RAW vs JPEG – Practical Use for Designers & Photographers

Last week Firgs opened up her Designer Roundtable discussion with the topic RAW vs JPEG and whether it matters to designers. I responded in the comments that designers could simply use the JPEG provided to them or take advantage of what RAW has to offer for more creative post-processing.  She followed up with a question about practical things designers need to know about using RAW vs JPEG. With that here are my Top Five Things to know about RAW vs JPEG:

1. White Balance.
When using Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom, you have the ability to change the image white balance without affecting image quality. In fact, the white balance settings will reflect the available features in camera, e.g., Daylight, Fluorescent, Tungsten, Flash, etc. You can also choose “As Shot” or let the program Auto white balance. When creating a custom white balance you can read & adjust the color temperature of the RAW file.

When using a JPEG file  you can adjust white balance, but it’s not the same as changing the settings. Adobe Camera RAW & Lightroom only give you three choices–Auto, As Shot or Custom. When creating a custom white balance setting you make a +/- adjustment without seeing the color temperature.

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Photoshop Tip Tuesday – 07/20/2010

It’s Tip Tuesday, and I thought I would extend the conversations started yesterday about my last YoutTube video preventing unauthorized printing of your Facebook photos. Lots of people weighed-in on comments, Twitter & Facebook, with suggestions ranging from “Don’t post your photos online” to “That’s why I watermark my images.” You should checkout the article written by Terry White on how you can further protect Facebook content by using Lists. Today’s video tip demonstrates how to make a quick watermark on an image using Layer Styles while adjusting Layer Fill.

Be sure to watch for the #TipTues hashtag on Twitter, and join me again for next week’s video.

Prevent Walmart Printing of Your Facebook Photo Albums

UPDATE 07/22/2010 – Be sure to read the updated information posted below after the video.

Good evening all.

Thanks to Walter Van Dusen who brought to my attention Walmart is beta testing a new Facebook Connect application. This application allows access to your photo albums for printing. Many photographers have been using Facebook photo tagging as a way to generate word-of-mouth referrals from clients. I would assume a lot of folks have their album security set to “Friends of Friends”. Anyone who is listed with Friends access to your Facebook album will be able to print it via the Walmart application.

Before you decide to delete all your FB albums, it is possible for you to make a quick security settings change. Simply go to the Walmart Photo application and block it. Once blocked your albums will no longer show when someone uses Facebook Connect with Walmart Photo. The application ID on Facebook is 181585006811.

Here’s a quick video tutorial to show you how to block the app:

UPDATE 07/22/2010 – This week’s Tip Tuesday demonstrated a quick way to watermark images via Photoshop using Layer Styles. For MORE protection you can use a Digimarc watermark (accessed via Photoshop’s filter menu). Digimarc is like LoJack for your images, and provides Internet tracking. Loyal readers can try Digimarc’s basic service FREE for 90 days; use the discount code FREETRIAL2010. Take 25% off ANY Digimarc service with code MediaCats2010. Join me next week as I’ll have a video tutorial on how to use Digimarc in Photoshop to watermark your images.

UPDATE 07/21/2010 – I wanted to answer some of the questions posed in the comments. I have verified that if you TAG someone the image is NOT collected in a photo album, therefore it DOES NOT appear via Facebook Connect. This is good information for everyone who tags their clients. Photo albums, profile pictures, & mobile uploads appear when using the Walmart photo center. I did not conduct testing against the other apps listed in the comments, but I assume similar behavior. To find all the retail centers, many suggested to search Facebook for “print” then filter by Applications. This worked well for me.

Several folks commented that people can still save the image to their own computer for printing–that is true. It’s also true that by uploading the image to the Internet it can be taken by anyone. The measures suggested for securing your photos serve more as a deterrent and are not absolute controls. Thieves are lazy, and will take the path of least resistance. RC Concepcion wrote two articles that appear in the last two issues of Photoshop User magazine. He has some great recommendations as to why you would or wouldn’t watermark your images online. If you’re a member of NAPP you can access the back issues online. (If you join with my referral link, you’ll get a free DVD on signup)

UPDATE 07/18/2010 – Thanks to everyone for sharing this article. There have been some good comments, including the fact Walmart is not the only retail print option. As suggested by Rachel, I would block other print apps from companies such as Target, Walgreens, etc. If you’re new to the site, checkout the Tip Tuesday series for video tutorial content.