Are you Progressive? Understanding JPG format options

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How Well Do You Understand JPEG Formats?

You've probably been saving your photos as  JPG for years, and never gave it a second thought. Most of us simply bypass the jpg format option screen by accepting whatever the default values are and go about our day. Let's face it JPG format options isn't exactly a sexy topic. But we really should understand our options exactly what they do.

JPEG  Format Options

When you save your JPEG file in Photoshop, a dialog box will pop up before saving with the available formatting options.

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Adobe defines “JPG Format” as how the file is displayed online.

  • Baseline (Standard): Displays the image when it has fully downloaded. This JPEG format is recognizable to most web browsers.
  • Baseline (Optimized): Optimizes color quality of the image and produces smaller file sizes (2 to 8%) but is not supported by all web browsers.
  • Progressive (3 scans-5 scans): Downloads the image first as a low-resolution image, with incremental quality improvements as downloading continues.

Which Option to Use?

 “Baseline Optimized” might slightly reduce the file size so uploads are slightly faster. The only negative is that it isn’t compatible with viewers using old technology, Using “Optimized” will also likely produce better colors but it isn’t necessarily that noticeable to the human eye.

“Progressive” downloads the image first as a low-resolution image, with incremental quality improvements as downloading continues. I choose to avoid this option.

So what is my recommendation? I recommend both Standard and Optimized as fine options, it might just be a matter of choice, when in doubt. Baseline (Optimized) wins my vote. It optimizes the color quality of the image.  Obviously color quality is important to a photographer.

What do you think? What format do you save your JPG's in? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Shooting!

Shooting Fireworks is Easy! - Beginners Guide on How to Photograph Fireworks

 Photograph by:  peaceful-jp-scene

Photograph by: peaceful-jp-scene

Shooting fireworks is easy if you follow some basic steps.

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Step 1. Know your camera. Every year, I see people fumbling with their cameras in the dark, trying to make adjustments and navigate their camera settings . Trying to change settings on your camera in the dark can lead to frustration and lots of missed opportunities. Be sure and spend some quality time with your cameras manual before the big event, be sure and get comfortable setting your cameras Mode, ISO, Shutter, and Aperture settings. Also, it's a good idea to bring along a mini flashlight to help lumen-ate things when needed.

 

Step 2. Bring a tripod. This is essential. shooting in the dark requires long exposures, sometimes several seconds. Trying to hand-hold your camera for that length of time is next to impossible. Also, if you want the best control over the quality of your shots, I recommend a shutter release cable. A cable release ensures stability, and makes taking pictures a much more comfortable process, since you can watch the fireworks in the sky, and time your shots much more accurately.

 Photograph By:  sj liew

Photograph By: sj liew

Step 3. Pick a good vantage point to shoot from. Location, location, location. Arrive early and scout a good location with an unobstructed view. Be sure and stay clear of ambient light sources (such as light poles) that will cause your shots to overexpose. Additionally, be sure and pay attention to the wind direction. Fireworks emit a tremendous amount of smoke, thus ruining your next shot. Try and position yourself upwind, so the smoke is going away from you.

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Step 4. Turn Autofocus off. You heard me right, turn it off. Most cameras have a terrible time with low-light shooting. Low-light shooting can cause cameras autofocus system to constantly hunt in the dark. Autofocus is simply not needed for fireworks. Simply set your lens to infinity. 

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Step 5. Camera Settings. The settings I give you here are starting points. Once on location, you will no doubt have to make slight adjustments, but for the most part they are a good place to start.

  • Set your camera mode to Manual Mode.
  • Set you ISO to 100.
  • Set your shutter speed to BULB.
  • Set your Aperture to f/11
  P hotograph By:  Tim Shields

Photograph By: Tim Shields

Step 6. Exposure Timing.A good rule of thumb is to open the shutter as soon as you hear or see the rocket shooting into the sky and to leave it open until the burst is dissipating. This will usually take several seconds. Anywhere between 1 and 4 seconds, usually give excellent results.

 

Most of all.. Get out and have some fun!

Happy Shooting!

Burned Out? Do a Photo Challenge - Have some fun!

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Sometimes as creatives, we simply get burned out.  It can feel like your passion may no longer be alive. A time in your photographic life where just the idea of picking up your camera is exhausting. So what can you do? One main approach is to simply walk away from your camera. But I find sometimes is your mind and body needs a spark, or to better put it, a jump start. Photography is like a relationship, it ebbs and flows. Being introduced to new things add a new spark into life, you breathe new life into your creative processes.  You need a creative release.

When I'm in a photographic slump, two things always seem to turn me around.

Go on a Photowalk.

 Available in Store

Available in Store

Photowalking has taken the world by storm, and has become one of the fastest growing activities throughout the land. Photowalking enriches, invigorates, and expands what we truly appreciate. Photowalking helps us experience life more fully, more completely.”

“Photowalking is one of the fastest growing social activities in the world!”

You'll meet new people, and with new people, come new ideas.

 

Take Part in a Photo Challenge

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Photo challenges will force you out of your day to day routinue. New challenges, spark new ideas. the picture above was simply to create this technique without the aid of photoshop or other photo editing software.