Creating JPEG Copies

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Today’s Question: I often submit images to camera club competitions. I shoot in RAW and only use Photoshop (not Lightroom). I must resize the image and convert the image from PSD to JPEG. Do you think it makes a difference which is done first: resize or conversion?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In concept I would perform the resizing step before saving the image as a JPEG. But in reality I would recommend using the Image Processor feature in Photoshop to help automate this task (even if you are only processing a single image).

More Detail: As noted above, conceptually I would want to resize the image before saving a JPEG copy, rather than saving as a JPEG and then resizing that image. In reality the differences in terms of image quality would be virtually non-existent, especially in the context of an image that will be impacted by the quality loss involved with JPEG compression.

In any event, you can make the overall process of creating JPEG copies of your master images by using the Image Processor feature in Photoshop. You can find this feature on the menu by choosing File > Scripts > Image Processor. However, I recommend using Adobe Bridge to first select your photos. Within Bridge you can then choose Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor to send the selected photos to Photoshop and bring up the Image Processor dialog automatically.

Within the Image Processor dialog you can first select where you want to save the copies of your images that will be created. You can then turn on the “Save as JPEG” checkbox, and turn off the checkboxes for the PSD and TIFF file formats. Below the “Save as JPEG” checkbox you can then set the other options for the JPEG images, including a setting for resizing the images, setting the quality level, and converting to the sRGB color space profile (which I do recommend doing).

Once you’ve established the desired settings in the Image Processor dialog you can click the Run button to process the images you had selected. The resulting files will be saved in the destination folder you specified. Note that if you chose the option to save the images in the same location as the source images, they will actually be saved in a folder by file type (such as “JPEG” in this case).