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What does one do with PSD files?

KingBee Plus
12 529 2 Scotland
6 Oct 2012 9:56AM
When, after some tinkering in PSE 10, I end up with what I think is the perfect image (for me, at any rate) I save the Raw file with all changes as a .psd file. These, however, as we all know, take up an inordinate amount of room, both on hard disk and on my back-up DVDs. I know one can never say 'never', but if I'm certain that I won't make any further changes to a file would I be better off just saving it as a JPEG? God knows you can't print from a .psd file - well, I can't, at any rate, because the file size is too large - and so I have to convert to JPEG anyway.

I suppose it's just the nagging doubt that if I do dump the .psd I'll have lost the ability to make 'lossless' changes, and any changes I make subsequently to the JPEG will be 'lossy'.

The easy answer, of course, is to save the .psd files to DVD and only keep the JPEG versions on my hard drive, but I'm just wondering what others do?

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arhb Plus
10 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:15AM
I always convert to tiff from raw files, do all photoshop work as tiff or psd, then flatten and save/archive as tiff.
I only convert to jpg for print and/or web.
Gaucho 16 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:20AM
Yes, tiff is the way to go.
Nick_w Plus
11 4.3k 99 England
6 Oct 2012 10:24AM

Quote:Yes, tiff is the way to go.

Not always it isn't, PSDs are more stable with very large files, with multi layers (over 2 gb).
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:30AM
If it's a photograph and I've finished any cloning and touching up I'll save it as a full quality jpeg but I'll also always retain the original cr2 raw file.

If it's a complex Photoshop document that I think I might make changes to later then I'll save it as a .psd file.

If I process raw files in DPP, cropping, lens correction, cloning, saturation, levels etc etc all I save is the raw file. DPP stores my changes as metadata in that file and it's all non-destructive.
rhol2 7 369 1 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:35AM
As above, I too convert from RAW then save as TIFFS.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:38AM

Quote:any changes I make subsequently to the JPEG will be 'lossy'.

In theory yes. In reality if you were to open a high quality JPEG, do a spot of cloning etc then resave (at high quality) you'd have trouble seeing any difference (apart from your deliberate changes). There's thousands of journalists shooting jpeg and their editors back at base do this all the time.

If you did this dozens of times each lossy re-compression would lose more original data and you'd start to see jpeg artefacts. If you only did it a couple of times it's not generally a problem.

Source material has a large bearing on this. Large areas of single colour - and the borders of such areas, (eg sky), can show up compression artefacts sooner than complex areas (eg foliage).
seahawk 11 1.2k United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:47AM
If I had worked on the shot in PS and added layers etc then I would make a JPEG for printing and keep the PSD as a master file and archive to DVD. I often have second thoughts about a picture and go back and look at it again, the PSD allows you to do that.

If I have only processed in Lightroom I archive the RAW files only, because LR is non-destuctive.

In short I agree with ChrisL (now there's a first!!)
Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:55AM
I always back up my 'original files' to external hard disk drives so I can always start again if I want to change my mind at a later date. My completed files are left in .jpeg and are also backed up, again to external hard disk drives.

That way you don't need to worry about file protocols or even discuss which is best .Tiff, .Jpeg ot .Psd.
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 11:07AM

Quote:but I'm just wondering what others do?

Keep the RAW and psd files. A 2tb usb3 disk costs 82.

Or use Lightroom so that the RAW files are never touched and you can export and manipulate from the one file.
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
6 Oct 2012 11:12AM
I save everything as high quality Jpegs. on here and a copy as Tiffs. on my external drives, although these get replaced with the Jpegs. once I'm happy that I'm finished with them.
I don't keep any RAW or Psd. files as I don't really have a use for them. Likewise Lightroom catalogues.
As Chris says, moderate editing of the Jpegs. doesn't do any harm that I can see and they take up so much less room.
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 11:26AM
I save my files in RAW and PSD on and external hard drive. For what hard drives cost, its worth it.
KingBee Plus
12 529 2 Scotland
6 Oct 2012 2:55PM
That's all been most helpful. Many thanks to everyone who contributed.
11 Oct 2012 4:19PM
so, if you save a file as a TIFF, does that mean you can re - open it up in ACR ?

User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
11 Oct 2012 8:09PM
Tiffs will preserve layers and offer lossless compression. They don't retain the same information that's present in an original raw file though. Some keep raws and tiffs. Raws are original from camera, tiffs have edits applied. They then generate a jpeg when needed for web etc from the tiff. Raw to fall back on if something happened to the tiff.

I never save tiff ever. It's bloated. Keep my raws with DPP adjustments stored but all original data still intact if I want to return it to the way it came out of the camera. Use .psd for work in progress files. Don't see the point of having a tiff too.

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