How do I post-edit this shot? Thanks!

Discussion in 'Sports' started by dave_matt, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    I am relatively new to photography and I have not had the time and opportunity to learn Photoshop. I usually do a little basic editing on my iPhoto and sometimes PS Elements 11 but, I really need some help perfecting this photo I took today for a local newspaper.

    Can anyone help me please? I am visualizing getting background "cleaned up" but don't know how.
    I used Nikon D4s and Nikon 70-200mm at SS 1500 ISO 400 F/500 during cloudy condition.

    Thanks in advance!

    [​IMG]
    00dG8y-556489984.jpg
     
  2. I wasn't able to do much with it. I just grabbed the blue channel (because the background is mainly blue) and used it as a mask isolate him a bit from the background. Then reduced the brightness of the background and dropped the saturation just a tad. Not much different, but it does make him stand out from the background a little bit more.
     
  3. Here's the image. In photosphop I could see a clear difference, but here spread out on the page, the difference isn't so strong. You could of course reduce the background further.
    00dG9b-556492584.jpg
     
  4. Here's a slightly better effort. I darkened the background more and dropped the brightness of that distracting white bit through the fence in the top left corner. By the way, I made a mistake in my description above. I didn't use the Blue channel, I used the red channel and inverted it.
     
  5. Sorry, here's the image.
    00dG9m-556493084.jpg
     
  6. I was trying to make the whole background black. Not sure if it's a good idea at all. And don't know how to do it. What do you think? Here is the half-a## work.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Here's another quick go, drawing the mask around the player. After he was masked out I darkened around him and blurred the background a bit using a combination of the mask and a new gradient mask. It's not perfect, as I did the mask quickly. But if you took your time, it would work out ok.
    edit: sorry, I ballsed up the images. I posted the same one as above. I'll have to redo it (because I was too lazy to save a psd copy) and post below. I've got serious morning zombie brain at the moment... :/
     
  8. here's my layer stack to give you an idea of what I did.
    00dG9p-556493384.jpg
     
  9. You could make the whole background black (using the masking technique I did), but I'm not sure a newspaper will like to accept that heavily edited image. You might want to check first.
     
  10. Ok, here's the blurred and darkened background.
    00dG9s-556493484.jpg
     
  11. People generally don't like to see newspaper photos manipulated, and newspapers cringe at the idea. Just leave it as it is, it's honest and no one will accuse you of nefarious editing. It's bad for newspapers' credibility to print photoshopped photos.
     
  12. Dave, I don't know what you mean by "getting background cleaned up". But I think I got all image a little cleaner by desaturating green, blue and yellow colors in PS, and then adding some contrast and sharpening the image just a bit.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Ditto, Peter's advice. Avoid excessive retouching of photos intended for newspaper or similar use. Most news organizations have specific guidelines for photojournalism. Here's Reuters' guidelines, which are comparable to other agencies.
    The only editing that would be appropriate for this photo is to tone down the highlights in the whites, and the yellow/green jersey and cap. You could pull down the blue background very slightly, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 stop, but no more. Retouching or removing the background would be inappropriate.
    Don't crop too tightly. Let the editor and layout person make that decision, based on the available space.
    Sometimes you just go with what you get and try for a better shot next time. This is a good snag of peak action and I doubt a more experienced photographer could do much better in this particular situation and angle.
     
  14. First, it's a great shot. Congratulations. Second, if it's for a newspaper, as others have said, don't do anything with it at all. I spent 15 years working for newspapers and wire services. Anything much beyond what could have been done in the darkroom simply isn't allowed. Reducing blown-out highlights is OK, and fixing color balance if it were way off (if you ahd the camera set on tungsten while shooting in daylight, for example) is OK. But blurring the background, changing its color, etc., could get you fired if you were on staff and could guarantee no future assignments as as freelancer. I could see the photo desk maybe cropping this to leave out most of the left side of the picture and the area below the player's waist if they wanted something tighter. But cropping is the editor's call, not the photographers. For that matter, the photo desk can do any final adjustments to exposure or color. I would simply leave it alone.
     
  15. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    . . . cropping is the editor's call, not the photographers.​
    Matt, a note on this point.
    The sample image that you posted appears to have been cropped by you. It does not have a 3:2 Aspect Ratio.
    WW
     

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