Skip to main content

Edits in Photoshop

Lesson 5 from: Integrating Photoshop and Lightroom

Ben Willmore

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

5. Edits in Photoshop

Next Lesson: Using Smart Objects

Lesson Info

Edits in Photoshop

Now, what's best done in Photoshop? What would I not do in Lightroom? Well, I would not do anything that is too time-consuming, difficult or impossible. Any time you hit into one of those. And most of the time, that has to do with complex re-touching. It has to do with doing things like filling the empty part of a panorama, cause when you stitch your panorama, you don't get a rectangle. Multi-image compositing, complex masking, all those kinds of things, I'm gonna be doing in Photoshop, 'cause Lightroom, just is not good at it. So let's look at a few of 'em. First, let's do a panorama, here I have a series of images. I'll click on the first, I'll hold shift and get the last. And, we're gonna start stitching them. While we're stitching them, 'cause that can take a little bit of time, if you have any questions, you're welcome to pop 'em in. But I'm just gonna choose Photo, Photo Merge, Panorama. When is Photoshop preferred to stitch a pano? Do you do your camera corrections in Lightroo...

m first, so? I do my panorama stitching and my HDR merging in Lightroom, and the reason why I do it, is the end result is still in essence a RAW file, which means, remember, when I said you should get your shadow and highlight detail under control, and your white balance before you head to Photoshop? Well, you don't have to get those things in control if you stitch your panoramas and merge your HDR's in Lightroom. Because it still has the qualities of a RAW file. And therefore, those things could be done afterwards. They don't have to be done before. If, on the other hand, I'm gonna do those stitching of panoramas or merging of HDR images in Photoshop, I wanna make sure I've already done those things. Because they're not gonna give you as high quality a result, so anyway, that hopefully gives you an answer. [Woman With Question] It does thank you. So here we're stitching a panorama, and you have a few choices up here, you can just switch between 'em, see which one looks best, but I wanna concentrate on this area called Auto Crop and Boundary Warp. When you look at this image, do you see how close it's cropped, up on the top? I don't like that. The reason why it's cropped that close, is I didn't shoot it like that, it's because this check box called Auto Crop's turned on. If I turn if off, do you see how there's more information up there? It was that to align these images, it needed to distort the pictures to make 'em match, and then Auto Crop tries to create the largest rectangle of continuous image, out of the end result. And because parts of this go down quite a bit, it ended up pushing it in quite a bit there. Now, there is a choice here, called Boundary Warp, and if I bring that up, it'll distort the picture mainly near the edge, until, if you bring it all the way up, until it fills it into a rectangle. Instead of cropping, it's bending the edges of the picture, to make it fill in. So, do you see this hill here, that used to have a curvature like this? Watch the curve afterwards, and see how it's different? So, you could do that, but if I didn't like that. Then, this is a time when I'm gonna head to Photoshop. So, lets' just hit Merge. I actually have one that's already done here, but it's cropped. But this little progress bar will go by, when that's done, I might head to Photoshop. And, while we're waiting for that to be done, let me talk about a few things I don't do in Lightroom. I hold off on, if I'm gonna send my image to Photoshop. One of those is cropping. If I crop my image before it gets opened in Photoshop, how undoable is it? Because, what was sent to Photoshop is a cropped version of the picture, and whatever's outside of that cropping rectangle, simply is not in the file. Does that make sense? But if I hold off on cropping, until I've already sent it to Photoshop, the image got back to Lightroom, then I crop it. Then how permanent is that cropping? Isn't it just written down as text? Couldn't it be wiped away at any time? Therefore, when I make this horizontal crop that I love, and a magazine comes, and says "We want it for our cover, our cover, it's vertical." Well, if I cropped it before it went to Photoshop, all I got is that horizontal, and I'm gonna have to re-do whatever I did in Photoshop, by going back to the original RAW file, uncropping it, open it back in Photoshop, figure out whatever it was I did, and re-go through that process. But if, before I opened it in Photoshop, I didn't crop it, and I cropped it after it came back from Photoshop, then I can change the crop and in time, 'cause all it is is text attached to the picture. I'm gonna open this image, quick. Command E, Question? When you're in Lightroom, I'm just curious, especially going between Lightroom and Photoshop, do you make virtual copies? Mm-hm. And then have the ability to go back, you know, back into Photoshop, have it the way it is, and then you know, also what about Snapshots? How often do you use Snapshots as part of your workflow? I use, first off I use Snapshots any time I get my image to a point I like, but I still feel like experimenting, and I don't know if what I'm about to do is gonna improve it or not. I take a Snapshot, so I can get back to the point I'm at. Or, I'm about to teach, and when I teach I mess with pictures, but those pictures were done in the first place, and I want to make sure when I'm done teaching, I always get back to the way it was supposed to look, and so I create a Snapshot. When it comes to virtual copies, I do that when I need more than one version of the picture, so, if I need aa square crop, horizontal crop, a black and white those are all virtual copies. Or if I create something for a specific use, and I might want to tweak the original separately, virtual copies can be used for that. So anyway, here is a panorama, stitched in Lightroom. I didn't wanna crop it so it got so close to the top, so let's fill the empty part. Now, here it goes. To fill the empty part, I need to select the empty part. There are many ways to do that, but I wanna do it with precision, and no guesswork. To do so, I move my mouse on top of the thumbnail image for the layer, so my mouse is sitting right on top of that little guy