to edit the Lightroom Develop settings in Photoshop.

  1. I began by selecting the photograph of the building and chose Photo > Edit in Photoshop > Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. This created a Smart Object layer.
  2. I expanded the canvas size and applied a layer mask to hide the sky area, as shown in Figure 2. (Notice the Smart Object icon in the lower-right corner of the Smart Object's layer image.) I also was able to double-click the layer to edit the Develop settings via Camera Raw.
  3. I opened the second image as a Smart Object in Photoshop and dragged this object over to the first, to add it as a new layer below the Smart Object layer of the building (see Figure 3). Again, I was able to open the Smart Object layer and revise the Develop settings via Camera Raw.

    Figure 4 shows the finished composite, where the two layers are preserved in their raw state and remain fully editable via Camera Raw.