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- A guided tour of Photoshop
- Setting up your environment
- Color modes, bit depth, and image resolution
- The Histogram
- File formats
- Basic adjustments
- Output workflow
Skill Level Beginner
Whether you spend just a few moments, or hours perfecting an image, you'll want to save that image. Early and often. You want ot make sure that all of the changes you've applied are preserved in the file. And perhaps, more importantly, that they're preserved in such a way that you can always go back and refine the adjustments you've applied. In this case, for example, I might crop the image to straighten things up just a little bit. I can rotate the photo so that clock tower is more vertical, for example. I'll go ahead and apply that crop and then perhaps I'll apply some basic adjustments.
I can apply a levels adjustment for example, to brighten up those highlights using the clipping preview in the process. And then perhaps adjust the overall brightness of the image. It looks like the color's in pretty good shape. I might warm things up just a little bit. I'll shift the balance just a hair toward yellow, and maybe just a tiny bit toward red, but not much. And then I'll also boost the colors with a vibrance adjustment. I'll bring up the vibrance levels just a little bit so that those colors have a little bit more impact. So, let's assume that that's all I feel that I need to do, at least for the time being.
I want to make sure that I save this image, and save it in a way that I can always get back to my adjustments later. So, from the file menu, I'm going to choose Save. Now, bare in mind, the image I was working on just now is a JPEG image, a low res JPEG at that. And JPEG images cannot contain layers. So theoretically, if I were to save as a JPEG, I would not be able to keep those layers. But PhotoShop is smart enough to recognize that there are layers in this image. So, when I click Save, intending perhaps to update the existing JPEG, PhotoShop will ask me where I want to save this image and with what filename.
And also we'll assume, the Photoshop PSD, file format. In order to retain layers, you need to make sure that you're using either the Photoshop PSD format, or the TIFF format, for your files. Both are perfectly fine, generally speaking the TIFF file format will usually produce a smaller file size if you take advantage of the LZW compression. The Photoshop file format is still great and in fact it's the option that I choose in large part. Because when I started working with Photoshop, Photoshop didn't support layered files for TIFF images.
But in this case I'll go ahead and use the TIFF option since it includes that additional compression feature. I'll make sure the layer's check box is turned on. And I'll also keep the ICC profile box turned on so that the color profile is included with the image. I'll leave the fie name as it is, and I'll simply click Save. And now, because I've chosen the TIFF file format I have the TIFF options dialog presented. I'll set Image Compression to LZW, this will help reduce the overall file size. You don't need to worry about pixel order or byte order. Either setting for both will work perfectly fine. You also don't need an image pyramid, but I suggest using the RLE option for layer compression.
If you wanted to save a flattened version, you could choose Discard Layers, but be careful. You want to make sure that if this is indeed your master image, that you're preserving those layers. So you'll use RLE to reduce the size of your file with layers. With those options established you can click OK. Note that I then receive a message suggesting that including layers will increase file size. I don't mind one bit because it's more important to me to have all of those layers to come back to than to worry about the file size. So I'll turn on the check box to not show me that alert again. And click OK, and my image is saved.
And more importantly, that image is saved with all of the layers intact. So, if I open that image once again in the future, all of the layers will still be there, and I can refine them to perfection.