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File Type, Compression and Editing

To Edit or Not To Edit

Taking Digital Photographs for Print

JPEG is a compressed image format. Saving an image as a JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) reduces the size of the file, which is convenient in terms of storage space. However, JPEG compression is not lossless, the image is degraded slightly, (or quite a bit, with lower quality / higher compression settings) if you open a JPEG, make changes, and resave it as a JPEG, the image is degraded again. Most digital cameras use the JPEG file type, but many also can save as a TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) and raw setting. A TIFF with no compression or LZW (Lempel–Ziv–Welch) compression open with no loss of image quality. TIFF files can also be saved with ZIP and JPEG compression, but support for these compression formats is not as well supported. And the JPEG compression is as bad in a tiff files as in JPEG format by it’s self. If your camera saves files in raw format, this may be the best way to save them. The data is taken from the CCD (Charge-coupled device) sensors and stored without any interpretation. Adobe Photoshop has raw file import drivers that give you considerable control over exposure, color balance, chromatic aberration, vignetting and many other controls that are not available in standard editing. To learn more about various image file formats of raster and vector graphics, click here.

Take photos at the highest possible resolution and then do not open your images to “save as” or manipulate them in any way. Simply copy them to your computer (or CD) and then forward the files to Arrow Printing. Because of the wide variation of color and brightness of each monitor if you want to edit your photos you should invest in a monitor calibrator and take great care that your room lighting is appropriate and consistent and you keep your monitor calibrated. Also note that a monitor calibrated to edit color photos for print in CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black) will produce images in RGB (Red Green Blue) for web sites that may appear washed out on most uncalibrated monitors that the majority of people use.

An Arrow professional can make photo edits you request and color–correct them making sure your photo is calibrated for the device of output. If editing is required on a JPEG image and you choose to do the editing, make sure to save the revised file as a TIF, PSD or EPS to avoid file compression which compromises the quality of your photo. Let us know if you want to provide CCD-RAW files.

Every camera is different. Please read your owner’s manual to learn about and take advantage of your camera’s features.