Photoshop and Lightroom Working Together

In this chapter Karl is joined by Richard Curtis from Adobe and together the two explore how to work with images in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

Richard explains some useful tools in Lightroom before guiding you through the process of exporting your RAW image into Photoshop, where you can then make further adjustments in Camera RAW. He also then covers common processes photographers may need, such as adding watermarks or logos to an image, enhancing color and applying different color effects.

This photography class is a valuable tutorial for anyone wanting to make the most of what each photo editing software has to offer.

In this Photoshop class we cover the following:

  • Photo editing software
  • How to use Lightroom and Photoshop together
  • Image composition: Golden ratio vs Rule of Thirds
  • How to use Split Toning in Lightroom
  • How to use Smart Objects in Photoshop
  • Working with gradient masks in Camera RAW
  • Placing linked objects in Photoshop
  • How to add a watermark to an image

For further classes on how to use Lightroom 6/CC, watch our Lightroom for Photographers course.

If you have any questions about this course please post them in the comments section below ?


  1. HI Karl,

    This was a great tutorial but it is the first one that there are major chunks i don’t understand. With all due respect, some of Richard’s teachings were less clear than when you teach, more importantly because he assumes we know how to do certain steps. I learnt a lot from him for sure but there are big gaps. And these are :

    1) I didn’t understand the purpose of split toning and on my Lightroom it has been replaced by Colour Grading which i don’t understand how to use. I have LrC. Also why did he put in the values in Highlights and Shadows in split toning that he did?

    2) I don’t understand how when he transferred the image to Photoshop, how were the layers of the photo on the same group as the layers of his comparison photo (the one he’d retouched before and uploaded as a comparison to the work in progress one)

    3) I don’t understand what things he had done to the previous comparison photo that he managed to drag onto the new photo with the tree and automatically apply them to the new photo.

    4) He didn’t explain how he made all his presets for his watermark signature and how when one is applied it changes all the other photos that have that same signature. ( He may have explained this last part but i was too confused by then)

    Thanks for your help


    1. Hi Afshin, I should be able to answer most of your questions, can you give me the approximate timecode of when in the video for each questions 1-4 please?

      1. Hi Karl,

        1) 10.22
        2) 14.55
        3) 15.03 ( he had previously created Tone and Platinum effects that he dragged onto working image)
        4) 19.10

        1. Hi Afshin, give me a couple of days and I’ll sit down and go through it and come back to you. Just in the middle of building sets for a fashion shoot and this question is going to need a bit more of my time and concentration to answer.

    2. Hi Afshin, thank you for providing me the time to check this for you. Please find my answers below:

      1. Split toning is still available, that’s what it was commonly called but it is simply used to create ‘depth’ or juxtaposition between opposite exposure values. So for example you would add warmth in the highlight and cooler tones in the shadows. This can still be done easily with color grading as it has ‘highlight’ – ‘midtones’ and ‘shadow’ control so you would simply work on the highlight and shadow colour tints.

      2. The second photo that Richard open had already previously been worked on in photoshop/lightroom and he’d saved it previously with those layers. This wasn’t the same image with the tree. What Richard wanted to do was take his previous colour toning work from that other image and apply it to the ‘tree’ image so he simply grabbed the layers from the other image and dragged and dropped them on the ‘tree’ image that then put those same layers in the tree image. This is common in PS and is something you will see us to do regularly so for example we may have a particular curves adjustment layer that we like in another image and we want to apply it to a new image so we can open the other image and drag it’s layer to the new image.

      3. We don’t know what he did on the previous image because we never witnessed that, that was simply one of Richard’s earlier images but looking at the layers it looks like they were simply folders of ‘adjustment layers’ for colour, contrast etc that he’d applied on that earlier image and had put in folders. Again this is covered in our Photoshop for Photographers course.

      Other effects were controlled in Photoshop by the layer being a ’smart object’ which allowed Richard to link back to ‘Camera Raw’. However you can still open a layer using the camera raw filter within working in Photoshop. If you are using 16bit tiffs then you have plenty of latitude to do this effectively.

