RE: Using photographs in documentation

Subject: RE: Using photographs in documentation
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Jimmy Breck-McKye <jb527 -at- hotmail -dot- co -dot- uk>, "rahennessey -at- gmail -dot- com" <rahennessey -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 15:28:50 -0700

Jimmy Breck-McKye wrote:

> I do not recommend JPEG / JPG for any application where precision is an
> issue. JPEGs are smudgy, and resaving a JPEG after editing further degrades
> it. PNGs, on the other hand, are 'lossless' - meaning they are as high-
> quality as the source.

I completely agree about not using JPEG for screen shots, drawings, diagrams, etc. But Bobbi was asking about _photographs_. JPEG just happens to stand for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the standard for that file format. As one might guess from the committee name, the JPEG format was specifically designed to be used for photographs, and it's entirely appropriate for Bobbi's purposes.

It's almost certain that the photos Bobbi will be using in the doc are in JPEG format (unless the photographer has a high-end camera and saved the pictures in RAW format). So any other format would require a conversion from the JPEG original, and thus would add nothing to the quality -- only time and trouble to the process.

Yes, one needs to be careful about degradation of JPEGs from repeated edits/saves. But the care consists simply of never making a _third_ generation copy of the image. If the photo requires further editing, go back to the original and edit/save a copy of that; don't edit and save a copy of a copy.


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Using photographs in documentation: From: Roberta Hennessey
RE: Using photographs in documentation: From: Jimmy Breck-McKye

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