Today’s Question: After editing an image in Lightroom I usually send it to Photoshop for final editing. The problem is that Photoshop edited image is not in the catalog in Lightroom. Is there a way to return an edited image in Photoshop back to Lightroom?
Tim’s Quick Answer: If you are using the “Edit In” feature correctly, you’ll end up with a new version of the source image in Lightroom, right alongside the original. Note that you may need to disable any filters that could cause the new derivative image to be hidden from view.
More Detail: To send a photo from Lightroom to Photoshop, you’ll first want to select the image you want to work with. Then go to the menu and choose Photo > Edit In > Edit In Adobe Photoshop CC.
If the image you’ve selected is a raw capture, a copy of the image will automatically be opened in Photoshop. If another file type (such as a JPEG capture) was selected, you’ll be prompted to choose how you want to process the image. At this point of the workflow, you’ll typically want to choose the “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments” in the dialog that appears. Then click the Edit button to send the photo to Photoshop.
Within Photoshop you can then perform any work on the photo you’d like. When you’re finished with your adjustments, save the updated version of the file by choosing File > Save from the menu. It is important not to use the “Save As” command here, because doing so would create yet another copy of the image beyond the copy that Lightroom will be managing. Then choose File > Close from the menu to close the image.
At this point you can return to Lightroom and the source image will be right alongside the source image, at least in theory.
The derivative image created from the selected source image will be saved in the same folder as the source image. The base filename will also be the same by default, with the addition of “-Edit” to that base filename. The filename extension will be based on whether you have chosen the TIFF versus PSD file format option in Preferences. Note that you can also configure the file naming for these derivative images on the External Editing tab of the Preferences dialog.
If you aren’t able to find the new derivative image after using the above workflow, there is most likely an issue related to sorting or filtering your photos. While still viewing the original source image you had sent to Photoshop, turn off all filters for your images (using the “None” option on the Library Filter Bar). Then, in the Grid view display, choose “Filename” from the Sort popup on the toolbar below the image preview area.
Note that if you want to re-send the derivative image to Photoshop, you will want to select the “Edit Original” option in the dialog that appears when you choose the “Edit In” command. This will ensure that you are able to access of the layer you may have created when you first created the derivative image for your work in Photoshop.