When it comes to photography post-production which can include having knowledge of image formats, knowing how to use an image format converter or finding your way around a PNG to JPG converter, there is a lot to know!

Regardless of whether you are resizing images or adding filters for social media purposes, there’s a lot you can do to improve a photograph. But if you want to share them in the right places, you need to ensure that your image formats are correct. You only need to look at sites like9gag or Giphy to see how popular gifs have become. These sites also demonstrate that there are many image formats, the trick is, knowing your compressed JPG from your PNG.

If this all sounds like a foreign language, keep reading for some easy tips.

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The Different Image Formats

Photo editing is not only about tasks like uploading, resizing or changing the number of pixels, you will also need to choose the right image formats according to where you want to showcase or store your photos.

For instance, a JPG or PDF will not be dealt with in the same way using online editing software. As an example, if you are working with RAW files you will probably be converting images to JPG when you are finished editing. And if your JPG is too big you may even want a compressed JPG.

To understand the reasons for knowing how to use an image format converter it might be helpful to note the many routes a digital photograph can take!

  • Printing an image
  • Sending an image by email
  • Downloading an image to your laptop
  • Transferring an image using WeTransfer or Google Drive
  • Adding an image into a Word document
  • Uploading an image to an online platform
  • Posting to social media

To begin to understand the role of an image format converter, it’s important to know that every image file contains a certain amount of pixels or bytes. Different file formats of the same image will result in a different amount of pixels and therefore size! So for instance, if you shoot an in RAW, it will contain the maximum amount of megapixels made available by your camera. Firstly, you would need specific editing software to open your RAW image, secondly know that you will be converting images to JPG or converting images to PNG if this is the case. Even then you might need a compressed JPG to make the size more efficient for digital use. Your first step to make sure you transfer your images to your PC or Mac first.

Understanding Image Formats 

smartphone and laptop on desk
Know the right image formats to use to maintain the quality of your images when sharing them. - Source: Unsplash

Image formats are generally about the size. Here are a few general guidelines that will provide a framework for understanding file sizes.

  • Tiffs (uncompressed) – 901k
  • JPG (high quality) – at least 319k
  • JPG (medium quality) – 188k
  • JPG (web quality) – 105k
  • JPG (low quality, highly compressed) – 50k
  • PNG (lossless compression) at least 741k
  • Gif (lossless compression, over 250 colours) – 286k

By the way, Gif stands for Graphic Interchange Format!

These are not the only file types available! Amazingly, there are also RAW files, vectors, bitmap images and project files that are used in Adobe design programmes like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. All of these are recognisable by their file extension!

Now that you have some more knowledge about file types and image formats, you’ll need to find out which files work best in which editing programmes. And if you are comfortable in one editing programme, and don’t want to switch, then this is when converting images to JPG (which basically work in every programme) can be really useful.

One of the best ways to improve your post-production processes and ultimately the quality of your finished images is to enrol with a photography tutor who specialises in online editing. Not only will you learn photography, but you will gain important knowledge about file sizes and archiving your images correctly. You could also learn:

  • How to use a PNG to JPG converter
  • Why a compressed JPG is not easy to edit
  • Why converting images to PNG is important
  • Which image format converter a professional photographer would use
  • How to resize your images

Actually, if you are on your way to taking your photography seriously, you should definitely consider some formal training in post-production either with a photographer who specialises in this, or even a digital graphic designer.

Knowing how to streamline your processes efficiently, as knowing the best ways to transfer your images, store and back them up are essential tools needed by every digital photographer.

Most photographers use Adobe software like Bridge, LightRoom or Photoshop for converting images to JPG, as well as converting images to PNG. If you are investing in the monthly licence to do basic tasks like this, you had may as well benefit from all the tools that these highly sophisticated programmes have to offer.

Another file format worth looking into is the vector file which is very large and can scale infinitely.

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Changing Image Formats in Windows

On a Windows PC or laptop, converting images is quite simple. You can actually compress a folder, crop images, rotate them and even have the ability to convert images to JPEG, or JPEGs into PDF files. Using Windows, most conversions are done the same way and with just a few clicks, you make your file size smaller or send an image via email. A few basic steps:

  • Select the image
  • Right-click, select “Edit”.
  • Click File
  • Click “Save as...” and then select the format you want

Changing Image Formats on a Mac

On a Mac, converting images is equally as simple, and without any loss in quality, you could resize or use an image format converter to change your format easily and quickly.

  • Select your photo
  • Select export select images
  • Click on the option and choose from one of six format options
  • Click alt, and choose from 18 different image formats

Converting Images to PNG and Other Formats

Large images or big batches of photographs can significantly increase download times for emailing purposes or even prevent them from being sent successfully. This is why choosing the right format can rectify the problem. You can use photo editing software to change the file type.

editing photos on computer
There are many ways you can resize or convert your images to improve their quality. - Source; Pexels

With GIMP

 GIMP is a good example of a multipurpose photo editing programme as you can alter photos and images in a number of ways. You can work with pdfs and jpegs in just a few clicks and it makes for a great PNG to JPG converter. You won’t be required to change the size either, you can simply convert your files directly.

To do this, drag your image into the work area and click on “File” and then click on “Open”

GIMP, much like other online photo editing software, will only treat one picture at a time. During this process, you can crop the photo, resize it while maintaining aspect ratios and rename the file.  To change an image in your work area, simply select “File” and then “Export As” After that, a window will pop up to offer you the opportunity to choose a format.

With Office

 When using Office, you can also change the format of images. To alter the format, simply click on “File” then “Save As”.  From there, you will be given a plethora of options to change your image format. For example, you could even find a PNG to JPG converter.

Converting an Image Online

 There are plenty of online tools available to convert an image. To name a few:

  • Conv2pdf
  • Convert image
  • Image Online Convert
  • Resizeit
  • Image Resizer
  • Snap Converter
  • Graphic Converter

Using these is quite simple. Start by accessing the images you want to change through the site, then simply click on the format you want. Wait until the file is converted and download it onto your computer.

If you are keen to find out more about photography or digital photo editing, it is worth finding out about private tuition from a platform like Superprof.

There’s no doubt that private tuition is the way to go, especially when it comes to learning how to do online photo editing, the trick is to find the right tutor for you.

On Superprof there are hundreds of photography tutors, who have been verified and who also have reviews, but a key advantage is that most of them offer their first lesson for free which provides a valuable opportunity to discuss your reasons for wanting to learn online photo editing. This information will determine the content of your lessons, as well as ensure that you sign up with the right tutor for you.

Choose a tutor by location and learn face-to-face or opt for online lessons with someone from anywhere else in the world, it’s entirely up to you!

Apart from all the neat post-production techniques, you could learn from a tutor who knows Photoshop backwards, for instance, what is important is that you set up a solid digital system for processing your images so that they are neatly sized, backed-up, and archived where you can find them when you need them.

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.