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Elements of Surprise RESULT: EOS #176


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Brian Townsend
iPhone 8 Plus
My 365
My MobiTog 365
It is quite striking how much detail has been lost in this series of edits. Go back and look at the starting images and see how they decline through the iterations. Even after just 3 or 4 steps the losses are already quite visible. Of course this is all just for fun but it serves to illustrate the very real losses in image quality that occur if you edit photos more than once, for instance going from one app to another.

You should always save your camera originals, even after you have made the final edited versions. Every time you open a jpeg image, make a little change, and then re-save it more detail disappears. Your image working format should be an uncompressed format like tiff if you plan to continue working on an image over time.

The best plan if you use jpegs is, the very first time you open a new photo from the camera save it as a tiff and never go back to jpeg after that except for the reduced resolution version you make for posting on MobiTog. You don’t need to save the low resolution version after posting so you might as well discard it and save only your final full resolution version. Either that or always go back to the camera original and start from scratch whenever you decide to re-edit the photo.

You can see from this that you could divide all your photo apps into two piles. Those that retain all you image data because they can save in uncompressed tiff format, allowing you to continue developing the image without losses. And those that continue to chip away your image quality every time to make a little change, because they only use jpeg. The winners and the losers.

As time goes on you may learn new image editing skills, or develop a new style, and want to go back and redo some favourites. But if you only have jpegs that have already been edited and re-saved more than once you no longer have a viable starting point - unless you saved your camera originals.