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Thread: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

  1. #1
    jad's Avatar
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    File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Now that Adobe has come out with Creative Cloud as the only option to use PS in the future, I am starting to wonder if I should start saving my new files as unflatten TIFF and not as PSD files. It is a new concern seeing a PSD file is strictly a formatted to work on Adobe products. I currently use CS5 and it is doubtful I will subscribe to new C.C. What are your thoughts?
    http://johndoddato.blogspot.com/

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    I tend to save all of my files as originals; both RAW and jpegs. Will only save .psd format if I think I might do some more work on them. Then there are the final output files, and these I store as jpgs or sometimes png as these have seen all the editing that they are going to get. The only time I use TIFF format is when I output from a third party (usually DxO) RAW converter and import them into PS that way.

    I'm not quite sure why you want to save TIFF as a final product, or for that matter why you are saving PSD.

  3. #3

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    I also keep the original Raw files, John. At least those which I think might be good enough to use again some time in the future.

    At one time I stored my edited files as Tiff but have recently changed to Psd because of the space saving with that format.

    I don't think there will ever be a problem with using Psd in the future as it has developed into one of the 'universal' formats which can be accessed by other software; although any processing such as layers etc will be lost.

    I would be more concerned about saving any of the lesser used software in just the 'native format'.

    In the foreseeable future, I can't see myself getting into the Adobe Cloud scenario. If the worst fears ever happened I would return to Serif Photo Plus.

  4. #4
    jad's Avatar
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I tend to save all of my files as originals; both RAW and jpegs. Will only save .psd format if I think I might do some more work on them. Then there are the final output files, and these I store as jpgs or sometimes png as these have seen all the editing that they are going to get. The only time I use TIFF format is when I output from a third party (usually DxO) RAW converter and import them into PS that way.

    I'm not quite sure why you want to save TIFF as a final product, or for that matter why you are saving PSD.
    I have always used Adobe PS and saved my unflatten PSD files so I can work on them again at any point in the future. When I print I convert them to a TIFF file, sized and sharpened for printing. I usually convert my original Canon CR2 files to a DNG file when I download from my camera. With Adobe's switch to a monthly subscription plan, I need to save my images to a file type that I can access 10 or 20 years from now and still edit. I would assume that a unflatten TIFF file will let me do that. I don't plan of paying a monthly fee to Adobe for the rest of my life so, saving files to PSD going forward would be a mistake for me.

  5. #5
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Hi,

    I ALWAYS save everything in RAW. RAW is what goes onto my archival DVDs as soon as I get the RAW images onto my hard drive. And, the memory stick from my camera does not get reformatted until the RAW images are on the DVD and the checksums are identical. (And, BTW, the camera's memory stick ONLY gets formatted in the camera!)

    Then, while I'm working with things during the evening after taking the images, I generally convert everything into TIFF so that people who are around can see them without having to wait for the conversion from RAW while they're looking at all the images. For any image that I put up on the internet, I make a .PNG with whatever edits I would apply to make the image as identical as I can to what I saw in the field, usually I do the work on the same evening as I capture the RAW image, unless I'm intending to do some postprocessing like the rock rose I put up earlier this week. Typically the edits are cropping and, occasionally, rotating slightly to flatten the horizon. Once in a long while and usually when I mis-set the color temperature in the camera I'll fiddle a little with the colors.

    In general, I don't use PS or Elements, so the issue of PSDs isn't in my life. However, all the image handling software I do use can take PSDs as input or produce them as outputs. And, BTW, I think it was Kodak that invented the PSD in the first place. Certainly, their hierarchy of image resolutions where all five images are .PSD files suggests that.

    virginia

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    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    This is a problem that is concerning me at the moment too.

    I have so far been using layered TIFFs to store images in a form that I can go back and re-edit at any stage.

    This is not because I am indecisive as some wag on another forum suggested and it is not just because I wish to improve my output as my skills increase.

    Quite frequently I provide lectures on post processing to photographic enthusiasts and the ability to switch layers or masks on and off makes my talks much simpler to produce and present.

    For example, I am currently producing a new talk on "Layers" and one image I was working on yesterday uses just five layers but provides 45 working examples for explaining how blending modes can be used.

    Five layers is actually a very simple image in my back catalogue. Some images, particularly if they include text layers for explanation, can easily contain 30 - 40 layers and often take hours to produce.

    The idea of having to flatten such files in all their possible permutations is a massive headache for me at the moment.

    I had, perhaps foolishly, believed that layered TIFFs were a slightly better archival format than PSD but I have recently discovered that Adobe's method of writing a layered TIFF embeds a PSD within it's structure to preserve it's edit-ability within Photoshop. Many editing program's can open a TIFF written by Photoshop but can only read the flattened end result.

    It would appear that although not preserving all the functionallity, PSD is slightly more widely supported than Photoshop written TIFFs at this stage.

    However, like you, I am currently looking for a better alternative.

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Whatever the format, all I can say is "back up your back ups"!

    I've just had an external hard drive rendered dead in the water by a slightly exuberant 1 year old!

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    Wayland's Avatar
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    I learned that lesson in 2007.

    I was using a mirrored raid system thinking that would be secure but the raid card went down and corrupted both drives....

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Whatever the format, all I can say is "back up your back ups"!
    I totally agree...

    I was at a Photoshop seminar in which the presenter recommended saving our files in at least three different formats and three diferent media types.

    He recommended saving RAW images, and final JPEG images but, he also recommended saving your Master Files in either TIFF or PSD. He recommended using a computer hard drive and also CD or DVD copies of your files. In lieu of saving your images on your computer's hard drive, he recommended using a pair of hard drives. This was before the popularity of "Cloud".

    I basically do this but, I also save my images on www.smugmug.com. I like that site because it is easy to use and it is aso easy to link images to various websites and forums...

