Jan 19th: Boot Camp #1, Assignment #1

Boot Camp #1

Write down your answers to the following questions:

A lossless file does not reduce the size of a file. True or False?

Which of the following extensions is an example of a lossy file format?

A .gif       B .jpeg      C .NEF       D .tiff

Which of the following takes up about a megabyte (MB) of storage?
A Short paragraph                 B 7 minutes of HD video              C a short novel

Create the following image using these files I sent to you via wetransfer. Use a mask to get the skull on the cat. Export a jpeg. Your file should by 7.25 inches by 7.25 inches and the correct resolution for printing.



EXTRA CREDIT!!! Make your own motivational poster, AND/OR research smart objects and figure out why they might be useful.



This is really the, “what should I save this as?” question. As we’ve already discussed, psd’s retain all of your work, while jpegs flatten everything and make the file size much smaller (therefor they are good for sharing), but there is a lot more to know!

Learning how a rasterized program works is very important, because if you don’t understand resolution, you may end up with bad results.

This video covers creating a new document in Photoshop, and file resolution

And this is a quick breakdown of raster vs. vector

Guides will give you a sense of scale and proportion while you’re working

And so, this is how resize and resample are different

This page explains everything you’d ever want to know about file formats You don’t need to know all of those file formats, but make sure you are aware of the difference between these extensions .jpeg, .pdf, .png, .tiff, .psb, and .psd. (Hint, hint, this may show up on an exam)

Check this out if you are confused about resolution for web and for print
File compression is a process of “packaging” a file (or files) to use less disk space. Compression works by minimizing redundancy in a file’s code. Compression software allows you to take many files and compress them into one file, which is smaller than the combined size of the originals.


This compression technique reduces the size of a file without sacrificing any original data. It is the most common and looks for areas containing pixels of the same value and encodes the area.

In lossless compression, the expanded or restored file is an exact replica of the original file before it was compressed.

  • breaks a file into a “smaller” form
  • to be transferred or stored
  • and then puts it back together


This compression is used only in the JPEG file format and actually loses information when saving and compressing a file. Lossy compression compresses the file at ten times than that of Loss Less compression.

It is used for graphics files in which the loss of data – such as information about some of the graphic’s several million colors – isn’t noticeable.


  • If the picture had a lot of blue sky, the program would pick one color of blue that could be used for every pixel.
  • Then, the program rewrites the file so that the value for every sky pixel refers back to this information.
  • If the compression scheme works well, you won’t notice the change, but the file size will be significantly reduced.
  • You can’t get the original file back after it has been compressed. You’re stuck with the compression program’s reinterpretation of the original.



PSD and PSB are file formats for storing digital images. They are commonly used in Adobe Photoshop. PSD in fact stands for “Photoshop Document.” PSB stands for “Photoshop Big.” It is also known as a large document format. The two formats are quite similar; however they do differ in the manner that they store and are used.

PSB is essentially the same as a PSD file. A PSB file extends the PSD file format. It increases the maximum height and width of a PSD file from 30,000 pixels to 300,000 pixels. The dimension limit was chosen by Adobe for ease of software testing rather than based on computer arithmetic constraints. The PSD file can support an overall file size of 2 GB, anything above that can be saved as a PSB file.





PNG vs. TIFF Files – So Which IS Better?

PNG files (Portable Network Graphic) were invented to replace the GIF format (Graphics Interchange Format) that was quite popular at the time for images on the internet. They really weren’t intended to be used for professional-quality photos. Currently on the internet, you will primarily see JPEG and PNG files followed by the lingering GIFS.

PNG files:

  • can only be saved compressed (“lossless” – reduces file size)
  • can hold an alpha channel

I use PNG files here on the SYEL website a good portion of the time because they have small files sizes and I love being able to use the alpha channel. This is a fancy way of describing a “compositing” process where the image can have a transparent background so you can lay it on top of another image and use it as the first image’s background. It’s very cool! And in case you’re wondering, no, JPEG files don’t do alpha channels.

TIFF files (Tagged Image File Format) on the other hand:

  • can be opened with almost every image program (it’s an extremely common format)
  • can be saved compressed or uncompressed
  • can store “layers” within (great for use with Adobe’s high-end Photoshop for example)
  • can hold all color, color depths and color groups (like RGB and CMYK)
  • can save 16-bits per channel scans (your 48-bit scanner setting)
  • can store IPTC metadata (captions etc.)


Camera RAW

Check out this video on Camera Raw and the Basics of Photo Adjustments

And this video, which covers the white balance tool


Mask out part of an image


Assignment #1, Due Jan 24th

Spirit photography was created via the photographic process. Either by mistake, on purpose, or by some otherworldly force, images were created that pointed to the ineffable and the unknowable. Things like double exposure, and subjecting film to the elements were common practices. These techniques could be described as “mistakes”, thus the accusation that these photographs were the work of amateurs, or as off-market, perhaps non-traditional means of photo manipulation.

For this assignment, go out and take 10-15 images of a location. These images can be landscapes, portraits, or still-lives. Think about digital analogies to the 19th century phenomenon of spirit photography. Look up things like glitch, file corruption, compositing. Play around with Photoshop and see what you can make happen by “mistake”. Then,  create 20 experiments with these images, and select 3-5 to show in class on Tuesday. Aim for something visually compelling, and unfamiliar.