Saving Photos as PSD or TIFF

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Saving Photos as PSD or TIFF

So, I was reading a discussion thread on the Photoshop forum and wanted to get some feedback from other photographers. What format do you use to save your finished photos/layouts? I've looked up the benefits of storing files as TIFF vs. PSD and it looks like it basically comes down to personal preference. Uncompressed TIFFs save much faster than PSDs. Though if you're going to save large files with many layers, it looks like PSDs win out for file space. Any thoughts??

I always do .PSD, but I don't know anything about .TIFF, so I don't know if my opinion counts for much.

I always save as PSD in case further editing is needed/wanted later

For photos, I usually shoot in raw, edit in Lightroom and Photoshop, then export as jpgs.

For scrapbook layouts, I work with layers in Photoshop, save as .psd, then flatten and also save as .jpg. I use the .jpg version for uploading to a bookmaking company to produce my scrapbook. When I'm satisfied I don't need the layered .psd file anymore, I delete it to save space.

Note about .tiff's: a lot of consumer use - photo printing and book printing companies will not want .tiff. Most want .jpg's in rgb color format. However, .tiff's don't lose file info.

Note about .jpg's: .jpg's, if opened and saved over and over again - will lose image quality over time. When done the first few times, it may not be noticeable but when done a lot, you will see your image start to get fuzzy and pixelated.

Oh, and I always think of .tiff as being a flattened image, even though I know it can be layered. That is probably another reason I save scrapbook layouts as .psd. I always think of .psd files as layered. Just my own little quirky thinking. smiley

I understand the concept about photos possibly not being saved as tiff although I save them this way once editing for many years and I haven't seemed to have any loss of information at least not visible to the naked eye.

As far as layouts, or templates being saved in psd vs tiff... I ALWAYS save and even convert templates I've downloaded because of the space it saves at least 1/2 if not a 1/3 the size most times with no visible loss of information. Even with my created layouts I save this way so if I want to go back and change something one last time before printing (like misspelled words in journaling, especially).

Anyway here's what I do: (I learned this technique from Jen Caputo several years ago, way before she quit designing) She taught that the optimal way to save PSD templates was in TIFF format with "LZW compression" turned on which is a lossless compression algorithm that will result in a file about 1/2 the size of the PSD file without a drop of quality loss, but like I said in my own layered layouts, I noticed at times as psd were around 180mb and would only be about 58mb saved this way. Another plus is that saving them as tiffs allows you to see the thumbnails within the new miscrosoft folder views.

Jen's step by step tutorial with photos included from April of 2009 is still available right here if you're interested.

Happy ScrapGirl has a post with a tutorial here on converting them by the folder as a batch conversion. making it even faster to save space. smiley

I flatten and save as JPEG when I'm done with the layout. If I'm not sure if I'll want to go back and change something, i'll save as PSD

One thing I like about tiff files is that you can see a preview of the file in the thumbnail which is helpful when scrolling thru folders.


@ Brooke: Thanks, that's very interesting to know about the .jpgs.

I never thought .tiffs did anything. XD

SO from my experience in the industry that i work in jpg are the least preferable to save files in because they cause you to lose a lot of important data and quality. TIFF files are good however when you are working with transparencies they don't work too well. I always make sure that I leave my original image on the media to which it was originally saves such as a scan disk card, then when I upload that file i make a folder with the unedited file and any working copies i always save in PSD format for final printing I use PNG or a very high quality JPG . In all actuality as long as you have a high resolution file to start with (I mean like 300 dpi or higher) then really you can save it in any format.

I still save all of my layered stuff as psd files.