Lightroom Adjustments Hidden in Photoshop


Today’s Question: Like many, I use Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. After I’ve sent a photo from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop and completed the edits, I use the Save command and Photoshop saves the file back to Lightroom Classic as a TIFF file, with all layers maintained. When I want to send the photo back into Photoshop for additional editing, none of the choices allow sending the file with all Lightroom adjustments while preserving the layers created in Photoshop. That may be all there is, but I would like to know if there’s a way to take the derivative image back into Photoshop with all layers and with Lightroom edits intact and visible?

Tim’s Quick Answer: No. If you have applied adjustments in Lightroom Classic to a TIFF or PSD image that includes layers, if you send that image to Photoshop the Lightroom adjustments will not be visible unless you flatten the image as part of this process. However, the Lightroom adjustments will still apply and be visible once you are back in Lightroom Classic after working on the image in Photoshop.

More Detail: When you send a raw capture from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop, the adjustments you’ve applied in Lightroom will of course be applied to the image, and visible while you’re working in Photoshop. You can then apply any adjustments you’d like in Photoshop, including adding adjustment layers, image layers, and making use of other features. When you save and close the image, the changes you applied in Photoshop will of course be visible for the new derivative image that is now included in your Lightroom Classic catalog.

However, if you want to send that layered image to Photoshop while retaining the layers in the file, you won’t be able to see the Lightroom adjustments while working in Photoshop. So, for example, let’s assume you send a color image to Photoshop and create layers as part of that editing. After you’re finished in Photoshop you convert the image to black and white in Lightroom Classic. If you then send the image back to Photoshop, if you want to keep the layers (by choosing the “Edit Original” option for example) the image will appear in color when you are working in Photoshop, but will return to being a black and white image when you get back to Lightroom Classic.

The only way you can have the Lightroom Classic adjustments applied to a TIFF or PSD image actually appear in Photoshop is if you choose the option to “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments” when sending the image from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop. However, that will also cause the image to be flattened, which is not something I generally recommend.

So, in short, if you’re sending a TIFF or PSD file back to Photoshop and want to retain the layers, any adjustments you applied to that TIFF or PSD file in Lightroom Classic will not be visible while you’re working in Photoshop.