How to Professionally Edit a Sports Photo

By Mark Spowart
Professionally edited sports pictures do not require many changes.

Even the most talented sports photographers still need to edit their pictures before they are published or printed. Professionally shot and edited sports pictures must follow the guidelines of the magazine or publication they are going to be published in. Journalistic magazines will have different editing standards than commercial magazines. The most important thing to remember when professionally editing a sports picture is to not change the action that is taking place in picture.

Turn on your computer, open the photo-editing program you use to edit your pictures and open the sports picture you want to edit.

Click the “Edit” tab in the navigation bar of the program and -- from the drop-down menu -- select, “Levels,” “Exposure,” “Curves” or “Brightness.” Depending on the program you are using, these terms will appear when you want to edit the exposure of the picture. A slide tool will appear on the screen with an adjustment tab.

Click and hold the adjustment tab and slide the tab slightly to adjust the picture's exposure. Move the slide bar until the picture appears brighter, but not to the point where you lose the details in any white part of the picture. At this point, you are over-exposing the image.

Click the "Edit" tab and select “Color Correction” from the drop-down menu. Just like different films have certain color profiles, some digital sensors may record colors slightly differently. This can also happen if the white balance was not placed on the correct setting. Adjust the color until white or black details in the picture are true white or black. Some programs will allow you to adjust the photo color to match the skin tone of the individual. If you have multiple people in your picture, this can be difficult to do.

Click “File” and select “Save as.” Give your photo a new name and save it to your computer’s hard drive. Saving it as a different file allows you to retain the original should you want to edit it again in the future.

About the Author

Since 2002 Mark Spowart has been working as a freelance writer and photographer in London, Canada. He has publication credits for writing and/or photography in Canada, The United States, Europe and Norway, with such titles as "The Globe & Mail," "The National Post," Canada News Wire, Sun Media and "Business Edge" magazine.