Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Started 3 months ago | Polls
phouphou Regular Member • Posts: 384
Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Storage space is not free but has become quite cheap.

So, do you keep all your RAWs or select a few? Or do you store your photos only as JPGs and with what compression?

I usually keep 10% of the photos from a shoot, edit them, keep those 10% as full-res (after crop) JPGs (75% compression) and 0-1% of the RAWs.

Since i find it hard to put all this in a poll, please comment.

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POLL
I keep all my RAW files and edited JPGs
82.1% 23  votes
I keep only a selected few RAW files and store my edited photos as JPGs
17.9% 5  votes
  Show results
Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 13,186
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?
2

phouphou wrote:

Storage space is not free but has become quite cheap.

So, do you keep all your RAWs or select a few?

I keep all my raws, apart from the small number of obvious duds. So even raws I don't process initially are still kept.

Or do you store your photos only as JPGs and with what compression?

I only shoot raws (except on my phone).

I usually keep 10% of the photos from a shoot, edit them, keep those 10% as full-res (after crop) JPGs (75% compression) and 0-1% of the RAWs.

I probably process about 15-20% of the raw images into JPEGs. I typically reduce them to 3000 or 4000 max edge size, 85% compression (of course, I can always re-process the original raw file to get a different size later, if needed). But some I do process full size even initially.

Since i find it hard to put all this in a poll, please comment.

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dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?
12

phouphou wrote:

Storage space is not free but has become quite cheap.

So, do you keep all your RAWs or select a few? Or do you store your photos only as JPGs and with what compression?

I usually keep 10% of the photos from a shoot, edit them, keep those 10% as full-res (after crop) JPGs (75% compression) and 0-1% of the RAWs.

Since i find it hard to put all this in a poll, please comment.

Part of the answer is that having grown up in the era when we used film, I have simply adopted the film approach of never getting rid of the originals (which we used to call "negatives").

So, I keep all of my digital originals as well (except for obviously terrible photos, which I discard). It has paid off well for me, sometimes a photo doesn't look very good to me, but then years later Aunt Sara sees it and falls in love with the photo.

Another part of the answer is whether or not the software you use is non-destructive and parametric, like Lightroom Classic, or destructive like Photoshop. The way Lightroom Classic (and other similar editors work), you do need the original, and there's really no point usually to keep long-term the JPG created from the edited original. With Photoshop, to store your edits, you must save a JPG or TIF to save your edits, and depending on your use of those photos, maybe you don't need the originals.

The last point is that my skills, and the features of the software, improve over time. Photos I edited 15 years ago with Photoshop Elements can sometimes be greatly improved with the new features in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, and I do enjoy taking those old photos and making them look a lot better, but you need the originals for that.

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Paige Miller

NicholasD
NicholasD Contributing Member • Posts: 775
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

I keep the RAW's as my "historical record". I try to be unsentimental with culling - a quick pass through after importing into LR to delete the obvious miscues and then a second pass to get rid of 2nd tier quality (quick to say I'm not alway as ruthless as I try to be and photos of family etc often get a pass......) I try to avoid keeping everything with the thought I can improve things down the road - if it's garbage today, it's going to be smelly garbage tomorrow.....  Again, there are exceptions, but I strive for keeping the best and junking the rest. Helps with improving my game.

Everything resides as RAW's and I export jpg's (or TIFFS) only as needed. Those are used as intended and then periodically deleted.  RAW's are backed up to 2 portable hard drives, one of which is located off site.  About half of my LR catalog was shot with 20 or 24 MP cameras and have no issues with storage space.

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Kansas Ron Senior Member • Posts: 2,658
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Keep all my RAW, as "negatives."  Keep the processed TIFF for a period of time, usually about a year.  Keep the JPEGs with the RAW.

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OP phouphou Regular Member • Posts: 384
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?
1

Digital Nigel wrote:

I probably process about 15-20% of the raw images into JPEGs. I typically reduce them to 3000 or 4000 max edge size, 85% compression (of course, I can always re-process the original raw file to get a different size later, if needed). But some I do process full size even initially.

some years ago i had the "brilliant" idea to keep only 3MP JPGs to save some Harddisk space. My idea was, there's still enough resolution to crop the photo a little bit if i ever wanted to and it would still be enough to fit a FHD (2MP) screen...

I do regret this now, because today i have a 4K monitor (8MP) and those photos don't have the resolution i want. Luckily i still have RAWs of the very best photos, but flicking through my old photos is not as enjoyable on 4K as it could be...

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OP phouphou Regular Member • Posts: 384
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

dj_paige wrote:

Lightroom Classic (and other similar editors work), you do need the original, and there's really no point usually to keep long-term the JPG created from the edited original.

I'm not sure if i understood correctly, so you rely on LR to save your edits to save 5MB diskspace per JPG? What if your LR catalog gets corrupted? Or you switch to a different RAW processor?

