Sorry if you were looking for the gossip on a celebrity marriage gone bad, but TIFF and JPEG are not to be confused with people fighting over who gets to keep the Major League Baseball team, but rather file formats for digital images. But there is still confusion.
When I’m talking to clients that contact me about Professional Photography we naturally discuss how the photos will be used. Are they going to be a magazine cover or strictly published on a web site? When I ask if they prefer TIFFs or JPEGs there is often a moment of silence and maybe some stammering. Let’s clear the air.
Basically TIFF files, often referred to as RAW, are just that. They are files or images that contain all the information that was recorded by the camera. JPEG files are the same images only reduced in size. Randomly 25% of the image is not recorded. It is “compressed”.
Doctors have told us for years that we only use a percentage of our brains, but we still function just fine in our day-to-day lives. JPEG files are kind of like that. Today’s digital cameras are so sharp and resolution is so high that not recording 100% is perfectly acceptable for most uses. You get more images on your memory card. They get recorded faster. They look great on your dining room wall, your Flicker page, Facebook page, etc.
However sometimes you just got to have it all. I shoot RAW and save them as TIFFs (no compression) when producing work for magazine covers or when images are to be displayed larger then normal. Another advantage is that the images can be opened and processed in my computer, allowing for a greater capability to correct for even small imperfections (color, exposure, even sharpness)
Now you know. Class is over for this week. If you have a moment or two cruise over to my web site and take a look. I am working with a new host and have made a lot of changes. Let me know what you think.I have two samples of a portrait enlarged to 500%. On the right is a file shot in RAW and saved as a TIFF (no compression) and on the left is the same, shot and saved as a JPEG. My cameras allow me to shoot images in both formats simultaneously, which I sometimes do. Looking closely you will see more detail and clarity in the TIFF image.