Lightroom Export to Photoshop - Preferences

Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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In Lightroom Classic there is a preference section covering exporting images to Photoshop for editing.  It includes bit depth, color space and so forth.  This catagory doesn't appear in Lightroom preferences.  Does anyone know what happens when exporting to Photoshop ?  Specifically, how are bit depth and color space handled ?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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What stops you from trying yourself? You seem to have Lightroom installed, otherwise you wouldn't know what the preferences do or don't have for this option. Export an image to Photoshop and have a look at the bit depth and the color space...

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Hi Johan,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

Well of course I can do that and when I do, not surprisingly, the image has the characteristics that are default for CR/Photoshop.  But what happened before PS ?  Did it arrive as say 8-bit sRGB and then PS changed it but only while it's in PS ?  What happens when PS saves it back to LR ?  Does LR change it back to sRGB and 8-bit ?  LR doesn't provide image characteristics information as far as I can see.  Definitely not in its simple "info" window.  My camera takes 14-bit Adobe RGB images.  Are they being saved as something else in LR and then in Adobe Cloud ?

 

There must be a reason LR Classic has those options and LR doesn't.  Since Adobe doesn't bother to provide a proper manual for their products and the "Help" option is absolutely useless I don't know how else to understand this other than to hope to reach an expert on this forum.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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The way that Lightroom Classic does this is that it does not convert the image, but instructs Photoshop to open the raw file with the Lightroom settings. These settings include the color space and bit depth. That means that the image is actually converted by Camera Raw, not by Lightroom, but the Camera Raw dialog is suppressed and the ACR preferences are overruled. The only exception to this is when there is a version mismatch between Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw. In that case you get a dialog where you can choose: render the image in Lightroom, or open it anyway (in ACR).

 

I don't know if Lightroom desktop uses the same procedure, or if it renders the image itself and then sends it to Photoshop. You can try that out by changing the ACR preferences and then sending the raw image from Lightroom to Photoshop again. If you get the same image, then apparently it is Lightroom that decides this. If the image changes to the color space and bits depth you now have set in ACR, then ACR is used to render the image and only the Lightroom develop settings are used, but preferences settings like color space and bit depth are taken from ACR.

 

By the way: Your camera does not take 14 bits AdobeRGB images. It takes 14 bits raw images and raw does not have a color profile because it is not yet a color image. What you set in your camera (sRGB or AdobeRGB) only applies to in-camera jpegs and previews, it does not affect the raw files.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Hi John,

That was helpful - thanks very much for the response !  I suppose what's happening is in LR Classic, the user is given the option of overiding the CR settings and in LR they're just always used.  I've tried exporting the same image to PS with different CR settings and the image shows up in PS with whatever settings were selected.  I haven't set up LR Classic since the last update as Adobe decided to start me back at scratch so I haven't confimed what it's doing because I'm not bothering with it for now.

Do you know importing images from a camera into LR which are then sync'ed to the cloud are left completely unmodified ?  So that downloading from there into PS is exactly the same as importing them into PS directly ?

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Edit in Photoshop when called from Cloudy Lightroom opens as a 16-bit prophotoRGB tiff. You can't change that setting. It appears to not go through camera raw but render it using Lightroom itself and open the tiff file directly.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Thanks Jao, that is useful information. By the way, you can check if the image is rendered by Lightroom or by ACR in the following way. Send the image from Lightroom to Photoshop, then do not save it yet. Switch over to Lightroom. Do you see the TIFF image even though you did not save anything in Photoshop yet? Then it was rendered by Lightroom.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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My observation came from the filename that it comes into Photoshop with. It already has the .tif name. From Classic, you first see the raw file extension. Also when the tif file is in Photoshop opened from Lightroom Cloudy, you can right click on the title and do a reveal in Finder (on a Mac at least) and you will see an actual tif file already rendered that was opened for editing in Photoshop. 

 

That it doesn't get added immediately and only after daving from Photoshop I think is to prevent the image from getting uploaded to the cloud twice and not a sign that camera raw is used. These files get very big.

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Hi Jao and Johan,

Well I'm confused now.  As I mentioned in the reply I just posted I AM seeing images showing up in PS from LR with whatever settings I set in CR.  They're not always 16-bit ProphotoRGB.  In fact what got me concerned enough to post my question was they were showing up as 8-bit even though the camera shot them as 14-bit.  I switched the CR settings to 16-bit and now they all show up as 16-bit.

