How Best To Move Your Images From Lightroom To Photoshop For Editing

In this episode, we’ll be looking at how best to move your images from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to Adobe Photoshop for editing. This question came up from one of our members on the ForteSpy Online Community for creative professionals so we decided to do a detailed post on it.


Image Opened in Lightroom
Image Opened in Adobe Lightroom Classic 2018


Setting Up Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

First off, we import our RAW files into our preferred RAW processing software, which in this case is the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic 2018. After performing our preliminary tonal adjustments/edits in Lightroom, we are now set to take the files into Adobe Photoshop for editing. Before we do that, we need to set up/instruct Lightroom to seamlessly communicate with Photoshop. On the PC (Windows) platform, we’ll go to Edit > Preferences; On the Mac, we’ll go to Lightroom > Preferences and click. We’re greeted with a dialog box which pops up showing us various settings. Our concern now should be the External Editing Tab. Select that tab and it shows a list of parameters we need to pre-define. These parameters are then applied to our images as they leave Lightroom to Photoshop or any other external editor of our choice. In this case, Our external editor would be the Adobe Photoshop CC 2018.

External Editor Options

  1. File Format: You have either PSD or TIFF to select from depending on your workflow.
  2. Color Space: You have ProPhotoRGB, AdobeRGB (1998), Display P3 and sRGB.
    • ProPhoto RGB has the largest colour space and would be advisable to use this if your RAW image has this colour space.
    • AdobeRGB (1998) is a commonly used colour space especially for images destined for print.
    • Display P3 is a newly introduced colour space which is very close to the AdobeRGB (1998).
    • sRGB is also a commonly used colour space especially for images destined for screens or web purposes (online usage).
    • N.B Kindly ensure consistency with your chosen in-camera colour space.
  3. Bit Depth: You have either 8 bits/components or 16-bits/components to choose from depending on your workflow. 8bit files are usually smaller and more compatible with various programs and plugins, but will not preserve fine tonal detail and dynamic range as well as the 16bit data.
  4. Resolution: The default value is 240 but I usually keep mine at 300. You can set yours to your preferred value.
  5. Compression: With PSD files, there is no compression option; with TIFF files at 8bit, you have three compression options; None, LZW and ZIP while with TIFF files at 16bit you have two compression options. None and ZIP. If you decide not to choose any compression option, that would be fine but if you decide to choose a compression option, you’re okay with either of the options. They do basically the same thing, which is to reduce the size of the image without removing detail or colour information.
  6. Stack With Original: This option would enable you to stack the edited version from Photoshop next to the Original version when viewed in Lightroom afterwards.
  7. Edit Externally File Naming: In this column, you can specify a preferred naming nomenclature to be applied after an image leaves Lightroom to an external editor of your choice so that when it returns to Lightroom, it can easily be distinguished from the original image.

When you’re done setting up Lightroom, click OK.

Setting Up Adobe Photoshop CC

Launch Adobe Photoshop and go to Edit  > Color Settings on the PC; same on the Mac. Most of the parameters are okay at default settings. Make sure you have the following boxes clicked. Profile Mismatches and Missing profiles (3 boxes). Click Okay

color settings
colour settings

Importing To Photoshop

At this point, we can now go back to our Lightroom application which is already open. Go to the Develop Module and select the image(s) you want to edit in photoshop; Right-click >Edit > Edit in Adobe Photoshop 2018 and the RAW file moves over seamlessly to Photoshop with all the edits applied to it in Lightroom for you to continue editing. After editing in Photoshop, you go to File > Save, and then open Lightroom, You’ll see the edited copy of the image stacked next to the original image with the pre-defined file naming you set up initially. If you want the images to appear individually in Lightroom you can go to the Library Module and select Photo > Stacking > Unstack. This separates them and they are now two individual images.


  • If there are two or more photos you wish to composite in Photoshop, right-click and select “Edit in” and “Open as Layers in Photoshop.” The images open as one layered file in Photoshop.
  • If you are exporting a TIFF, PSD or JPEG file. Right-Click on the image and a dialog box will pop up with three options as follows; Choose from “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments,” “Edit a Copy” or “Edit Original” and the image would open in Photoshop.
  • DNG or camera raw files open directly in Photoshop.
  • If you have a conflict of colour spaces between Lightroom and Photoshop you’ll get a notification prompting you to either go ahead with the embedded colour space that is coming from Lightroom, or you change it to the assigned colour space in Photoshop or you ignore colour management entirely.
color profile
colour settings


With these simple steps, it’s that easy to take your images from Lightroom to Photoshop and back to Lightroom. You can go ahead and practice this tip so you get a grip of it. Just in case you have a similar or totally different method of achieving the same results you can do well to share your thoughts in the comments section below.



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The DSLR Camera

The term DSLR is an acronym which stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex. So a DSLR Camera is a digital camera that combines the mechanics of a single-lens reflex camera with a Digital Imaging sensor; as opposed to a photographic film.

The primary difference between the DSLR and the non-reflex single-lens digital camera is that the viewfinder of a DSLR presents an image that is almost equal to what’s captured by the camera’s sensor and not being captured by the camera’s image sensor and displayed on a digital screen.

