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TIFF or JPEG

I lost my edits

The photo in this post were taken in 2006, same day as the photos from the blog post I did in January (It’s a Train Smash).

I actually won a photo editing competition in a photographic magazine called PIX (not sure if it still exists). It was an awesome magazine, one of my two favourite magazines of all time.

I won some Adobe software (can’t remember what it was called) with the photo. Excellent feeling to have won something. BUT that’s not what this blog post is about.

TrianTracks
On the Right Track

I started out using Adobe Photoshop to edit my photos and later Lightroom. I photograph only in RAW format and can then do non-destructive edits on my photographs.

The problem is I don’t use Adobe software anymore. I didn’t like being locked in with a contract for 12 months paying a subscription without the option to cancel, so I went looking for another editing software program where I could buy the license and not pay a subscription.

I found ACDSEE, bought it and used if for a while, but I didn’t really like it. Then I discovered ON1. Bought it and I LOVE it! It’s like Photoshop and Lightroom mixed into one and it’s 100% what I need, with extras.

Here’s the BIG problem I discovered.

Doing non-destructive edits on the RAW files creates a sidecar file with all the edits written in, so that the program can show you what you did, and you can undo and edit without loosing image quality.

Problem is with all the moving between editing software, I lost the sidecar files and therefore the edits of all my RAW photographs. That’s why I stared to go through all my photos again, edit the nice ones (again) and delete the not so nice ones.

Luckily I’m not working with clients and their photographs anymore, so all the photos, edited and unedited can actually be delete. It’s just the nice ones that I might want to print an sell that I have to edit… Again.

Future Proof

So here is my dilemma. I edit my photographs that I print and sell. Now What!?

What do I do to prevent me from loosing my edits again.

Convert it!

I decided to convert/export/save as, my edited RAW photographs so that all the edits are ‘Locked in’ and I won’t loose the edits again.

2 Options:

Jpeg or Tiff

JPEG

I export all my files to JPEG when I send them to my printers or post on my blog, but the problem is saving JPEG compresses the image and every time you save a JPEG it looses a bit of quality. I also have to resize the image for the different print sizes I offer. So that poor original JPEG is suffering a lot, I can’t even imagine the quality loss over time. So that’s not really an option to archive my photos for future re-prints.

TIFF

I found some old photographs that were actually saved as TIFF already, 2 of them from the It’s a Train Smash post, the original edit that I have already printed and that I can print again! YAY.

What is TIFF? Well it’s an uncompressed file, without any loss of image quality, with the file size being VERY large compared to a JPEG.

As an example:

The photo above, saved as a JPEG is 127KB. The same photo saved as TIFF is 5.73MB.

Now when I save a photograph to a TIFF it equals to +-130MB per file. It’s quite a huge file, but because all the edits are saved in the 1 file, you don’t need sidecar files to read the edits and at least now I still have my edits even if I loose the sidecar files of the original RAW files.

The other reason that I needed something permanent to save my photographs as is that I use textures on some edits and if I should loose the texture file then it won’t show on the RAW edit and I will sit again where I’m sitting now, having to edit again.

Now if I’m happy with my edit, I save it as a TIFF and from there I can export to JPEG to do prints from and from that 1 file I can do future prints without worry that I will loose my edits or image quality and can be sure that one print will look like the next one.

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