Today’s Question: I use Photoshop, not Lightroom. I’ve offered to print some images for a friend who uses Lightroom Classic. She’s sending me TIFs. If I modify the images with Photoshop and/or Topaz, how can she bring them back into Lightroom? Will they have to be different files than the originals?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The modified images can be imported into Lightroom Classic, such as by simply synchronizing the folder they’ve been added to. The files would need to have unique filenames within the folder they’ll be saved in.
More Detail: When you export copies of photos from Lightroom Classic such as so those images can be printed outside of Lightroom Classic, you may later want to add the resulting images back to the catalog. For example, if the files have been updated specifically for printing you may want to retain those derivative images in the Lightroom Classic catalog so they can easily be used for creating additional prints at a later date.
There are several ways you could import the derivative images into the Lightroom Classic catalog. In my view the simplest approach would be to move the files to the same folder as the original files the derivative images were created from and then synchronize the folder within Lightroom Classic.
In the Folders list on the left panel in the Library module in Lightroom Classic you can right-click on any folder and choose “Synchronize Folder” from the popup menu. This will bring up a dialog that enables you to choose whether you want to add new photos to the catalog, remove missing photos from the catalog, or check for metadata updates.
In this case you would want to turn on the “Import new photos” checkbox, which will have a number in parenthesis to the right indicating how many photos are in the folder but not currently in the catalog. You can turn off the checkboxes for “Remove missing photos from catalog” and “Scan for metadata updates”. Then click the Synchronize button and the new images will be added to the catalog.