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On deadlines

Steve Russell, Staff Photographer

Vacationing Rick Madonik's post on a recent basketball game, drew a question from reader basically asking about the work flow on a tight deadline.

While Rick figures out how to get the sand out of his toes I'll answer the question.

Last Thursday I, along with Lucas Oleniuk covered the Buffalo Bills game at the Rogers Centre.

Covering an event that starts at 8 pm and will end after 11 pm presents deadline challenges.

Usually the paln is to file a picture or two before the game, again at halftime and finally at the end of the game.

The pre-game pictures were pretty lame so we did not file.

Once the game started I took one end of the field and lucas took the other.

We have 15 minutes to file at halftime, that is 15 minutes to injest cards, edit, enhance, caption and file.

Some of the work we do ahead of time, we write a base caption before the game, something simple like "in the first half as the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star)"

During the game we are constantly "chimping", editing on the fly off the back of the camera, tagging pictures we like and deleting pictures that are soft or have little impact.

When it is time to edit we split the tasks between two programs, Photo Mechanic and Photoshop.

Think as Photo Mechanic as the darkroom and transmitter, we use it to look at a contact sheet to identify images that we would like to move. We bring the image into Photoshop, where we quickly colour correct, sharpen and crop. Then it's back into Photo Mechanic to caption and ftp them back to the Paper.

We are free to file what we feel, depending on the game it might be a combination of key players, key plays, good peak action or something featurey. 

The edit is fast and furious, I personally look at the images I tagged first and then might go look at the frames around it as well.

We have the freedom to crop the images as we see fit, but we always try to give the desk some options.

A sequence seen in Photo Mechanic that shows Braylon Edwards missing a catch what would have been an extremely long touchdown the first half as the Buffalo Bills lose to the New York Jets 19-13 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. 

The Braylon Edwards missing a catch picture cropped. 


The Braylon Edwards missing a catch picture re-cropped so that we can see his eye better. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick fumbles after being tackled by David Harris in the first half as the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets at the  Rogers Centre  in  Toronto.

Terrell Owens narrowly misses a catch being defended by Darrelle Revis #24 in the first half as the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.  

Fred Jackson twists tackler Ryan Fowler's helmet around  in the first half as the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

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Great post! It was interesting to hear about the work-flow.

I find it incredibly sad that the majority of the photos are of tragedies. Were there no good times or positive stories to capture in the last decade? I'm not turning a blind eye to the sorry state our World is obviously in, but surely it's not all bad....................

Or is it?

We need to turn this thing around.

Compelling photos, but sadly Time Magazine had it right when they labeled this decade, "The Decade from Hell".

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