I got a question the other day about upsizing a photo. They asked if I liked Super Resolution or Image Size in Photoshop better. I answered that I prefer the Image > Image Size option in Photoshop but that it’s easy enough to try both and see what you would prefer. They replied and said they tried the Super Resolution feature, but it creates a very large DNG and they didn’t like that.

My response was, if you like that feature, why let the size of the file it creates stop you. Why would you need to save that huge DNG file it creates. Instead, why not just use the feature you want. Do whatever it is you need to do with file (in this case I’m assuming a print since there’s little reason for large upsizing elsewhere). Then delete the huge file it created. If you need to make another print, you can always go back and do it again.

But I think we’re making our photography life harder sometimes, by thinking we need to save everything “just in case”. We do all of these things just in case one day we ever want to go back to that image. In reality, very few of us ever do.

Real Life Example

Back in June I went to Alaska to photograph bears. When I got back, I had about 50 photos that I really liked from the trip that made it to my keepers. I wanted to write a blog post recapping the trip to share some photos and part of my editing process for those photos was Lightroom’s DeNoise AI feature (which creates large DNG files).

So here’s what I did. I edited the files and then I batch processed those 50 photos for Noise Reduction (it takes a while so I went and did something else at the time). Then, I saved those 50 photos as JPGs, put them on my blog and in to my “Portfolio” folder and deleted the 50 large DNG files that the DeNoise AI created.

I’d challenge anyone to tell me (as a hobbyist who doesn’t need instantaneous access to those photos at a split second) how this would be a poor workflow. If for some reason I ever wanted to share the photo again, I have my Portfolio folder (I wrote more about that here), that I can look to and grab the JPG again. And if for some reason I ever really needed the original, it’ll take me 60 seconds to re-run DeNoise AI on the raw file and do it again.

All I’m trying to get you to realize is to forget all of the typical things you’ve learned about photo management. I believe a lot of them came from professional photographers who had very different needs than most of you reading this do. Instead, maybe Keep it simple. And use common sense. Of course if I’ve spent 30 minutes editing a photo with layers in Photoshop and it produces a large PSD/TIFF file after – I’m probably not going to just delete that file because if I ever did need it again it would cost me another 30 minutes.

But if something caused you to have a large file, and you then shared/produced/printed/whatever that large file how you needed to, and you don’t plan on needing to go back to it often, consider deleting it and simplifying things a bit. Like I said… common sense. If it makes sense for you go for it. If what I just wrote doesn’t don’t do it. It’s just that simple 🙂


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