The ability to open multiple pictures in Photoshop Layers as Smart Objects is a brand-new feature in the Lightroom Classic 12.3 version released in April 2023. This is Important because it gives us a lot more freedom to alter composite images without ever losing access to the original Lightroom adjustments. I’ll walk you through the process while highlighting some helpful elements and potential hazards. You might want to save this page to your favourites since I’ll describe my workflow, which I believe is the greatest method for combining Lightroom and Photoshop. Check out the little video, which explains everything in depth and demonstrates how to choose which Photoshop versions to utilise with Lightroom.

Create the first modifications with Lightroom.

Select a number of files from Lightroom. We shall only employ two photos in this case. If you would like, you can select more.

Right Click and choose Edit in> Open As Smart Object Layers In Photoshop.

Photoshop will launch and you will see a single document and each photo is opened as a Smart Object in a layer.

You know its a Smart Object because of the icon on the layer.

These  have the advantage of containing all the Lightroom Adjustments inside the raw file which is contained in the Smart Object.

Double Click the Smart Object Thumbnail to open it in Camera Raw.

Camera Raw will launch with the image from your layer showing.

This image that opened is the Original RAW file from Lightroom. If you look at the adjustments, all the Lightroom adjustments are visible. All the sliders, masks and adjustments are preserved and can be changed in Camera Raw.

Even the crop settings are preserved. Here we will change the crop and even rotate the image, to show the flexibility

Click OK to apply.

Camera Raw closes and the Photoshop document updates to show the changes.

Lets hide the background on the boat. You will probably make different adjustments, I want you to observe the Lightroom and Photoshop Integration, this is the purpose of this tutorial.

Change the sliders on “Current Layer”. Drag the shadows to the right to hide the dark background pixels. Hold down alt/option and drag on the triangle to split it. How to use Blend IF to hide a Background in Photoshop


When you have finished making edits in Photoshop, choose Save. Or press Ctrl/Cmd+S

It’s advisable to edit this new image in Photoshop and Camera Raw if you wish to make any additional adjustments.

The file opened as a Smart Object the first time you opened it. It became a Layered file with the Smart Objects within when you saved it.

I hope you found this tutorial useful.

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