I am using the latest (as of September 2012) versions of Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4, from the Creative Cloud.

I do product photography and in my workflow I shoot multi-focus pictures of the same product, I open the them in Photoshop, then Auto Align and Auto Blend (stack images). This process gives me super focused product shots. I am having issues with the workflow from now on: how can I save these files and use them in Lightroom?

1. There is no option in Photoshop to save as .DNG: am I missing something?
2. If I save the result as .RAW it will use Photoshop RAW format PRAW, and I cannot open it in Lightroom. 

What are the possible solutions for a smooth workflow?


The Photoshop Raw format is not a camera raw format like .NEF or .CR2. It is a special byte stream format containing only RGB pixel data. It cannot contain layer information, metadata, etc. It should not be used in place of .DNG (an actual camera RAW format based on TIFF), nor should .RAW files be used to load images into Lightroom.

For more information, see Adobe's documentation on Photoshop Raw.

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  • Thank you, so in this case do you suggest using .TIFF, to move the file from Photoshop to Lightroom? – AK4668 Sep 14 '12 at 3:01
  • Well, it depends on what your doing. If your working with an original RAW image from a camera, I would start in Lightroom, work it there initially, then move it to Photoshop for doing any work that Lightroom can't do. Lightroom is a camera RAW post processing tool...you won't get nearly the benefit out of it for processing TIFF images. If you are trying to move something else, not originally from a camera, from Photoshop into Lightroom, TIFF is the best option...but I wonder why you want to do such a thing when ACR is just as good as LR for TIFF editing. – jrista Sep 14 '12 at 3:03
  • I shoot 6 to 10 photos for each product, to just focus on different part of the product. then I need to merge them into one before the editing in Lightroom. – AK4668 Sep 14 '12 at 3:12
  • I would edit each one in Lightroom first, then export them to TIFF for final focus stacking. RAW file formats like CR2 and NEF were designed explicitly to produce the highest quality images, as every single adjustment you make is based on original native data. With TIFF, since you are now working with RGB triples, you don't have the same kind of freedom, and it doesn't take much in a single adjustment to introduce funky color casts, posterization, clipping and blocking, etc. Invert your process...improve each image first, then focus stack. – jrista Sep 14 '12 at 19:19

To move images from PS to Lightroom, save them as a .PSD or a .TIF file, both of which Lightroom can read. I prefer .PSD, as it seems to work best if I plan to go back to PS for edits. As was mentioned, you can start first in LR, do basic edits on the key images, select them all, then right click: Edit in Photoshop to then launch into Photoshop. The benefit of this workflow is that when you are done and save in Photoshop, LR will import the .PSD.

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  • But see this photo.stackexchange.com/a/12666/5032 with regard to the choice between TIF or PSD (in short: TIF is to be preferred). – Francesco Sep 15 '12 at 16:09
  • Yep true that. But when the objective is to move between Photoshop and LR, PSD is perfect. As a final archived format, indeed TIFF is a better choice. PSD preserves all the layer history and other bits Photoshop needs. Somewhat similar to the difference between DNG and LR native database: both store info on the edited image, but only LR database has all the metadata. – cmason Sep 16 '12 at 15:11

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