Sending a JPEG to Photoshop


Today’s Question: I understand the workflow for sending a raw capture to Photoshop from Lightroom Classic. But when I want to edit a JPEG capture, I must choose an option when the image is initially sent to Photoshop. For that do I want to edit the original or make a copy?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Generally speaking, when sending a JPEG (or other non-raw capture) to Photoshop from Lightroom Classic I recommend using the “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments” option in the dialog that appears. If you then send the TIFF or PSD file that results back to Photoshop again, you’ll generally want to use the “Edit Original” option.

More Detail: You can send a photo from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop for editing by selecting Photo > Edit In > Edit in Adobe Photoshop from the menu. When you send a raw capture from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop using this command, a derivative image will be created from the raw capture with the adjustments you’ve already applied included in that derivative image. The file will be a TIFF or PSD file depending on the options you’ve set for External Editing in Preferences.

For non-raw image formats if you send the image to Photoshop from Lightroom Classic you’ll be prompted to choose how you want that image processed as part of this process. If you choose “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments” a new derivative image will be created as a TIFF or PSD (depending on your Preferences setting) with all adjustments from Lightroom Classic included as part of that new image.

If you choose “Edit a Copy” a duplicate image will be created of the same file format as the original, but with the Lightroom Classic adjustments only applied within Lightroom Classic and therefore not visible while you’re working with that duplicate image in Photoshop. The Lightroom Classic adjustments will still be applied when you return to Lightroom Classic with that image after working in Photoshop.

If you choose the “Edit Original” option the source image you have selected will be opened in Photoshop, but the Lightroom Classic adjustments won’t be visible while you’re working in Photoshop. Those adjustments will appear again when you’re back in Lightroom Classic. This is the option I recommend using for derivative images you had previously created by sending a photo to Photoshop, so that you can continue working with any layers or other special features you may have created using Photoshop.

In all cases, when you are finished working with the image in Photoshop you should only use the “Save” command, not “Save As”. If you use Save As and use a different file name or folder location, there is a good chance Lightroom Classic will lose track of the new image and it won’t be included in your catalog.