Raw Capture Not Opening in Camera Raw


Today’s Question: When I send a Raw file from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop via Edit In, it opens in the main Photoshop window rather than Camera Raw. What am I doing wrong?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You’re not doing anything wrong, as this is exactly the expected behavior. In this workflow the Develop module in Lightroom Classic is taking the place of Camera Raw in Photoshop.

More Detail: When you open a raw capture in Photoshop it needs to be processed into a “normal” image format rather than a raw capture format so it can be edited directly in Photoshop. When opening a raw capture with Photoshop that means the image is opened in Camera Raw as an intermediate step. When sending a raw capture from Lightroom Classic the use of Camera Raw is not necessary, because the raw processing is handled by the Develop module.

In effect, you can think of Camera Raw in Photoshop and the Develop module in Lightroom Classic as being the exact same thing. The interface is a little different, and sometimes they get slightly out of sync based on upgrade timing from Adobe, but they are effectively the same.

When you send a raw capture from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop it is processed by the Develop module as though you were opening via Camera Raw. That results in an image with the initial processing completed being opened in Photoshop. If you simply choose File > Save from the menu in Photoshop the image will be saved as a Photoshop PSD or TIFF file based on the settings established on the External Editing tab of the Preferences dialog in Lightroom Classic.

Note that while you are working with the image in Photoshop it is possible to access the Camera Raw adjustments by choosing Filter > Camera Raw from the menu. However, in general I would suggest just saving those additional adjustments for when you get back to Lightroom Classic after editing the image in Photoshop and saving the result. You can then use the Develop module to further refine the image as needed.