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History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

file format to use

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  #1  
Old 01-13-2003, 09:09 AM
ghfisher ghfisher is offline
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Question file format to use

I am just getting started in copying old family pictures. I will be making a master set (a digital orginal unretouched master copy) to suppliment a Family Tree Maker file that my daughter is working on.

I am most familiar with Photoshop and started saving them in .psd format. I then wondered what the best file format would be for archival purposes. Is there a comon file format that archivists use that is not likely to change over the years?

Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2003, 10:36 AM
ghfisher ghfisher is offline
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Makes sense. I was leaning toward TIF or Raw.
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Old 01-13-2003, 03:11 PM
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Lampy Lampy is offline
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Tif is the way I'd go...I think anyway... specifically because the file doesn't get compressed and information isn't lost in the compression as it does in jpeg. I prefer saving in Tiff as I work (unless I've got layers then I use psd) repetitive saves in jpeg format significantly reduces the quality of the image.

Just my two cents.

--Heather

Last edited by Lampy; 01-13-2003 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 01-13-2003, 04:17 PM
ghfisher ghfisher is offline
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Two votes for TIF (which I have decided to use) any votes for RAW???
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Old 01-13-2003, 06:49 PM
ghfisher ghfisher is offline
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Thanks to all 'ancient' travelers.

Tif seems the way to go.

Many thanks to all.
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Old 01-17-2003, 09:05 AM
cinderella cinderella is offline
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Interesting question. Now that I have a CD burner I can save larger files. I had read that JPEG files diminish on each save but what about PSD files???? What is a PSD format? Last year I restored a bunch of old family photos and archived them on CD in PSD format, even after flattening.
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Old 01-17-2003, 09:20 AM
ghfisher ghfisher is offline
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Cinderella,
I am not sure what you mean with your question, "What is a PSD format?" If you mean, "Is it lossless?" - I don't know. I have heard that repetitive saves in any format can cause slight degredation. This is the reason cited to not keep 'saving' a modified 'original' - beside the possibility to ruin the original.

My concern with using any of the Photoshop formats is that the format might not be recognized by any computer in 30 years and I don't want to have to re-format to a new file format and re-copy the files every 5 years or so.
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Old 01-17-2003, 09:33 AM
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Lampy Lampy is offline
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PSD

PSD is Photoshop Document. Saving in this format will save your layers and some other settings for Photoshop. For pieces that are in progress or something that I'll go back to and change at a later date (like 6months or a year) it's the file format I save in. An example would be my business postcard. A year later I might bring it up and delete one of the text layers so I can change an address or phone number etc or keep the layout the same and swap out the sample images.

I guess the real problem would come if you saved in this format and wanted to retrieve the image 10-15 years later. We can't predict what computers will be like or what formats will be readable in the future so all we can do is make informed choices. Or keep our computers around forever in functioning condition with archaic programs running. (Anyone still have a Commodore 64 I can use!)

My criteria are simple and are the following:

1) No loss of image from compression (I don't care about file size)
2) A popular, non-proprietery, file format recognized by many programs (thus most likely to exist in the long run)

PSD fits #1 but not #2. Tif meets both. Jpeg meets #2 but not #1 and so on.

Just out of curiousity does a PSD file that was created on a really early edition of photoshop still come up in the latest version and vice versa?

That's just my thoughts!


--Heather
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Old 01-17-2003, 03:57 PM
cinderella cinderella is offline
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Thanks for the input. Guess one of my projects for this year will be to convert all those photos I saved as PSD to TIFF files.
Does anyone else save their photos on their computer as well as on CD's? I have room on my computer so far but perhaps I should have courage that the photos on CD will be as good as the ones on my computer. JR
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Old 01-17-2003, 05:21 PM
cinderella cinderella is offline
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And that brings up another question. How to keep things organized on CD's. Does one just keep adding to a CD till it is full?
And then how do you know what is on it???? Sigh REcord keeping is a challenge.
Food for thought. I had mostly been scanning images into computer. I just took a look and they are in PSD format. Should I have scanned in as a TIFF file or RAW file for better results?
Going to look and see if my digital camera gives me options when I download to computer. So far all my photos from digital camera have been JPEGS. Typically they are 27.5 x 20.6 inches and 72 pixels of resolution . When I resize them to 5x7 I get 283 pixels of resolution.
So much to learn. Thanks for all the info.
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