Have you ever wondered why you should favor lossless formats like RAW, TIFF, and PSD? Why not save space on your hard drive and use a JPEG? This decision is pivotal during intermediate work when you open, adjust, and save the file repeatedly.

In a nutshell, each time a JPEG is saved, it loses some data. It’s called generation loss. I know what you’re thinking–Every image is made of millions of colors, megas of pixels, and a whole lot of zeros and ones. What’s the matter with losing a little data here and there?

Take a look below to see what happens if you throw caution to the wind and work with JPEG files. These images are from an experiment performed by a Wikipedia user named Burny. He used a script to open, rotate, and save a JPEG file–intermediate work best suited for lossless formats.

Remember these shots next time you’re tempted to speed up your Time Machine backup.

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