In This Chapter
Understanding the role of the external editor
Configuring external editor defaults
Developing an external editor workflow
Using advanced editing features in Photoshop CS3
Lightroom's Develop module contains an array of powerful editing tools and can accomplish many tasks that were previously performed in an image editor, such as Photoshop. However, at times, you have to move beyond Lightroom to achieve certain results (such as creating image collages, performing selection based editing, using Photoshop plugins, and so on). The important distinction to make between editing in Lightroom and editing in an external editor is that Lightroom never alters the original pixels in your source photos. Instead, Lightroom records the adjustments you make inside the catalog file as a set of instructions to be applied to copies of the original photos during output. By writing your changes as a set of instructions, you up Lightroom's speed when processing large numbers of files and you enable its unlimited undo functionality (because you can always step back through that set of instructions).
On the other hand, most image editors are pixel editors at heart, which is a good thing! Pixel-level editing is extremely powerful, and Photoshop's the best tool for the job. When you want to combine the pixels in one image with the pixels in another image, create ...