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Lightroom-Photoshop Roundtrip Workflow

Chapter Description

In this chapter from Adobe Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC for Photographers Classroom in a Book, author Lesa Snider teaches you how to adjust settings in both Lightroom and Photoshop to ensure you’re passing the highest-quality files back and forth between the two programs. You’ll also learn how to send files from Lightroom to Photoshop in a variety of formats, as well as how to reopen a file within Lightroom that you edited in Photoshop. In fact, this may be one of the most important lessons in this book because it covers the mechanics of a typical roundtrip workflow between Lightroom and Photoshop.

Sending a JPEG or TIFF from Lightroom to Photoshop

When you send any file format other than a raw photo from Lightroom to Photoshop, Lightroom questions you as to what it should send to Photoshop. The choice you make determines whether or not the edits you’ve made in Lightroom tag along for the ride over to Photoshop.

In this section, you’ll send a JPEG to Photoshop for the purpose of using Photoshop’s beautiful photographic toning presets to apply a unique color tint to the photo. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In Lightroom’s Library module or the Filmstrip in the Develop module, select the female portrait exercise file (it’s a photo of your author).

  2. Open the photo in Photoshop by pressing Ctrl+E/Command+E.

  3. In the Edit Photo dialog that opens, choose Edit a Copy with Lightroom adjustments, and click Edit.


    Click to view larger image

    Photo credit: Allison Mae, allisonmae.com

    The image opens in Photoshop with your Lightroom adjustment applied. Choosing any other option in the Edit Photo dialog would prevent your Lightroom adjustments from being visible once the file opens in Photoshop.

  4. In Photoshop, choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. Alternatively, click the half-black/half-white circle at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Gradient Map from the resulting menu.

  5. In the Properties panel that opens, click the down-pointing triangle to the right of the gradient preview. From the panel that appears, click the gear icon, and in the resulting menu, choose Photographic Toning.

  6. When the dialog opens asking if you want to replace or append the new presets to the panel, click Append.

  7. When the new presets appear in the panel, click one to apply it to the photo (Sepia-Cyan was used here).

  8. To reduce the strength of the color tint, lower the Opacity setting at the top of the Layers panel to what looks good to you (50% was used here).

  9. Choose File > Save, or press Ctrl+S/Command+S. Close the file by pressing Ctrl+W/Command+W.

    In Lightroom, the PSD appears next to the original JPEG in the Filmstrip.

  10. If you decide to change the opacity of the Gradient Map adjustment layer you applied in Photoshop, select the PSD in the Filmstrip, and reopen it in Photoshop by pressing Ctrl+E/Command+E.

  11. In the Edit Photo dialog that opens, choose Edit Original and click Edit.

  12. In Photoshop, activate the Gradient Map adjustment layer, and adjust the Opacity setting at the top of the Layers panel to around 35%.

  13. Choose File > Save or press Ctrl+S/Command+S. Again, close the file by pressing Ctrl+W/Command+W.

    Your changes are updated in the PSD that appears in Lightroom.

5. Sending a photo from Lightroom to Photoshop as a Smart Object | Next Section Previous Section

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