Photo Editing for Sports and News

Yesterday I was absent because I had a huge deadline due for my job. As a sports reporter we do an annual football preview for sports in the local and surrounding area. I think over the past three days I’ve gotten a combined total of six hours of sleep. I’m looking forward to this weekend to get some sleep

For my job I edit lots of photos, which I took many for the Northwestern Football game last night. I do basic editing since it’s for publication, so any major doctoring I don’t feel comfortable with. I make sure white balance is okay before raising shadows and highlights and even increase the sharpening amount. My own personal rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the player’s eyes then it’s not worth doing any further editing, which is why the two main changes I focus on is exposure and shadows. I do this all in Lightroom before exporting the photos and then opening them in Photoshop.

In Photoshop I apply “Levels” to the photo as an extra enhancement to the contrast and brightness. I then change the photo mode to CMYK, which is used for publications, rather than keep it in RGB. The image size usually needs to be changed as well. It can easily be changed by our layout personnel for the paper, but I go ahead and change it to 7×4.667 and up the resolution to 300. Upping the resolution does make the file size bigger, but I feel that it’s necessary because the photo does lose some of it’s sharpness after print.

After I finished with the very minor adjustments to the photo, I then go to “File Info” to caption the photo. For anyone who has ever taken any sort of photo journalism class or news photography you might be familiar with this. After I’m finished I save the photo with a file name that may describe what the file will be used for. For instance: “NWOSUfbVsUAM_Cover_CATPTIONED.jpg” The “Cover” tells my proofreader and layout personnel that this will be used on the Front Cover of the newspaper and the “CAPTIONED” tells my editor that it has been captioned after he has chosen which photo he wants on the cover.

Most of the time my file name will be preceded by and “S_” or “N_” like “S_AHSfbVsTHomas_Colwell” and then followed by the date of when the photo will be published in the paper like “-09042016.” Even though I’m editing the photo on Saturday, Sep. 3rd the photo won’t be published till the 4th on a Sunday. This helps me keep track of all photos that are used for publication in case we have someone who wants an individual print of a photo used in the paper.

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