      4. He was using the ‘placed linked’ command which is a form of dynamic linking between files. So if you change something in the original it will update in any file that you open that is linked to that file. The effects he’d applied to his logo are layer effects such as shadow, emboss, etc and he was able to use the ‘edit contents’ of the properties of the linked smart object. Personally I think this is a bit of a convoluted way of doing things as I just run with a very simple logo in the corner of all my images and it is ever only text in white with the opacity reduced until it suits the image it is on.

      It’s worth mentioning that some of the menu names may have changed since this edition of PS and LR but there isn’t anything that couldn’t be achieved. I’m not sure how advanced your knowledge is with PS but one class I highly recommend is this one as it reaffirms the most important attributes of digital retouching and that is simply that everything is and can only be hue, saturation and luminosity –

  2. hi, i’m new in photoshop…i’m bit confuse about which format we should before we use the photoshop? do we use the RAW format or we have to convert it to TIF first so we can use it on photoshop? and after we finish the photoshop , should we save it as TIF or keep it RAW? and what is the best quality format for WEB purpose ? thanks

      1. yes I did, I saw you were using TIF format all the time except one video you were using RAW format to demonstrate how the PS looks when we use RAW format…but I was searching how to convert from RAW to TIF? and when we should use TIF and when we should use RAW..and what is the best format for WEB…I hope I didn’t miss something 🙂

        1. Hi Peter, after you have made all of the adjustments that you think you may need to the RAW file in the RAW processor (capture one, Camera RAW, LR etc) such as highlight recovery, shadow detail etc etc then after that you export the file as a 16bit tiff or a 16bit PSD file. Then continue to work on the tiff or PSD in photoshop, you will still have plenty of latitude for additional colour, contrast tweaks. You can also go back to the RAW file and make further adjustments if you needed to export a new layer with something different or there is the other method shown where you continue to work on the ‘RAW’ file as a smart object layer in PS but I find that too much fuss to be honest.

          1. ok awesome…now is clear to me…thanks again 🙂

  3. I have watched all the photoshop for photographers courses and I can honestly say, I am now well on my way in understanding and using photoshop. Just like the light source courses, I have followed them in order which the best way to learn. My knowledge of photography has vastly improved and will continue to do so through KTE. I was always intimidated by photoshop but not anymore. I just wish I went through this course last year when I went to the subscription model for LR and PS.

  4. Hi, I have just noticed that when opening a RAW file in Lightroom and consequently launch it to Photoshop, by the right-click on the picture and then edit in photoshop as a smart object or not, pictures are automatically sized at 240dpi. Now, because I always work in 300 dpi, do you know how I can set this and get the image in photoshop in 300dpi. Rest assured that we still on raw file.

    Many Thanks for your help

  5. Hi, Great tutorial, well done!
    As I already started a project of serial pictures, I have done the same procedure – half of it – on Tiff files. I am not an expert in Lightroom so I really need an advice here. Now, my concern is about the output file format. I want to stay Tiff. To save in this format do I need to do the export? Is this the equivalent of the classic “save as” in Photoshop?
    I mean if I export in Tiff, is this called an interpolation? Is this a destructive way? When work in Lightroom is better to work with raw files instead Tiff?
    Would you recommend to edit my photos in Lightroom first and, eventually hyperlink to photoshop later to preserve the raw workflow? I did vice-versa.

    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Luigi, it is always better to work with the RAW file in Lightroom, Capture One or Phocus as these are RAW file handling types of software. When you have modified your RAW file to where you want it to be then I export it as a 16bit tiff which is non destructive. In this particular tutorial it demonstrates how you can continue to work with it as a RAW file in photoshop as a smart object but work on it in much the same was as you would have done on the Tiff. However to be honest my process is usually much simpler than this. First I process the RAW file how I want it to look, sometimes even 2 or 3 duplicates and create different versions and then I export those RAW files as 16bit Tiffs and finish my final work in Photoshop on the Tiff file.

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