Lightroom/Photoshop: Round trip LR/PS/LR clips highlights

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  • Updated 8 months ago
  • (Edited)
I took a B/W image from LR into PS to sort out a problem using content aware fill. The fill worked fine. However, on return to LR I noticed the brightest part of my Sky (no where near the fill) had flat-lined, i.e. no texture,. I assumed my original was at fault, so looked carefully at the LR original and dragged the exposure down, it was fully textured and not clipped, brightest part was 99.6. I checked external editing preferences, no matter what I selected, Tiff, PSD, ProPhoto etc, all 16-bit, same problem every time. On checking the returned image the highlights were still 99.6, but there was no texture!Finally, I dropped the image exposure 1 stop and the round trip worked.Anyone else seen this?LR Classic 7.1, CR 10.1, PS 19.0 High Sierra
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Adrian Beasley

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  • confused

Posted 8 months ago

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Alan Harper

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I'm not 100% sure I understand you.

You have an image (TIFF?) that you export(?) from Lightroom with development adjustments, then open in Photoshop. Or do you choose "Edit In Photoshop... Edit Original" from LR?

Then you save changes in Photoshop?, or leave it as it is?, and then import the image back into LR, or are you looking at the same image as before, or perhaps the exported image is imported into LR when it was exported?

I ask all this, because what you are seeing in PS is (I believe) the image, plain, simple. But what you are seeing in LR is the image, plus any development settings changes you may have made in LR. And I don't understand the role of PS in your recipe above -- are you changing the image in PS, or only looking at it?

And, are you sure that some development settings are not being applied when you import into LR?
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Adrian Beasley

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I'm using "Edit in" from LR, fixing a part of the image, then quitting PS and selecting the save option which brings a TIFF back to LR.

The returned image has no LR adjustments, its a plain TIFF returned from PS.
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Alan Harper

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Well, I'm confused about what might be happening. Just to be clear, when you say "Edit In" you mean "Edit In .. Edit Original"? And have you confirmed that the sky looks the same in Photoshop before the edit and after the save? 

So, I can only think of two explanations, both unlikely

1) You are saving as JPEG within TIFF, and that the resave is resampling the JPEG and getting rid of details in the highlights.

2) You have some Lightroom adjustments on the photo, and the changed pixels in one part of the photo are causing "action at a distance" to change the displayed pixels (in LR) at a different part of the photo. Just to be clear -- if you have made some adjustments in LR, then edit the photo in PS, the adjustments are still applied, to the new image, when you see it in LR. (If you "Edit In... Edit with LR Adjustments", then the round-trip could apply the adjustments twice, but I'm sure you aren't doing that).

If you want others to look at it, I'd suggest making a small sample from the photo, and in Photoshop doing a Save As (new name, in the same folder), and then in LR I think you will have to synchronize the folder to bring in the edited file. Then check out whether the (I know, subtle) difference is still evident in LR, and go back to PS to see if it the pixels look the same in the two files. Then post the files so we can see them.

If you are really seeing the same pixels (the sky) in two photos looking the same in PS, but different in LR with the same settings, that would be very disturbing, and I think others would want to check it out.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.

PS--One other thought, though I don't see how it could apply -- many of us are finding that the newest version of LR and PS don't always communicate well. I make edits in PS to a TIFF and then when I return to LR, it doesn't recognize the changes. I often have to poke at it for a while (read metadata, write metadata) before the image changes in LR to the latest. Others have reported this too.