I'd rather have all the work i've done to a set of RAW-photos saved "hard" to a JPG format and stored in a dedicated folder that i can load onto backup drives on-/offline than rely on a software catalog (that ofc can backed up, but a *. LRCAT seems much more likely to fail than a simple set of JPGs).

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dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 2,320
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?
2

phouphou wrote:

dj_paige wrote:

Lightroom Classic (and other similar editors work), you do need the original, and there's really no point usually to keep long-term the JPG created from the edited original.

I'm not sure if i understood correctly, so you rely on LR to save your edits to save 5MB diskspace per JPG?

No. This isn't really about disk space. I rely on Lightroom Classic to save my edits because that's where my organization is. If I want to find photos from my trip to Chicago, I find them in Lightroom Classic. I don't want to have to find a JPG in some folder organization.

And its also about effort and my time. Why would I want to export all of my photos to JPG, just to save the edits? That takes effort and time that I don't care to spend, when I only need a few of them as JPG.

What if your LR catalog gets corrupted?

That's why you make regular and automated backups. No different than if you save JPGs, you lose them if something bad happens to your hard disk, unless you have backups.

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Paige Miller

NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 5,600
Neither
1

[D]o you keep all your RAWs or select a few? Or do you store your photos only as JPGs and with what compression?

I usually keep 10% of the photos from a shoot, edit them, keep those 10% as full-res (after crop) JPGs (75% compression) and 0-1% of the RAWs.

My approach differs from both of the options in the poll. Shortly after taking the photos, I go through them and decide which to keep. Depending on many factors, I may keep anywhere from about 5% to 50% of the photos from a given set. I always keep the original files--which are usually raw files, but in a few cases may be JPEGs--for whichever pictures I choose.

If I do a lot of work editing the original file, then I will probably keep the DxO sidecar file and/or a native-format Affinity Photo file. In some cases, especially where I'm very happy with my edits, I may keep a fully-edited version as a TIFF or JPEG. However, usually I just make JPEGs for temporary use and/or distribution to others, and then after a time I delete those JPEGs.

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Kaj E Veteran Member • Posts: 9,813
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Shoot RAW only.

I keep a majority of my raws. Save the edited files as 16-bit tiffs.

Also save the soft proofed and output sharpened images printed.

For the web I save downsized output sharpened images as JPEGs (quality 9) in sRGB if enough for colors otherwise typically Adobe RGB or eciRGB.

All the above double backed up for long term on external storage.

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 22,267
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

I use DPP’s Quick Check full screen to pre cull before importing into LR. After that I typically keep all the raw files even if edit only a handful.

I never kept Jpegs from events. I could always export them again. I used to keep most of the Jpegs from hobby shooting but now I just go back end export anything I need.

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A wonderful conclusion.

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Chris Dubea
Chris Dubea Senior Member • Posts: 1,957
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

dj_paige wrote

Part of the answer is that having grown up in the era when we used film, I have simply adopted the film approach of never getting rid of the originals (which we used to call "negatives").

So, I keep all of my digital originals as well (except for obviously terrible photos, which I discard). It has paid off well for me, sometimes a photo doesn't look very good to me, but then years later Aunt Sara sees it and falls in love with the photo.

Another part of the answer is whether or not the software you use is non-destructive and parametric, like Lightroom Classic, or destructive like Photoshop. The way Lightroom Classic (and other similar editors work), you do need the original, and there's really no point usually to keep long-term the JPG created from the edited original. With Photoshop, to store your edits, you must save a JPG or TIF to save your edits, and depending on your use of those photos, maybe you don't need the originals.

The last point is that my skills, and the features of the software, improve over time. Photos I edited 15 years ago with Photoshop Elements can sometimes be greatly improved with the new features in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, and I do enjoy taking those old photos and making them look a lot better, but you need the originals for that.

Completely agree with all this. I NEVER delete an image, unless it's complete trash. Over/under exposed, completely out of focus, etc.

Another point to think about is that Raw processing tools are getting better. Things that were extremely difficult to rectify in the past have become much easier.

I've recently gone through my entire image library with Capture One, and the difference in quality I was able to achieve over what had been done with a myriad of tools in the past is amazing.

I'm certain some of that has to do with skills development, but I'm realistic enough to admit much of it was simply do to a better development tool, namely Capture One.

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Chris

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Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 3,646
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

I keep all my raw files.

I shoot raw+jpeg, and all the jpegs, at reduced resolution and high compression go into the DAM as a preview, and to work with if it's good enough.

The raws are (in theory) archived and forgotten about, until I find I need one. But currently I have so much space on this machine, and I can keep them all handy. They are archived and not backed up in the regular backup, the 929GB of them would gum up the backup in a hurry.

Any shot I work on is copied out of the archive so it's then in the regular backups, and I usually keep a .png file of the result of editing it. A lower rez jpeg goes into the DAM. I currently only have 937 I have worked on, about 18GB of them

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Zeee Forum Pro • Posts: 22,267
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Zeee wrote:

I use DPP’s Quick Check full screen to pre cull before importing into LR. After that I typically keep all the raw files even if edit only a handful.

