Lightroom: Secrets of Integrating with Photoshop

category: Lightroom • 2 min read

Lightroom is designed by Adobe be the front end for Photoshop, but many people have lot of problems because Adobe hasn’t explained clearly how Lightroom and Photoshop talk to each other.

Secret #1

The Lightroom version must match exactly the Camera Raw version of Photoshop.

  1. Lightroom includes its own version of Camera Raw. Lightroom doesn’t use Photoshop’s Camera Raw. Lightroom is a non-destructive editing program. Lightroom doesn’t change the raw file, it just apply the changes to the display and/or the print, slideshow… just like Photoshop’s Camera Raw.
  2. If the Lightroom version matches exactly Photoshop’s Camera Raw, Lightroom passes the original raw file to Camera Raw which will apply all the changes created in Lightroom and finally Camera Raw will pass the updated file to Photoshop itself. When you save, Photoshop will tell you that the raw file has been changed. “Do you want to save?” and by default Photoshop will save a TIFF file (see #3.)
  3. If the Lightroom version does not match exactly Photoshop’s Camera Raw, Lightroom applies all of its changes and creates either a TIFF or PSD file. Then Lightroom passes it to Photoshop’s Camera Raw which does nothing except loading it for Photoshop. And that’s when problems start. You will have problems matching the changed photo with the original photo.

Make sure that Lightroom & Photoshop’s Camera Raw version numbers stay in sync!

Secret #2

  1. Lightroom can store TIFF or PSD files.
  2. Lightroom cannot read the layers of the TIFF or the PSD file.
  3. Lightroom can only read the summary layer of the TIFF or the PSD files.
  4. You must enable the “Maximum Compatibility”, which creates the summary layer that Lightroom can read properly.

Secret #3

  1. Photoshop returns either a TIFF or a PSD file, it doesn’t alter the raw file.
  2. The file returned will be called: ORIGINAL-NAME-Edit.tiff or ORIGINAL-NAME-Edit.psd depending on the defaults.
  3. It’s time to use stacks so you don’t forget the edited photo.