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Photography Tip #5- File Format- What you should be shooting, sharing and printing…

Hey there fellow lover of photography! Today I would like to talk about those file extensions and what file format you should be shooting in. If you’ve been familiarizing yourself with your camera and reading your manual, you may have run across these. Basically you have RAW, TIF and JPEG, that you need to worry about. RAW is exactly how it sounds. RAW- there is no compression, it has not been altered in any way, it has not been made smaller. It is a very large file. This is how you should be shooting. Read your manual as to how to set this in your camera. When the files (or your photos) are shot in JPEG or TIF they are compressed, making the file smaller. Pixels are being compromised. When you shoot in RAW these files are very large and cannot be read by your computer alone. You will need to use the software that came with your camera to view them. TIF and JPEG files are Adobe so you can save, view , manipulate these in any Adobe software. You should also be able to bring your RAW files into your Adobe software in order to manipulate them. If you are using Photoshop, I believe there is a plug-in needed for this.
Once you get your RAW images uploaded into your computer from your camera (either by tethering your camera strait to your computer, or using a card reader) you can import your photos into your photo editing software of choice. For example, I start with Lightroom and then if there is anything in Photoshop I want to use I will then bring the photo into there.
Then, once your done all you want to do to your photo you need to save it. I suggest saving 3. You should always keep your RAW image, one as a TIF and one as a JPEG. You always want your original in case anything happens to the others you will always have it. JPEG has the most compression and loss of image quality. It is the smallest file. If you put a jpeg into your photo editing software and edit it and save it, you lose more quality. So the more you open and save a jpeg the more quality you lose and the image ends up looking really bad. That’s where TIF comes in. You can manipulate your image and save it out as much as you like without losing image quality, while keeping it a smaller file than RAW. So why use JPEG at all? These are good because the quality is good enough and the file is small enough to use for internet and email sharing. TIF is great for printing.

I hope this wasn’t too confusing 🙂

The photo I selected has nothing to do with the topic. I just like it. 🙂

As always, thanks for reading, and comments and questions are welcome!!

Lynette

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