A question from a client:

“I have 30 years worth of transparencies which I am scanning the best to
import into lightroom. I have read that it is best to save them as tiffs.
Most of my work is for editorial use. My question is what size file should
I save the tiffs as? And should the tiffs be stored in lightroom or would
it be better to save them on DVDs and import jpegs into lightroom?”

My answer:

When getting your slides scanned, TIF is good. Whatever the highest resolution available from the scanner, use that. Going forward, you can save derivative files at whatever size for the different purposes you need.

As for organizing your pictures, Lightroom is a great choice. Lightroom’s big advantage is that is uses a database, which allows faster searching and a host of other features, including robust image processing/editing and presentation capabilities.

I would recommend that you have your slides scanned at the highest resolution available from the service bureau, in Adobe RGB color space, and import those TIFs into Lightroom. Then you can do whatever else you need to do with the image files from there. You can process and adjust full resolution TIFs inside Lightroom; in some cases you will want to move images into Photoshop for more selective editing procedures. Having the latest version of Photoshop is always a good idea.

In any case, you need to have a permanent storage place for your images on a hard drive. As for archival, DVD is good, but somewhat limited in size. I recommend that you always maintain duplicate hard drives – synchronized every week or more frequently – for your important work. But having archival discs like DVD is good too.

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