Lightroom mistakenly Double Processing Photoshop HDRs

In doing research for my article 32-bit HDR Myths and Methods, I came across a strange occurrence.  A 32-bit Floating point Tiff HDR file I processed in Photoshop CC (Not ACR), saved as a new 32-bit Tiff file and then  imported into Lightroom looked absolutely Horrid.

Here, I’ll show you. The Photoshop Image is on the Left (as viewed in Lightroom) Click for large view

Photoshop v Lightroom

Photoshop v Lightroom


Both images are from the same 32-bit tiff and both processed the same way, One in Lightroom, One in Photoshop CC (using The Camera RAW Filter as a smart Filter) Both images when processed looked the same in their respective Software.

But when I imported the Photoshop file into Lightr0om, the Photoshop image looked garish, over saturated, over everything.

At first I passed it off as just the difference between how Lightroom/ACR renders previews and how Photoshop does. The process is a little different and results in images looking slightly different depending on where you viewed it. But this was far more than that. It was unusable.

So, then I noticed on the Photoshop Image when viewed in the LR Develop Module that the develop settings were the same on this different file name as they were on the Lightroom edited file. How could this be? The LR edit does not carry over to Photoshop. (in 32-bit)

Then I figured out what was happening. When the Original 32-bit Tiff was made using HDRsoft Merge to 32-bit. I have Lightroom set to also write Develop data to a side car XMP File. That XMP file gets up dated in Real Time. So I edited the image in Lightroom, those changes were written to the XMP. I then outside of Lightroom directly opened the 32-bit Tiff in Photoshop. Photoshop since it is Pixel editing not Instructional editing, can not read or do anything with the XMP info so the image appears un-edited in Photoshop, which is fine, I want to edited them differently and save as a new file name when done.

I do the edits and then save the with a new name.

Now when I import that image into Lightroom. Lightroom now sees the new image AND a copy of the original XMP file which now has been updated with Edit info and it now applies that to The Photoshop file. Thus double processing the image.

Once I knew that, the fix was very easy. Simply take that image into the Develop Module and click “reset”.    Fixed

Quite odd

*Edit and follow-up 4/19/2014*

In testing today a slightly different method I was able to avoid the Double Processing problem. Instead of simply using the Open Dialog in Photoshop on the image, I instead just used the Edit In command in Lightroom and then “Edit Original” which would open the 32 Bit Tiff but without Lightroom Adjustments. But even with doing this method and not having double processing image. Upon re-importing the Photoshop image into Lightroom, there STILL is the problem of how differntly Lightroom/ACR Renders 32 Bit Images as how Photoshop does. The difference (which I believe to be Gamma related) is really pronounced… take a look

Photoshop Rendering

Photoshop Rendering

Lightroom Rendering

Lightroom Rendering



  1. Martin June 19, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    I was wondering why this has never happened to me, so I worked through your process to see the differences … the main one being that I never never never (well, most of the time never) open an image directly in PS – I always use LR to send images to PS so that anything I return gets properly added to the LR catalog. Ever since (about 5 years ago) I went through the pain, agony, and just plain grunt work of organizing all my images, copies of images, copies of copies, living on various internal and external hard drives and NAS devices across 2 desktops and 2 laptops into a single LR catalog, just to control what I had (and also find images that seemed to be forever lost), LR has become the center of my image universe. Thus, when I edit my 32-bit tiff in LR, then send it to PS for some pixel pushing, I always get the “Edit a copy with LR Changes, Edit a copy, Edit Original” dialog box, and then select the appropriate choice for what I want to edit. Hence, I seem to have avoided the issue you’re reporting here. I can see where the issue comes from, but I guess there are other work arounds that users can use. (BTW – the effort to consolidate my image library was well worth it – I no longer spend half my edit time trying to find the #$%^& image I want to work on.)

    • Peter June 19, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      Hi Martin, Thanks for the Comment and good to hear from you

      I agree that this workflow is NOT common at all but it was in trying to test 32-bit compatibility across platforms and I ran into two issues when trying to remain Completely in 32-bit

      In your workflow, which is a very usual one, when you edit in Lightroom and then Click Edit in Photoshop and you choose “Edit with Lightroom adjustments” a copy (“edit” version) is sent to Photoshop with the Bit Depth now reduced 16 Bit (or what ever your edit in is set to) you can’t send the 32 Bit file to Photoshop unless you say “Edit Original” Or “Edit Copy” So being that I wanted to remain in 32-bit. I had to use either edit in “Original” ore simply open the image directly from Photoshop.

      But coming back into Lightroom was a failure in either of two problems, Either it double processed the Tiff BUT even if it didn’t. The difference in how Lightroom/ACR Previews and how Photoshop Previews a 32-bit File. Made the Photoshop edited 32 bit un-usable in Lightroom

      With your workflow, this should never be a problem at all and for most people this is the noirmal and most useful workflow
      Thanks for the comment
      Be well

      • Martin June 19, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

        Thanks, Peter. I often wondered if I was actually getting the 32-bit version in PS using the “Edit with LR adjustments” or not … apparently the answer is “not”. Great to know. That now presents me with another opportunity to explore … namely taking the un-LR-adjusted image directly into PS and see what I can make of it (not making any changes in LR should avoid the double processing). I’m guessing that using ACR in CC as a smart filter would likely get me to the same place as anything I do in LR, and again should avoid the double processing issue. Thanks for the clarification and the research – most helpful.

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