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Which Format to Save Multiple RAW Image in to Retain RAW info?

Participant ,
Jun 18, 2024 Jun 18, 2024

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I have 8 photos (DNG format) that I have opened up in Photoshop, via Camera Raw.

I would like to do my final editing in Lightroom Classic.

Which file format do I save the final image in to keep all the RAW information.  

All the photos came in as DNG files, but I don't see that option in the save menu.  

 

Thanks for your help!

 

 

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Jun 18, 2024 Jun 18, 2024

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quote

I have 8 photos (DNG format) that I have opened up in Photoshop, via Camera Raw.

I would like to do my final editing in Lightroom Classic.

Which file format do I save the final image in to keep all the RAW information.  

All the photos came in as DNG files, but I don't see that option in the save menu.  

 

Thanks for your help!

 

 


By @LosFelizGirl

 

That workflow doesn't make sense.

 

Open the DNG files in Lr and 'edit' there, no need for ACR 'edits' if you simply open them into Photoshop and don't make any actual pixel-based edits in Photoshop. Photoshop is for edits beyond the capabilities of Lr or ACR.

 

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Participant ,
Jun 20, 2024 Jun 20, 2024

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Hi thanks for you r reply. The end result is a panoramic photo (made up of the 8 DNG images), it all needs to be manually merged together in photoshop, plus a few other moves I can't do in Lightroom.  After I import all the DNG images to one canvas, merge them together to my liking, and save the image which format should I use to retain all the info...ya know so when I import it into Lightroom I have all the latitude of editing a RAW/DNG image, PSD, Tiff, JPEG, etc?

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Community Expert ,
Jun 20, 2024 Jun 20, 2024

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Unlike Camera Raw and Lightroom, Photoshop is not a parametric editor; it only edits by directly editing and resaving pixels in a non-raw format. So, if there is even just one little edit that requires directly altering the pixels in Photoshop, then keeping the entire document in a camera raw format is off the table, it is not possible.

 

There is one way that might work: Instead of converting the raw/DNG images into a Photoshop document, see if it works to instead import the files (using File > Place Embedded) as raw/DNG Smart Object layers into a Photoshop document. Then make any Photoshop edits on other layers; for example, if you needed to use the Clone Stamp tool, set it to Sample All Layers and paint the edit on another layer over the Smart Object layer. The raw/DNG files stay that way and are not converted becuase they were imported as Smart Objects, and if you want to edit one further using raw controls, double-click it…it will open in Adobe Camera Raw.

 

What you would have is a document saved in Photoshop format that contains a mix of raw images preserved as Smart Object layers, and edits you added on Photoshop layers. Note that there is no way to take the combined raw + Photoshop edits and save those back out as a camera raw file.

 

That is because raw image data is like flour. You can bake flour into any dish you want, but doing any kind of baking at all will never let you store the result as just flour. Baking with flour in even the slightest way means it can no longer be raw flour, it’s impossible.

 

(Advanced) Using the Place Embedded command imports copies not connected to the originals. If you wanted to use less storage space (by not creating copies) and have any Camera Raw edits affect all linked uses of those raw files, you could instead use File > Place Linked to import them into a Photoshop document as linked, not embedded, raw Smart Objects. If this sounds like a more advanced and complicated workflow, it is, so you might not need it. I use this workflow because I like to be able to communicate raw edits two ways between raw files cataloged by Lightroom Classic and also used as linked Smart Objects in Photoshop. But this is a complicated way to work with a lot of strange details, and takes some practice.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 20, 2024 Jun 20, 2024

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With a panorama, you probably wouldn't want to individually edit any of the original DNG files because it would throw off the color/exposure of just part of the finished image. Merge and save to TIFF or PSD, which are lossless and can be opened as needed for further work.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 20, 2024 Jun 20, 2024

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Hi thanks for you r reply. The end result is a panoramic photo (made up of the 8 DNG images)

 

You didn't mention that in your OP.

 

 

quote

After I import all the DNG images to one canvas, merge them together to my liking, and save the image which format should I use to retain all the info...ya know so when I import it into Lightroom I have all the latitude of editing a RAW/DNG image, PSD, Tiff, JPEG, etc?


By @LosFelizGirl

 

 

Once you convert the raw sensor data to a rendered file to open in Photoshop, you no longer have the same editing latitude of the raw sensor data. As long as you set the initial exposure and white balance in the raw processor, you should have sufficient data for pixel editing in Photoshop.

 

It would depend on how you are merging/creating the panorama as to whether you can use smart objects containing raw data or not.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 20, 2024 Jun 20, 2024

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You can merge raw files to panorama in Lightroom Classic. The result is a demosaiced DNG, but it's still linear so you retain the editing headroom and extended dynamic range of the original raw files.

 

Once open in Photoshop, you can't go back.

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