Jan 22, 2013

Before and after - Post processing sports in Lightroom

Here is a quick look at a few images from high school basketball and how I adjust them for newspaper, as well as how far you can take them with a quick edit in Lightroom.

Terrell played hard but lost to Carrollton Newman Smith Tuesday night... It was not a great night shooting for me as much of the best action took place on the opposite end of the court, regardless of where I went.

However, when looking through the images, I was pleasantly pleased to find that the players were very expressive.  When players are really hustling, it shows on their faces.  That, in turn, makes much better pictures even when you don't get the best action shots.

OK... here is a quick 1-2-3.

Camera setup was Canon 1D mkIV, 50mm, ISO2000, 1/1250, f2.  That turns out slightly underexposed.
Lightroom Processing Sports orig-2572

Same picture, as sent it in to the newspaper...  Bumped up the exposure a bit, sharpened and with some noise reduction.  It makes a big difference for the newspaper press, which tends to print dark on most days.  If the images will run in black and white, I bump the exposure even more because anything dark gray prints black, and white is the color of the paper itself.
Lightroom Processing Sports-2572

I do more than 90% of my normal processing in Lightroom, and really 100% of the work for newspaper.  But even in Lightroom, you can go pretty far into the realm of 'edgy magazine feature' with just a few clicks.  Oh the drama.
Lightroom Processing Sports-2572-2

Here are a few more with a basic edit and an over-the-top version based on Matt Kloskowski's "Game Day" Lightroom presets.

This one is with the 70-200mm lens, iso3200, f2.8, 1/1000
Lightroom Processing Sports-3138
Lightroom Processing Sports-3138-2

Lightroom Processing Sports-2920
Lightroom Processing Sports-2920-2

Another boring shot but with nice expression in the eyes.
Lightroom Processing Sports-2665
Lightroom Processing Sports-2665-2

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