1) I know the first words out of some mouths when I say I only save in JPEG will be ... You should be shooting RAW!, but for my purposes at this time I donít need to.... What I do need is a better work flow! And how should I save/backup? After I download ( Canon 30D, Large Jpeg/ no compression) should I convert to a tiff and backup creating a non-lousy file for future or should I just make a duplicate JPEG to work with and backup what Iíve downloaded ( I also burn to disc as well / no compression)
2) Iím I right in thinking that every time I open and close an jpeg that it losses quality when re-compressed. So if it started at X number of pixels and compresses to say 80% the next time it repeats the 80% ( of the 80%) thus it is 64% of original so that opening and closing the file a few times make it just a fuzzy dot?
Well...gotta say....unless you are shooting unimportant junk that is not worth much you SHOULD be shooting RAW...but to each his own so...yes...if you open/save repeatedly you will horribly degrade your image so you can open and save as TIFF or Photoshop and then work on the image as you choose, saving out your improved JPG. If you find, later, that you wish to make further changes you'll want to work from the TIFF file.
In short if you create file 001.jpg, you'll want to open and save it as file001.TIFF. That file will become your reference file and should remain unchanged. After adjusting levels, sharpening, etc, save as file001Namewaterver.TIFF. This will allow you to always go back to your original TIFF, while having a manipulated TIFF to either continue working or doing whatever. A PSD file (photoshop file) is also quite usable for this, but in the end you save no real drive space than if you were to shoot RAW.
You could, of course, not bother saving your first TIFF file. You can always open the original jpg and save out a new TIFF, but the key here is to never, ever, open/save your jpg. Open and save-as with a new name if you wish but when you shoot jpg you should lock the files as soon as you download them to your computer.