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Hi, Richard and DubaiPhil -

    First, ditto on the multiple save locations. I should have mentioned the processing and backups after I get home. I use the on-the-road DVDs to make further backups to three locations - my home desktop computer which has a 2TB drive that contains RAID mirroring, an external 2TB drive (also with mirroring), and another set of DVDs which are kept "off-site". When I was working, I kept my duplicate slides in my office which was NEVER on the ground floor! Too many hurricanes coming near Gainesville when I worked at UF! When I went digital, I also started keeping a complete set of archival CDs or archival DVDs in my office(s).

    And, Phil, I didn't know there was enough water there to do such damage!

    Have a great weekend, if you've not gotten to Monday yet!

    virginia

  11. #11
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayland View Post
    I learned that lesson in 2007.

    I was using a mirrored raid system thinking that would be secure but the raid card went down and corrupted both drives....
    Ouch!

    Reliability though redundancy . .

    In a previous life doing Controls and Instrumentation Engineering I did many calculations involving reliability, risk assessment and mitigation, etc. Yours was a bit like two engines driving a propeller and the prop shaft broke.
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 20th May 2013 at 06:25 AM.

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Really two separate questions here, or maybe 3. One is duplicative backups in more than one location. I think that should be a given, but it does not answer the OP's question, which is whether to continue to use an Adobe format. Saving raw files (which of course I do) doesn't answer it either, since those don't have the edits in the psd file. When I do layered edits in photoshop, I save the layered PSD files.

    I'm a bit torn, frankly, because I don't like the Adobe subscription model. On the other hand, there are other software packages that can read layered pdf files, at least for now.

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    jad's Avatar
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    It is certain that all of our files are going to be obsolete with changes in software and equipment over time. Just consider all the changes we have experienced so far with computing. It won't be like the days of film where you have the negative and can make a new print at any point in the future. It will be our responsibility to keep our digital images backed up to current device and file format in use. It will always be a moving target and many images will be lost over time to outdate storage equipment, and that includes the cloud technology we are being push towards. We will be like a dog chasing its tail. http://johndoddato.blogspot.com/

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Quote Originally Posted by jad View Post
    It won't be like the days of film where you have the negative and can make a new print at any point in the future.
    I wish that were true, but my personal experience is that even properly stored negatives and slides deteriorate over time, so I have all kinds of old material that may or may not be usable.

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    A further comment. Back up strategies are useless unless you can periodically test that they are recoverable. I have too many years experience of commercial "disaster recovery" exercises which almost always found flaws in procedures, including some unexpected ones - like when the van carrying the back up copies from the secure location to the disaster recovery site was rear-ended on the motorway...... Nor do I favour fancy incremental back up strategies - they are a devil to test till you need them.

    On a different point, and maybe this says more about me, if I were to lose all my digital images then I would be very, very sad. But I don't rely on them to make a living, I don't expect anyone else to care about them when I'm gone, and on the cosmic scale of things worse could surely happen. So in practice I have my sooc images on mirrored internal disks, and my Lightroom database and catalogue on an ssd, with copies of both on an external hard disk. Yes, I know it's not rock solid, but we aren't subject to hurricanes or tornadoes in Cheshire, so for me it is good enough

    P.S. On the original question, I keep my RAW images in .CR2, and my edits in Lightroom. I expect to have sufficient notice, if that seems to be unwise, to be able to do something about it.
    Last edited by davidedric; 20th May 2013 at 09:23 AM.

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Back up strategies are useless unless you can periodically test that they are recoverable. I have too many years experience of commercial "disaster recovery" exercises which almost always found flaws in procedures, including some unexpected ones - like when the van carrying the back up copies from the secure location to the disaster recovery site was rear-ended on the motorway...... Nor do I favour fancy incremental back up strategies - they are a devil to test till you need them.
    My solution is two backups. I back up my photos to an external drive in my house, as well as to Crashplan. The latter costs a bit (I think I paid $50/year), and it takes weeks when you first start it if you have a lot of material, but after that, you can simply ignore it and let it chug along in the background. I doubt I will ever need it, but it is like fire insurance in that respect: on the off chance I end up needing it, I will be very happy to have it.

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I wish that were true, but my personal experience is that even properly stored negatives and slides deteriorate over time, so I have all kinds of old material that may or may not be usable.
    Too true, it doesn't matter if its 35mm, medium format or silver on glass, they all degrade...

    ...which is quite fortunate if you derive a significant part of your photography income from digitising and restoring said film and glass

  18. #18
    jad's Avatar
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Quote Originally Posted by Ady View Post
    Too true, it doesn't matter if its 35mm, medium format or silver on glass, they all degrade...

    ...which is quite fortunate if you derive a significant part of your photography income from digitising and restoring said film and glass
    It may be true that in a 100 years or so a negative will show signs of degrading, (much less if stored improperly). All of my large format negatives have been archival processed and stored in acid free materials. Even if they do degrade you still have the image to work with. In digital if the image becomes obsolete due to changing technology you have nothing to work with. I relate this topic to the work of the early photographers such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. How many of their images would be around today if they wee created digitally? It is doubtful my images will ever have any great importance but certainly the family photos will always be of value to me.

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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    One thing I forgot to mention was that I save a current copy of the software I use for converting RAW images on each of the archival disks. It's less that 0.5MB so it doesn't take up a lot of space and insures that I have something that will read the remainder of the disk.

    virginia

  20. #20
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    Re: File saving in the future, PSD or TIFF

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    One thing I forgot to mention was that I save a current copy of the software I use for converting RAW images on each of the archival disks. It's less that 0.5MB so it doesn't take up a lot of space and insures that I have something that will read the remainder of the disk.

    virginia
    A very good idea!

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