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- Configuring the Photoshop interface
- Opening an existing image
- Basic RAW conversion
- Introduction to adjustment layers
- Reviewing adjustments
- Saving the master image
- Basic, advanced, and creative adjustments
Skill Level Beginner
It hopefully goes without saying that once you've taken the time to apply a series of adjustments in order to improve the appearance of a photo, that you want to save the image with all of those adjustments intact. When you're using adjustment layers and perhaps additional image layers in order to use a nondestructive workflow in optimizing your images, it's important that all of those layers be preserved. I'll go ahead and add, for example, a curves adjustment to this image. Maybe I'll brighten up those bright areas just a little bit, and perhaps tone down some of the shadows just a little bit.
I'll turn that adjustment off and on, and that looks to be a good improvement for the image. And let's just assume, for sake of argument, that this was the only adjustment I needed to apply to this image, I would probably spend considerable more time fine-tuning the various adjustments that I might add for this image. But I want to save this image, making sure that all layers that I have added are preserved. And that requires that we save the image either in the Photoshop PSD file format, or in the TIFF file format. I'll go ahead and choose File and then Save As.
That will bring up the Save As dialog where I can specify the file name for the image, the location where I want to save the image, as well as the file format. Quite honestly there's really not a lot of difference between using the Photoshop PSD file format and the TIFF file format, that happens to stand for tagged image file format by the way. In many cases you can achieve a smaller file size with the TIF file format if you use the LZW compression option when you save that TIF. However I tend to use the PSD file format, in large part because I'm in the habit of doing so.
There was a time not too long ago that Photoshop did not support the use of layers for TIFF files. So I would know just by looking at a list of files on my hard drive, that the Photoshop version was my master image, with all of my layers intact, and the TIFF version was a flattened copy of that image that I had created for some other purpose, such as sending it to a printer to be printed. And so I still use the Photoshop PSD format in most cases. However, you can certainly use either the Photoshop or TIFF file formats with no problems at all.
Both of those file formats enable you to save layers and all the other settings that you would otherwise use within Photoshop, while working on your image. I'll go ahead and leave the option here set to the Photoshop File format. Note that the Layers check box is turned on. I want to make sure that I am preserving layers. And I always want to embed an ICC Profile. This image happens to have been a JPG, rather than a raw capture. And so it's in the SRGB Color Space. But that's perfectly fine, in this case. Normally I would be working with Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB.
We also have an option as to whether we want to use a lower case versus upper case file name extension. I'm not the least bit concerned about that setting but it is there if you have a preference. So really it's quite simple. I just make sure that I'm using either the PSD or the TIFF file format. Even though I typically use the PSD file format, I'm going to switch this option to TIFF, because with the TIFF file format there are some additional options, and I want to show you those. So I'll switch to the TIFF file format. I'll go ahead and click the Save button now that I've specified the location where I want to save the image.
The file name for the image, which in this case is unchanged, the only thing that will change is the file name extension due to the file format. I've specified that file format, and I've checked my additional options down below. So, I'll go ahead and click Save now, and because I've chosen the TIFF file option, I get a TIFF options dialog. Here I can specify an image compression option. I recommend using the LZW compression option. This will help reduce the file size sometimes rather significantly, and in most cases you won't run into any compatibility issues if you were to send the layered file to someone else. Of course, typically I wouldn't send a layered file to someone else. I would send them a flattened version.
You don't need to worry about the pixel order or the byte order. Photoshop and all other imaging applications that you're likely to use are going to support both options for both pixel order and byte order. You don't need to worry about the image pyramid and the save transparency option doesn't apply in this case. And finally, we have the Layer Compression setting, which we do want to give a look to. We can choose the RLE, or ZIP Compression options. The RLE option, which stands for Run Length Encoding, will enable you to save the file a little bit faster, but the compression won't be quite as good, so the file size will be a little bit larger.
You can also use the ZIP option which will be a little bit slower, to save the file, but it produces smaller files. Generally speaking, I prefer speed over a smaller file size, so I leave that option set to RLE. If I were saving this image to send to someone else, I could also discard the layers, and save a copy. In other words save a flattened version of the image, but in this case I certainly don't want to do that. I can then click the OK button for the TIFF options dialog. Note that I'm then asked to make sure that I really want to save layers because that does increase the file size. I do, and in fact, I don't want Photoshop to ask me this question again, so I'll turn on the Don't Show Again check box and then click OK. And now this image with its layers intact has been saved in the TIFF file format. I'll go ahead and close the image.
I'll then go ahead and choose File > Open and I'm going to open the image that I just saved. So here's my Grasses in Snow TIFF file. I'll select that image and click the Open button. And here you can see, sure enough, the layers that I've saved as part of this image, in this case, just a background image and a curves adjustment layer are preserved, and the curves adjustment, for example, is exactly as I left it. So you can see by saving all of those layers, you'll always be able to get back to your adjustments in order to fine tune them if needed.