  1. Lens
  2. Reflex Mirror
  3. Shutter
  4. Image Sensor
  5. Focusing Screen
  6. Condenser Lens
  7. Pentaprism
  8. Eyepiece/Viewfinder


The Eyepiece/Viewfinder <8> is situated at the back of the camera. When you look through it, what you see is a reflection of information that has passed through the lens <1>; which means there’s a 100% chance of capturing what you see.

Information in form of light passes through the lens <1> and hits the Reflex Mirror <2> which is positioned at a 45 degrees angle inside the camera structure. This light is then directed vertically to a chamber called the Pentaprism <7>. This light is again re-directed by two mirrors into the viewfinder <8>.

When you take a picture by pressing the shutter button, the Reflex Mirror <2> bends backward, allowing light into the camera. The Shutter <3> remains open for as long as it’s been programmed to. This enables information to get to the Image Sensor <4> which then records the image and then the Shutter <3> closes and reflex Mirror <2> returns to its original position of 45 degrees thereby re-directing light back to the viewfinder <8>.

Once the process ends, the camera then processes information from the Image Sensor (4) and converts it into a pre-defined image format and writes it onto the memory card. This process takes less than a second and in most cases, some DSLR Camera’s can replicate this process of writing images more than 10 times within a second.

This is at best a summary of how your DSLR Camera works.

For an expanded view of how it works, you could follow this link and read more on Wikipedia



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What Is Photography

Photography can be defined as the art, process or job of taking and processing pictures with a camera.

Merriam – Webster dictionary defines photography as the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor).

The journey begins in the mind. You, first of all, create a mental picture of what you want and then create it physically with the tools (camera) you have in your hand.

Photography doesn’t just start and end by taking sharp and well-exposed pictures. Also having the best of tools doesn’t also guarantee excellent results. Just like any art, it requires a tool. In this case, the tool is the Camera. To use any tool effectively, it also requires skill/technical know-how to create outstanding results.

Unskilled attempts at photography results in a boring outcome. As a beginner, one may be thrilled by picture clarity and exposure; but as you advance, you start paying attention to details, the kind of images you create and what they stand for.

This is an attempt at defining photography in its simplest terms. Welcome to our journey into the world of photography. We promise to keep things short and simple for easy comprehension.



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Protecting Your Images Online

The need to protect your images online cannot be over-emphasized. This is fast becoming a recurring decimal these days – A situation whereby the established brands steal works from the upcoming artists, publish and take the glory without any form of compensation to the original author. Each day, more and more people are gaining access to the internet. To get noticed, you need to share your works, that’s about the easiest way people can get to notice you and subscribe to your services. When you eventually publish your works, what stops others from taking your work and claiming it’s theirs? Nothing. We can’t prevent them from doing a screenshot or outrightly downloading the image off the internet, but we can make a conscious effort (no matter how small) to keep our images safe.



The best form of protection while dealing with copyright infringement is to register your work with the Copyright Commission/Office as it applies in your country. All you need to do is to head over to their office or online portal, create an account, pay the requisite fees and you’re done. The downside of this is that as a photographer or digital content creator, you’ll most likely be releasing content daily and that would cost a lot of money keeping up with the copyright protection of all content produced.


If you’re using a Nikon D7100 camera which has a 24MP sensor with a resolution at 6000 x 4000, it’ll be advisable to publish an image size of between 1080px and 1200px on the longest size. In that way, the file size is reduced and the image quality is still retained for online viewing.


Applying watermarks to your images is the most conspicuous and easiest way of protecting your images online. The standard method used by photographers is to either add your name to the bottom/side of the image or better still a small logo. This tells the viewer that the image was created by you and belongs to you. It also doesn’t distract the viewer from appreciating your work. The downside of this is that any thief can easily clone this watermark out and claim ownership of the image.

Another type of watermark that’s usually adopted by those who want full control and protection of their images is to emboss the watermark boldly over the image. This method of watermarking can be seen on sites that hold stock images for sale like Shutterstock. The downside of this is that the watermark distracts the viewer from appreciating the work of art.


This is an area I’ll advise every photographer to invest some time in. According to the International Press Telecommunication Council (IPTC), Metadata is a set of data that describes or gives information about other data. In this case, Photo metadata is data that gives information about an image. This data can be passed on with the image from one application to another irrespective of the format. Metadata can be stored internally; embedded in the image file in formats like JPEG or TIFF or stored in a sidecar file such as XMP as in RAW files.

The Photo metadata consists of 3 categories,

Administrative: – This covers the identification of the creator, it’sDate of creation and location, contact information of licensors of the image and other technical details.

Descriptive: – This gives information about the visual content such as headline, title, captions and keywords.

Rights: – This covers copyright information and underlying rights in the visual content; including model and property rights and rights usage terms.

I’ll suggest you follow this tutorial closely and ensure this is incorporated in your workflow henceforth.


If you’re passionate about keeping track of your portfolio online then Google Alerts may just be the most efficient tool to utilise. This service enables you to set up keyword triggers that send email notifications based on the criteria you set up. In this case, your images.

