Thanks Markus and Chris for the advice!
I checked out the Wikipedia page on the JPEG format, and found this
excellent link on image degradation when you edit a jpeg:
It appears that at the very least, I should first convert my image into
a TIFF before I edit the image.
>> * Fidelity - The higher the better. I would like the images to be of
>> a high enough quality where they could be easily used to create a
>> clear 8 x 10. I realize that other factors affect the clearness of a
>> large image (such as film speed and such). File size isn't a factor.
It looks like both TIFF's and JPEG's will work equally well here, as
long as I convert the image to a different format (like TIFF or XCF)
*before* I edit it.
>> * Compatibility - I would like the freedom of being able to send my
>> images to multiple developing companies and have them all be able to
>> use the image. What's a good standard format that most "real"
>> developing companies accept?
I'm pretty sure that my local Work Camera will print photos from a TIFF,
and I'm pretty sure that Flickr will do it too. I just tried uploading
a TIFF to Snapfish, however, and it was rejected. Thank goodness it's a
trivial task to convert it to a JPEG using ImageMagick.
>> * Bitrot - I would like to use a format that will probably be around
>> for a while. I know that no format is completely future-proof, but I
>> don't want to convert these images more than once every couple of
>> decades if possible.
Both formats seem equally well-suited in this regard.
> Markus Kamp said:
> Using none of the features supported by non-ancient versions of
> Photoshop like i.e. multi layers and omitting any kind of compression
> you should be fine for the forseeable future.
Thanks for the tips! If I start working with layers or anything like
that, I'll be sure to save the file as a Gimp XCF.
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