Richard_emerso 2008-03-18 19:44:56
I have just purchased Photoshop Elements 2 and Photoshop Album – what is the best way to get my photos from my camera to the PC in the best format.
Import into Album or Import into Elements (via Batch Processing?)and then later into Album.
Also what format should I be importing into – my last software seemed to import in JPEG but now Elements or Album does either TIFF or PSD by default? What should I use for best quality and simplicity?
Ray 2008-03-18 22:28:33
Album will only import what’s in your camera, it will not convert them at the download time. So, if
your camera shoots JPG, that’s what you’ll get. However, PSA2 now imports RAW files from certain
cameras. If yours is supported, that would be the best thing to do to do lossless pictures.
I haven’t tested Elements to import pictures from my camera, so I can’t tell.
Richard_emerso 2008-03-20 07:21:55
Actually I tried this but PSA converts the JPEG to TIFF – I guess the TWAIN driver is set up to do this – may be to create a lossless version rather than JPEG? In any event there seems no way to download just the JPEG from the camers without using a card reader or secondary conversion.
Nancy_s 2008-03-20 09:58:18
For about $20 you can get a card reader. They are fast and safe. Your camera doesn’t have to teeter on your desk either.
Beth_haney 2008-03-20 17:23:03
Richard, most of us do use a card reader for a number of reasons. Compatibility for downloading images is one of them, but probably the most important is that readers let you keep your camera separate from the computer. Even though problems severe enough to cause damage to the camera are rare, it only takes one time for that $20 card reader to look really cheap and easy to use. Also be aware that some software packages designed to download directly from a camera often have a setting to automatically delete all images from the card after the download. That’s not always a good thing!
And the fact those JPEGs are automatically converted to TIFFs is a good safety mechanism, too. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that JPEG is a very poor format for the purpose of editing images. It’s great for small e-mails and compact storage, but the file compression method that makes it so good for storage also costs a lot in terms of lost digital information. There’s a recent thread on this you might want to read if you’ve been doing much of your work in JPEG.
Jim_hess 2008-03-20 17:23:07
My images are downloaded from my camera as JPEG files. I don’t worry about converting them; I just leave them in the same condition as they were in when they were downloaded. I was listening to a Photoshop “expert” on an Internet radio program the other day. He says that as soon as you load an image to begin working on it the first thing you should do is create a duplicate layer. According to him, whenever you start making adjustments to your image you are removing pixels. So by creating a duplicate layer you still have the original on the bottom that you can revert back to. Then he recommended to do as much of your work as possible using adjustment layers. Doing so will allow you to make adjustments without taking anything away from your picture. Now, since you have a multi-layered image, it cannot be saved as a JPEG. So I routinely save that image that I have been working on as a Photoshop (PSD) image. It is my understanding that PSD files are lossless – or at least close enough that I haven’t encountered any problems from having used them. After I have finished all of the editing, I save the PSD, then I flatten the image and then save it again either as a new JPEG or TIF image. Personally, I have been very satisfied with the results.
Beth_haney 2008-03-20 17:23:17
Jim, I agree with all that you’ve said and use pretty much the same system, except if what you are saying is that you work on that original JPEG image straight from the camera without keeping a copy of the “virgin” file in some archive. I wasn’t clear on that part of your workflow.
Jim_hess 2008-03-20 17:23:27
I actually do not bother to create a separate copy first before I start editing. I haven’t found that step to be necessary. I open the original, downloaded JPEG and start working on it. But then I always SAVE AS and create the PSD file, which leaves the original JPEG intact. I suppose the only problem with that procedure is if one were to forget to save the modified image as a new, different file.
Chuck_snyder 2008-03-20 19:28:20
Jim, I agree with your approach. The original image, in whatever format,
should be saved intact. It doesn’t have to be converted to a lossless
format so long as it’s not edited and resaved with the original name.
Richard_emerso 2008-03-20 21:39:01
Thanks for all the help and advice
Barbara_brunda 2008-03-20 21:39:07
Jim, I see two problems with trying to keep your original as a layer of your edited photo.
First of all, it won’t be protected from any cropping you do and that’s permanent. There’s no way to get back the pixels you slice off if later you want a different crop for another use.
The other thing is that if your original is there while you are working and you have some kind of crash, you could lose it, too. Paranoid people like me want a back-up that’s not living on the main disk, just in case.
EDIT Oops, I realize the jpg would be unaffected by the crop, but not by a crash, so I’d still suggest keeping it safely elsewhere.
Jim_hess 2008-03-20 23:45:44
I can see that we both work under different philosophies, and I don’t think either one of us is completely correct in our thinking. As soon as I have created a new layer, or any other editing as far as that goes, I save the file as a PSD document. The original JPEG image was only accessed long enough to load it into memory. It now remains untouched on the hard drive. If a crash occurs before I save the document that has been changed, all I have lost are the edits that I have done. The original JPEG is still sitting, unaltered, on my hard drive. The only time that JPEG, the actual file, is going to get modified is if I save my work back to the hard drive with the same name as the original JPEG. So, personally, I’m comfortable with my methodology. However, if you feel more comfortable working the other way, there really isn’t anything wrong with that either. I think, based on some of your messages that I have read, that other then this one issue, our workflow is probably basically the same.