I never kept Jpegs from events. I could always export them again. I used to keep most of the Jpegs from hobby shooting but now I just go back end export anything I need.

Just to add a little about DPP. PP's downsizing algorithm for 'fit to screen' display is very good - contrasty which creates the illusion of sharpness. It is like looking at a final Jpeg. It is pretty fast. I just hit X for files I can't use. Then I get out of Quick Check and select Edit - Rating - Select rejected images only. Then File - Move to trash.

If you are a pro or need the more advanced programs like Photo Mechanic is a good option. As a hobbyist DPP is not slow and does a good job. Easier for me to pre-cull than doing it in LR.

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A wonderful conclusion.

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CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,460
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Storage is cheap. I keep all my original Raw images and PSD edits uncompressed. I rarely make jpegs unless for a specific use, then discard the jpegs when done with them.

davidedric Veteran Member • Posts: 6,429
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Another agreement from me.

I do keep many of my exported jpegs.  This is partly idleness and partly because they sometimes get re-used.  I could do it more elegantly within Lightroom using Collections, but there you go

dj_paige wrote:

phouphou wrote:

Storage space is not free but has become quite cheap.

So, do you keep all your RAWs or select a few? Or do you store your photos only as JPGs and with what compression?

I usually keep 10% of the photos from a shoot, edit them, keep those 10% as full-res (after crop) JPGs (75% compression) and 0-1% of the RAWs.

Since i find it hard to put all this in a poll, please comment.

Part of the answer is that having grown up in the era when we used film, I have simply adopted the film approach of never getting rid of the originals (which we used to call "negatives").

So, I keep all of my digital originals as well (except for obviously terrible photos, which I discard). It has paid off well for me, sometimes a photo doesn't look very good to me, but then years later Aunt Sara sees it and falls in love with the photo.

Another part of the answer is whether or not the software you use is non-destructive and parametric, like Lightroom Classic, or destructive like Photoshop. The way Lightroom Classic (and other similar editors work), you do need the original, and there's really no point usually to keep long-term the JPG created from the edited original. With Photoshop, to store your edits, you must save a JPG or TIF to save your edits, and depending on your use of those photos, maybe you don't need the originals.

The last point is that my skills, and the features of the software, improve over time. Photos I edited 15 years ago with Photoshop Elements can sometimes be greatly improved with the new features in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, and I do enjoy taking those old photos and making them look a lot better, but you need the originals for that.

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irv00 Senior Member • Posts: 1,735
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

phouphou wrote:

Storage space is not free but has become quite cheap.

So, do you keep all your RAWs or select a few? Or do you store your photos only as JPGs and with what compression?

I do mostly professional retouching for real photographers 😊😊😊, so when I impersonate one I tend to keep just a few originals I truly like. That usually means keeping one otwo pictures from a 150-shot session - I am a strong proponent of quality over quantity.

Ysarex
Ysarex Senior Member • Posts: 2,763
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

phouphou wrote:

Storage space is not free but has become quite cheap.

So, do you keep all your RAWs or select a few? Or do you store your photos only as JPGs and with what compression?

I usually keep 10% of the photos from a shoot, edit them, keep those 10% as full-res (after crop) JPGs (75% compression) and 0-1% of the RAWs.

Since i find it hard to put all this in a poll, please comment.

I delete raw files that I don't plan to keep. I otherwise keep my raw files (and backups). Edits are saved as parametric sidecar files and stored with the raw files. If I need a TIFF or JPEG I output it as needed, use it and delete it.

ggbutcher
ggbutcher Contributing Member • Posts: 928
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

I essentially treat my raws as negatives, the canonical record of the capture.  From those, I make 800x600 quality=95 "proof" JPEGs in a batch process, and I keep both raws and proofs in a directory structure organized by year and event.  The file organization supports a web page viewing arrangement mainly for the benefit of my wife; 800x600 JPEGs are small enough not to need separate thumbnails when viewed across our home network.

I will delete egregious raws, sometimes in-camera, sometimes later at home reviewing the proofs.  But I keep most captures that are sharp and decently exposed.

A lot of times, especially for family snapshooting, the proof is the only rendition I produce.  If I decide to work an image for serious intent, I'll re-open the raw and re-apply the proof processing as a starting point, either to make another JPEG at a different resolution or somesuch, or to produce a TIFF for ingest with GIMP for things like cloning out undesired objects.  The only time I'll edit a JPEG will be if I need a quick crop for some specific reason.

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Graham Meale
Graham Meale Veteran Member • Posts: 3,247
Re: Do you store your edited photos as RAW, JPG, (resolution, compression)?

Yet another poll to which my response is "none of the above".

I keep all my raws (excluding those I delete in the field) as .CR2 and .DNG. (I have to convert to DNG as my Adobe software predates my camera.) Then those that I process I keep as 16-bit TIFFs. I never use JPEGs unless I'm preparing to upload to the web, which I do very rarely.

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