What is a Tiff File?
Recently, I discussed Raw files vs Jpg files. Shortly after, I started to receive many questions regarding the Tiff File. So, I decided to write a post about the Tiff file and explain it a bit more.
Tiff Format Definition:
Tiff file is another digital format for raster graphics and images. Apparently, TIFF or TIF stands for Tagged Image Format File, and it is popular among Graphic Artists, Publishing Industry and photographer.
What is the advantage of a Tiff File?
Here is what Wiki Pedia explains the Tiff File:
“TIFF is a flexible, adaptable file format for handling images and data within a single file, by including the header tags (size, definition, image-data arrangement, applied image compression) defining the image’s geometry. A TIFF file, for example, can be a container holding JPEG (lossy) and PackBits (lossless) compressed images. A TIFF file also can include a vector-based clipping path (outlines, croppings, image frames). The ability to store image data in a lossless format makes a TIFF file a useful image archive, because, unlike standard JPEG files, a TIFF file using lossless compression (or none) may be edited and re-saved without losing image quality. This is not the case when using the TIFF as a container holding compressed JPEG. Other TIFF options are layers and pages.
TIFF offers the option of using LZW compression, a lossless data-compression technique for reducing a file’s size. The use of this option was limited by patents on the LZW technique until their expiration in 2004.”
This explanation causes more questions than answers, doesn’t it?
Therefore, allow me to describe it more commonly.
As you know, a computer needs a specific program to be able to read a file. Pcs cannot show a file if they don’t understand the format.
Therefore, a Tiff file is a container, which means it has two separate parts. For instance, when you save an image as Tiff format, it contains your actual image plus the container, which enables the computer to read and write on your image file.
Why using Tiff File?
Previously, I described the Jpg Files and the Raw Files. Please refer to those articles for more information. Just as a recap, a Raw file is a large file, but needs post-processing to be available for display or print. On the other hand, when you save images in Jpg format, you compress them to a smaller version, but make them available for different uses. That is the sacrifice you need to make!
However, if you need to maintain the data as well as make the files available for various computers, you need to save them as a Tiff File. Thus, the file size increases substantially due to the Tiff Container feature.
Let’s look into some photos and pay attention to the file size:
This is the Raw format. Therefore, it has the original resolution of the camera sensor.
Secondly, let’s look into the original size Jpg:
Notice how the file size got smaller!
And last but not least, let’s take a look into a Tiff file:
Clearly, the file size is significantly more than the original Raw data.
Generally speaking, whenever you need to maintain the data of an image, but make it useable in different computers, you should save the photo in Tiff format.
On the other hand, If you want to go back and do more editing or retouching, without opening the Raw file. Then again, save the picture in the Tiff format.
Finally, I always discuss the file formats in my workshops, as I honestly believe that all photographers should know the basics of “Image Formats.”
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Do you want to learn more about Photography Bootcamp?
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The next Bootcamp starts on February 19th, 2020. There are a few spots left.
Wednesday, February 19th and 26th, 6:00-9:00 pm
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Ted and the Omnilargess Team