By the way Johan, of course. you're correct - the color space part doesn't apply to RAW images.  I shot both RAW and jpg at the same time so the option shows up there but of course, only for the jpg files.

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Johan - I just tried your suggestion and sent a .nef to PS from LR and did not save, it showed up with CR settings and the file type in LR was unchanged - still .nef.  So the theory that CR is in charge of the render seems correct.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Hmm, that is very strange, I can't reproduce what you're seeing. Edit in Photoshop always opens as 16-bit prophoto tiff, whatever I have set as defaults in camera raw.

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Weird... I wonder if I have some OTHER setting messed up somewhere.  I'll try to go through them later on this evening.  I assume you're using the latest versions of everything ?  Not that you'd think that would matter for something basic like this...  Do you happen to know if the as-shot image characteristics are preserved going through LR and on into the cloud ?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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I am using LR 4.0, Photoshop 22.0 (i.e. 2021) and camera raw 13.0.1. All the very latest, so no beta or old versions.

 

Lightroom cloud works conceptually the same as Lightroom Classic, it only stires the original files in the cloud. It does not touch the originals and stores a recipe for the development of the images in the cloud indeed. The desktop version on-demand downloads these originals when they are needed. For example to render a full resolution exported jpeg, or to render a tif from. So whether you open a file directly from Photoshop, or send it to Photoshop for editing from Lightroom, you are working from the same original data.

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Ok, thanks.  I'm thinking of using the cloud for primary image storage (along with some hardware backups) as long as the system doesn't alter the files in any way.  I don't see any way to get images into the cloud without going through LR so I want to be sure they don't get altered in the process.  I wish Adobe would add "upload to cloud" to Bridge.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2020 Oct 26, 2020

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I finally got a chance to try it myself, and I agree with Jao that the tiff must have been rendered by Lightroom. I can confirm that when the image comes into Photoshop, the file name already has a tiff extension. And when I change my ACR preferences to AdobeRGB and 8 bits, the image that comes in is still ProPhotoRGB and 16 bits.

 

That means this did not come from ACR, it came from Lightroom. Interestingly enough, Lighroom does not save the tiff to its catalog yet (before it's saved by Photoshop). That is what LrC does in case it needs to render the image because of a version mismatch.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
Oct 26, 2020 Oct 26, 2020

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Wow, that's just amazing.  I just tried the same thing again and I'm getting exactly the opposite results just like before.  A .nef file sent to PS from LR gets sRGB and 8-bits when I set CR to that, and ProPhotoRGB and 16-bits when I set CR to that.  And a tiff does not appear in LR.  So everything in my case is coming from CR.  How can we be getting totally different results ?

 

I guess it doesn't really matter since what I want IS ProPhotoRGB and 16-bits so I'm leaving CR set to that.  I'd just like to understand what's going on at this point.  Anyway, thanks Johan and Jao for your help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2020 Oct 26, 2020

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Very strange. What version of Lightroom are you on? The latest version of Lightroom Cloudy is 4.0. There were some recent changes in how this is done I believe so perhaps you are still on an older version.

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Explorer ,
Oct 26, 2020 Oct 26, 2020

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I think we're all using the latest version.  I updated everything just after the release at Adobe Max.  Are you on Windows or Mac ? And how do you send images to PS From LR ?  I'm on a Mac (10.15.7) and either use File>Edit in Photoshop,  or Shift-Cmd E.  Maybe there's some other way to do it that produces different results ...?  It's pretty weird but not unprecedented.

 

A couple years back my girlfriend and I were both unable to replicate a procedure from Julieanne Kost's photoshop course.  I sent her an email asking about it and she said she had no idea why it wouldn't work but then mentioned it to a developer colleague who was actually able to reproduce what we were seeing.  He could do it on one Mac computer but not another and also on a Windows computer though most didn't have the problem - all the same exact version.  He demonstrated it to the team who eventually fixed it so now it works for everybody.  Maybe there's something like that going on ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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I'm on a Mac running Catalina 10.15.7, just like you. I tried it on two different Macs, with the same outcome.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
Oct 27, 2020 Oct 27, 2020

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Well, I'm out of ideas.  I'm just not seeing the same thing at all.  And I can't see any settings the could explain what's going on either.  If Adobe had a competent support function I'd try them but based on lots of past experience I'd have more luck asking the tree in my back yard.  And of course they can't be bothered to provide a proper manual.

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