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Open Lightroom Photos as Smart Objects in Photoshop

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Martin Evening wanted to merge a couple of images, while still being able to edit their Lightroom Develop settings from Photoshop. He found the solution in the Smart Objects feature as he explains here.
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Opening Lightroom Photos as Smart Objects in Photoshop

We start here with two photos in Lightroom 2’s Library module (see Figure 1). I wanted to merge them into a single composite image, yet retain the ability to edit the Lightroom Develop settings in Photoshop.

  1. I began by selecting the photograph of the building and chose Photo > Edit in Photoshop > Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. This created a Smart Object layer.
  2. I expanded the canvas size and applied a layer mask to hide the sky area, as shown in Figure 2. (Notice the Smart Object icon in the lower-right corner of the Smart Object's layer image.) I also was able to double-click the layer to edit the Develop settings via Camera Raw.
  3. I opened the second image as a Smart Object in Photoshop and dragged this object over to the first, to add it as a new layer below the Smart Object layer of the building (see Figure 3). Again, I was able to open the Smart Object layer and revise the Develop settings via Camera Raw.

    Figure 4 shows the finished composite, where the two layers are preserved in their raw state and remain fully editable via Camera Raw.

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