there. I end up holding down the command key, control in Windows. And I click, when you command click, on special things, you load them as selections, and in this case, it, oh, I don't remember what I, I must have double clicked just now, but, when you command click, it selects whatever's in that layer. Where, it just looks at where it's empty, and says let's grab everything that's not empty. I want the opposite of that, so I'll go to the Select menu, and choose Inverse. So, therefore I get the opposite, instead of having everything that had info, I have all the empty parts. I want that selection to actually overlap the original image so I'll go to the Select menu, choose Modify, and choose Expand, and one or two pixels is enough. Where, now that selection actually overlaps the picture. Because the edge of the picture was probably anti-aliased, meaning it had a sLightly soft edge. And, by doing that we just got through that soft edge. Finally, I go to the Edit menu, and choose Fill. Default settings, which means this is set to Content Aware. When it's done, close it, save it, you're fine. But, you should inspect it, as well. Inspect those areas, you might find some duplicates, like here, I can see this dark thing is a duplicate of that dark thing. So I'd have a little bit of re-touch, there. I might find some duplicates over here. A little manual re-touch, but most of the work was done for me. Close that, sure go ahead and save it. Return to Lightroom. Now, sometimes I wanna create a multilayered image. Here's an example. I was out at a place at night, I had one flash with me. You know, speed light, the kind you put on the hot shoe of your camera? And I had little colored gels. Put my camera on a tripod, walked to the left of this Air Stream trailer, put the little warm gel on it, and hit the little button on the flash, that manually fires it, that's what I did. Pop. Then, I moved to the right side, I put a different colored gel on it, pop. And I just did 30 second exposures with this, so I could run over to whatever spot I needed, pop it, because the shutter would be open, went inside, pointed it straight up, while I was ducking down, did another one here, for the bottom, with the red gel, and that's a different scene (chuckles). So now, I want to combine those together. And I can't do that in Lightroom. So I click on one image, I hold shift, and I get the first one. Photo, Edit In, and I don't choose this choice. 'Cause that would open this as separate files, one for each image. Instead I choose a choice called Open as Layers in Photoshop and Open as Layers in Photoshop means we get a single Photoshop file, where we have one layer for each image. So, if I had ten images, I'll have ten layers. If I had five images I'll have five layers, all in the same file, see them fit in there? That was Load, Images in Photoshop Layers or something like that. And now, I think it's done, it's got four of 'em. I want to combine those together. Well, I'm gonna select all these layers, in my Layers panel. You can either do that manually, or under the Select menu, there's a choice in here somewhere, called All Layers. And that just highlights all the layers over there. Then, to combine them together, I'm gonna change this. That's the Blending Mode, that controls how the one layer interacts with what's below it. And I'm gonna set it to Lighten. When I do, it combined them all together. That means let this photograph only brighten what's under it any place where this photograph is darker than what's underneath, just don't show it. And it does the same thing with this, only show where this is brighter than that. And that's what Lighten mode did. So, now I've combined those layers together, I can modify this more, maybe I don't like the red that's hitting here. So, I figure out where it is, turn this layer off, it's not that one, although there I might not like the light coming out the bottom, you see that? So what do I do? I add a Layer Mask, that's what this is. I grab my paintbrush tool, and I just come here and paint with black. Black will hide things, when you have a Layer Mask. Then I go to this one, see is there anything I don't like? No, I like that. Anything I don't like? No, I like that. Anything I don't like? Yeah, the red on the trailer. So, I click on the layer, I add a Layer Mask, with this thing, and paint with black. Okay, I got my image. Now, I close it, save it, and when I go to Lightroom once it's done, I should see it here. Now, if I don't see it here, most of the time, it is there, and it's just that your sort order is set to Date Created or something, and that Photoshop file was created today, but those images were shot back in 2008, so they're not in the same sorting order. You might need to scroll, all the way to the bottom. Or all the way to the top to see them. Or it just might take it a moment, but it's right there. It's already selected and everything. And some people would stack all those images, and that would be perfectly fine. What I would do, is take those other images, and put 'em in a subfolder called Support Images. Personal choice on how you like to manage your files. But there, we composited an image. What did I do? I ended up selecting the images, it's Photo, Edit In, Open as Layers in Photoshop, right? Same thing if I want to grab a sky from one picture and replace it with another, you know, that kinda thing.

Ratings and Reviews


This was a great course. It was very informative and Khara Plicanic did a fantastic job teaching this course. It brought light to and organized the essential Photoshop tools and techniques. Some of the tips are real game changers for me, such as to start learning the shortcut keys have made Photoshop much more fun for me. Fantastic course.

Ryan Redmond

This was very useful. I have been a photoshop user for 20 years but I have just recently gotten into photography and Lightroom is new to me. I knew there was some overlap in features but I wasn't sure how to manage workflow between the two programs. This short course helped to clear up some of those differences and understand and appreciate more the non-destructive image adjusting nature of Lightroom vs the more hardcore creative nature of Photoshop and going between them.

Joe Cosentino

Another great class from Ben, he has one of the most smooth flowing teaching styles I have seen. He always makes it easy to understand how PS and LR work, Thank you

Student Work