16. Leave the Original Image Intact

To take the scare out of scary, you buy insurance.  To insure your pictures are protected, you create a copy of the image BEFORE you make any edits or adjustments.  OK, so I don’t always do it before, as it is possible to save the file with a different name and/or file format which will also live the original file intact. I use this method when I know that I am only cropping an image and not making any adjustments to the image.  This increases the speed of my workflow when having to prepare images for a website which uses a different file format than the original image (more on file formats in the next post.)

  • To do it BEFORE: Select an image.  In the Edit/Fix mode go to the menus above and select File > Save As.  This will give you a new window.  In this window, down in in the section below the square are the words File Name to the left of a rectangle.  In the rectangle is the original file’s name.  I add a dash and a number (-1) after the file name listed.  This keeps the images close together in the original folder.  If I edit again, I increase the number.  You can develop your own system.
  • To do it AFTER: Let’s say you have begun manipulating this file and it is time to save, even if you have been mindless and used the keyboard in an automated style pressing Ctrl+S, your original image is still safe.  How is that, you might ask?  Ctrl+S will save the original file with the same name, but it will be saved in a .PSD format.  There is still one thing you MUST DO to protect the original file.  When you close this file, in the last pop up window, the computer will ask if you want to changes made to the .NEF (it may say .JPEG depending on the file format of the original file).  BE SURE to pick NO.
  • See post #17 for explanations of some file formats
  • ADDITIONALLY: while in the Edit/Fix mode, go up to the menu to Edit > Preferences > Saving Files.  In this window you can set up some safety measures.  On first save, select “Ask if original.”
  • “EASY BUTTON: Right click on an image in the Organizer > Duplicate.  This will give you a copy of the image to work on.  The file name is the same with -copy after the number and before the file format.
Special note: Try to get in the habit of duplicating the original before working on it as this will benefit you as we get further into manipulating images.  For example, the computer will NOT save data about masks if you use SAVE AS for the first save, and this will make you sad when you try to use this data later and it isn’t there – which means you’ll have to recreate your work.

About momentsphotographybysandy

This blog is designed to enrich the world of digital photography by expanding the creative potential allowed in Photoshop programs. Shoot - that sounds like fun!
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