From my research, a random search using a keyword on google can pick up images with that name or with the keyword embedded in the metadata. So as a photographer, you could start by naming your images using a specific prefix or custom naming style. Have the names embedded in the keywords metadata and also in the file name. Then while setting up Google Alerts, put the keyword in a quote; for example ” John Doe” so the search weeds out any false readings and then delivers it’s findings to you daily, weekly or as it happens.

With these simple steps stated clearly above, you can prevent your photography from being used illegally online without your knowledge. Always remember to input your metadata and watermark your images. Sending Google Alerts on a surveillance mission would cost you nothing itsbenefits are huge.

How To Prepare Your Images For Online Use


It’s very important we prepare our images properly before we publish them online. In summary, this has to do with reducing the file size and yet retaining its quality. This deliberate act of ours helps to optimise the loading time of our websites and ensures that whatever file we prepare, the quality is maintained after publishing.


The following image formats are considered while preparing files for online use.

  • Mode of Compression

This could either be lossy or lossless. When an image undergoes lossy compression, it means that the resultant image size is reduced and retains the same quality as the original copy and is seen at close range. This makes it ideal for web use.

For lossless compression, the resultant image retains the same quality as the original but with a larger file size which makes it not so suitable for web use.

  • Image File Type

There are three major image file types used for web purposes; they are the JPEG, GIF and PNG. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.


This is the most preferred image file type used on the web. It’s perfect for photographs because it provides a huge colour palette to play with. You can use it to store images that contain gradients, millions of colours, HDR, etc. It’s a lossy format and is stored in any quality (low, medium, high) but they don’t have support for transparency.


This is another popular image file type used on the web. it’s a lossless file format and there are two types namely PNG-8 and PNG-24. PNG-8 can store up to 256 colours while PNG-24 can store millions of colours but with a larger file size. The primary advantage of the PNG file type over the JPEG file type is that it supports transparency.


This is a lossless file format. It can save up to 256 colours. The format is a bitmap which means it consists of tiny pixel squares. A GIF image may contain more than one frame so it could be animated. This file format was later re-packaged and re-introduced as PNG

  • Image File Size

Images have a file size measured in kilobytes (KB) or megabytes (MB) and a file dimension measured in width and height (in pixels). You can think of them as the weight and size of the image.


There are so many applications that could be used to produce this but we’ll narrow our focus down to just a few important ones that concern us as photographers.

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

This is a popular image editor used by professional photographers and amateurs as well. It has a user-friendly interface and it’s very functional. After launching the software, you go to your top left corner and select File>Export or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+E and the export dialog box pops up which displays two columns. The process begins with the options on the right column.

Export Location

This helps us define the location/file path to which exported images are saved. We could even choose a location anywhere on our internal hard drive or an external path.

File Naming

This row gives us the option of re-naming our files during export. There are a couple of options in the drop-down menu you could as well choose from.

File Settings

This area allows us to specify the file format to be applied, for this purpose, we’ll stick with JPEG. The quality should be between 75% and 100%. The colour space for web is sRGB. We also have an option of setting a definite file size which could always come in handy.

Image Sizing

Majority of the smartphones that are manufactured these days come with a standard screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels so I’ll want to select the Resize to fit option and choose long edge; set the size to 1080 pixels and resolution to 72 pixels per inch (this is what the web sees. Anything greater than this is a waste).

Output Sharpening

In this option, I leave it at sharpen for screen. The Amount is set to standard. In some cases, you may decide not to sharpen depending on your post-production workflow or use a higher amount of sharpening.


For Online use, I usually include all metadata. There are other options you could choose from when you click the drop-down menu.


It’s always advisable to use some form of watermarking on your images before sharing them online. This could be in form of a text or a logo. Using watermarks are good and its use is also a matter of personal preference. Some photographers use this while some don’t. We’ll be discussing this in detail in a future editorial.

Post Processing

This row allows us to tell the application what to do after exporting the images. I usually leave it at Show in Explorer. This ensures that the export folder where the images are stored opens up for me to view my job after exporting.

Having gone through the process of exporting images for the web using the Adobe Lightroom desktop application, we can go ahead and save these settings as a preset so we use it subsequently when the need arises. To do that, we’ll go to the left column and click the Add button below. This brings up a dialog box to enable you to save the name of the preset and under your preferred folder. When you’re done with that, you click Create and it’s saved.

The cool thing about this is that you can apply it to a huge number of images at once as it executes this command during export.

  • Adobe Photoshop

This is pretty straight forward also. To prepare our files for web use, we go to the file tab at the top left corner of the application , when we click it, we go to the Export>Save for Web (legacy) option or just use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S; the export dialog box pops up and here we can control parameters like the Image type, Quality, Color space, Image size and Metadata info to be included. After putting in our desired parameters, we can now save.

In Photoshop this is easily done on a single image. Batch processing files in Photoshop isn’t as straightforward as it is in Lightroom but we’ll be covering that in detail in a future editorial.

That being said, I hope we’ve been able to learn something new from this Editorial. Have you been doing this? what other means have you been using?

Kindly share your thoughts in the comments section below.