Pete_d 2008-03-21 02:49:40
Reflecting back on the jpg discussion a few months ago there were a few
lingering questions that can only be answered in the future. One was that
no one really knows what happens to jpg images after a long period of time,
even unaltered files. (25 years?) The other point as I recall is that it
was thought that since Tiff files were universal they may be in use years
from now or at least a better chance of being able to open them.
So if you work on pictures that your grandchildrens kids might want to see
it may be better to use Tiff providing you have the HD space.
Chuck_snyder 2008-03-21 05:00:22
Pete, some fascinating thoughts. I don’t think an image will deteriorate
based on file type (they’re all just 1’s and 0’s in different
configurations) but they surely will based on storage medium – hence the
caution expressed in the forum about using CD-RW or low-quality CD-R’s.
With respect to the JPEG format becoming obsolete, that’s a very real
possibility; it certainly makes you hope that programs like IrfanView (file
viewer utility with very broad range of accepted formats) continue to exist.
The thought of having to convert thousands of images from one format to
another and one storage medium to another is daunting to say the least!
Chuck_snyder 2008-03-21 05:00:24
p.s. My storage is a bit of a mixed bag (a kind description). I have RAW
images, with the good ones converted to TIFF. I have original JPEG’s where
I didn’t use RAW. Any image that has been edited is most likely to be in
TIFF, although some made their way into PSD because that was the default
that Elements proposed when doing a Save As. In a few cases where I’ve
edited a JPEG without using layers, I’ve saved back as a JPEG with a
modified name. I guess the only common denominator for me is that I’ve kept
all the camera originals ‘as-is’ (after my first few batches that I edited
to death without layers and saved back as JPEG’s over the originals – live and learn….)
Pete_d 2008-03-21 05:00:28
I don’t think they will deteriorate based on file type but whatever we use
25 and more years from now to open them (they may not even be called
computers) probably will not use what we now refer to as compression and the
file may not open properly because of that compression.
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination but the point is that
the Tiff has a greater chance of survival 🙂
Grant_dixon 2008-03-21 05:00:31
I suspect you are talking about media storage and universality of the jpg
program. Electro magnetic storage does have a “drift” problem and it is
only a few years. Anyone who has tried to archive on floppies has found out
that in a few years the data has “grown” errors. The magnetic message is
drifting. The same would probably be true of hard disks if they were left
sitting for a long time. On the other hand a CD is not magnetic so in
theory there should be no drift. The life expectancy of a CD is said to be
50 years and after that I am not sure what will happen. I am not even sure
the technology will last that long. In the last 50 years we have gone from
punch cards to punch tape, magnetic tape, 8″, 5 1/4, 3 1/2 floppies and
now CDs so who knows what the future may bring. There are precious few
punch card readers left and I suspect we may have problems finding CD
readers 50 years form now.
In the future it is true that the universality of jpg format may only be a
thing of the past. Even today they are developing great compression
algorithms based on fractals. As medium changes we may simple have update
to our compression methods as we transfer from CD to who knows what. If you
feel that CDs will still be the thing 50 years from now and Jpg may not
simply add a viewer to your CD. In the end I believe that to maintain a 50
year achievability target we will have to do some work, unlike grannies
prints that can be stored under the bed in a shoe box, although granny
seldom got archive quality prints from the local drug store.
Mombu 2008-03-21 05:00:35
Same problem here. Who is to say if Irfan View will run on the OS
in 25 years. It seems the best we can do is make new archival
copies as the media, software and hardware changes.
Have A Nice Day,
Chuck_snyder 2008-03-21 05:00:37
Pete, point well taken. I guess if we’re still around as these changes
begin to take place, we can migrate our images. The problem will be 25
years from now, when our grandchildren start rummaging through our stuff and
find the old CD’s and decide they want to see what Grandpa was up to in the
Chuck_snyder 2008-03-21 05:00:39
Grant: ‘Add a viewer to your CD’ sounds like a great suggestion; sort of
like a decoder ring! I think I’ll try adding a copy of IrfanView to each of
my CD’s. Thanks!
Grant_dixon 2008-03-21 05:00:49
Oh my … good point! I guess it is back to printing the images with
archival paper and ink then putting them in a shoe box and under the bed.
I guess granny was not so dumb after all.
Beth_haney 2008-03-21 07:35:49
Has anybody noticed this discussion repeats itself about every three or four months? 🙂
Chuck_snyder 2008-03-21 07:35:51
Beth, what was the question again??
Grant_dixon 2008-03-21 07:35:59
No, and that is one of the good things about getting old!
Has anybody noticed this discussion repeats itself about every three or four
Jim_hess 2008-03-21 07:36:02
Here is something for all you philosophers. When your computer is shut down, turned off, not running, does any of this work we are doing REALLY exist? 🙂
Leen_koper 2008-03-22 03:09:53
Jim, a kind of similar question: do you know where the light goes when its is getting dark?
Before it might take too much of your photoshop time I will supply the answer: it’s stored in the fridge, just open its door and you will see it again.
Robert_f_carru 2008-03-22 20:26:08
If a husband says something while alone in the woods (and his wife can’t hear him) is he still wrong?
Beth_haney 2008-03-22 20:26:14
Robert_f_carru 2008-03-22 22:38:00
Confirms my suspicions that Beth is one of the more astute contributors to this forum. (Have not figured out how to do smiles yet but consider it done.)
Paul_l_uk 2008-03-22 22:38:06
A colon : with a right bracket ) : + ) = 🙂
semi colon – 😉
Robert_f_carru 2008-03-23 00:59:15
Thanks for the tips. 🙂