We’ll explain how to edit sports photos in detail. If you’re a beginner in sports photo editing and need expert help, you can outsource to a reputable agency. Designyep is a photo editing agency with many years of experience. You can get expert photo editing help for your sports photos. If you have little  knowledge about photo editing and can deliver quality edits with some guidance, you’ll learn a lot from this post. 

When you take pictures of sporting events, you create unforgettable memories. However, editing is needed to remove blurs, imperfections and adjust the colors of your sports photos. With editing, you can make your photos look more professional and appealing. 

Here, we will discuss how to start editing your sports photos like a pro. Read on!

What Does Sports Photos Editing Mean?

Sports photo editing involves using software to fix imperfections or dirt in your sports photos, making them more appealing and ideal for professional usage. It is also a must-do task, as editing helps improve the quality and appeal of sports photos. 

Sports photos are usually uploaded on blogs, websites, forums, media platforms, magazines, and TV programs. So, editing your sports photos before letting your audience or proposed clients see them is necessary. 

Now, whether you’re running a blog, sports magazine, content creator, or sports analyst, sports photo editing is one task you can’t skip. You can edit your photos yourself, but outsourcing to a reputable agency would be a reasonable option if you lack the required editing skills. 

Diverse sports photo editing software exists. But the popular ones are:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Luminar
  • Capture One
  • Photoshop

All the programs we just mentioned are popular, but many photo editing professionals use Photoshop. I enjoy using it, too. 

Is Sports Photo Editing Skills Important?

Of course, having sound editing skills is important for photographers, content creators, and even bloggers. It will enable you to edit your photos whenever you want. You won’t encounter any constraints except time constraints. But then, you can always create time to edit your photos. 

You don’t need to outsource your sports photo editing tasks when you have the skills and knowledge to do the job. Outsourcing will only make sense when you don’t have time or the editing tasks are more comprehensive for you to tackle. 

Outsource your sports image editing tasks if you lack the skills to do a neat job. Find a reputable photo editing agency that can deliver a good job for you. 

How To Edit Sports Photos Professionally

Editing is necessary to improve the quality of your sports photos. Whether you sell the photos to sports magazines or blogs or use them on your platform, editing is necessary. Editing helps you identify and fix areas of your sports photos that require improvement. It enables you to fix imperfections and enhance the quality of your sports photographs. The question now is, how can you edit your sports photographs like a pro? How can you improve the quality of your photos and make them captivating? Here are the various steps you need to take. 

1: Crop your sports photos to grab attention: 

You may capture the fans, officials, or reserves when you take photos. Even the coaches may appear in the photo, causing some distraction in your photos. It is improper to leave distractions on sports photos. It does look professional. However, most people may leave the distractions in their sports photos. They may leave the audience, fans, teammates, coach, or even the referee in their sports photos. They don’t have an issue with that.  

But if you want people to focus entirely on the players, crop the distractions out. Go to the toolbar on your Photoshop, and select the cut tool. Use the tool to cut out the portion featuring the players in action.


2:  Balance the lighting & exposure:

For this editing process, Adobe Photoshop would be our main editing software. It is the first choice of many editors, though most of the features of Photoshop are on other top-rated editing software. We aren’t here to discuss photo editing software but how to improve the quality of the sports images you capture during a game. How do you make them highly attractive? 

In Photoshop, you have to balance the Lighting & Exposure of your photos. You cannot control the lighting used in a stadium. You cannot ask players to pose during a game so that you can take good pictures of them. You must capture your photos while the game is ongoing. 

Stadiums usually use artificial lights and LEDs at night. During the day, you’ll have to depend on the sun’s natural light to capture your photos. In this case, you’ll likely have issues with the lighting of your photos. When you capture photos of players, you’ll discover that some of their faces are darker or unattractive. In most cases, they aren’t looking that way because that’s how their faces are. The lighting is the issue. 

So, fix the lighting and exposure of your sports photos in Photoshop. Adjust the Lighting and Exposure until you achieve a clear balance. In the image below, you can see how I adjusted the photo. You can see the before and after photos.


3: Smart object conversion: 


Enter “Convert to Smart Object” in your Photoshop. Once selected, you’ll have freedom to perform non-destructive edits on your sports photos. In other words, when you convert to a smart object, you’ll maintain the image’s original quality while performing various editing tasks. 

For instance, you can rotate, skew, distort, scale, or perform perspective transformation on the photo without changing the original quality. Additionally, modification of the filters applied to the smart object is possible. You can even increase the sharpness of your photo, too. 

4: Use a professional-looking background: 

The quality of your sports photos’ background is important. The background can make or break your photo. It can be the major difference between a well-taken and edited photo and one poorly edited. Edit your sports photo background. Use a background that improves the quality of the overall photo. 

How do you edit a sports photo background? Open your Photoshop software. Use the pen tool in Photoshop to draw and cut the layer out. The idea is to isolate the object from the original background. It’s called background removal.



5: Retouch the photo:

Observe the image below. You can see how obvious the difference between the editing of both images “before and after” is. The latter is more appealing and looks professional. That’s because it has been professionally edited. 

Photo retouching is an important photo editing technique that makes a dull and unattractive photo eye-catching. It is a technique to eliminate spots, imperfections, dirt, dust, and other unwanted distractions.


Using Photoshop, open the pen tool. Now, draw the desired path or area you want to edit. You can brighten the light or reshape it as you desire. If there is dirt, dust, or imperfections on your sports photo, the brush tool can help you fix the errors. Use the tool to get rid of dust, imperfections, or dirt and restore the quality of your photo. You can even beautify the skin or hair of the athlete in your sports photo using the clone stamp, brush, or healing tool. Use any of the tools to improve the appeal of your photos and make them more attractive.   

6: Fix the color issue: 

Color correction is a major aspect of photo editing required to enhance the appeal of your photos. You cannot dictate the color; sometimes, you may not get the best colors when you capture athletes. However, with photo editing, you can fix the color issue with your photos.

Using the pen tool in Photoshop, you create a multipath for color correction, color enhancement, and color mapping. 


You can enhance the appeal of your photos with the right color adjustment. Enhance the color, and the quality of your sports photos will improve drastically. Note that color correction is an integral part of photo editing. You must also adjust the color correctly to get the desired quality. 

Because of the tricky and complex nature of color correction processes, they are mostly handled by expert photo editors. An expert photo editor will help you balance the colors in your sports photos, making them more appealing. 

7: Restoration of missing parts:

One of the issues photographers capturing sporting events face is the athletes’ speed. Photographers may miss out on some parts of the athletes or action. A photo is complete or appealing when viewers don’t claim something is missing from the photo. Nobody will feel comfortable viewing an incomplete photo. You’ll feel like you’re missing something.


Look at the image above. Can you spot the difference between the before and after versions of the image? The second photo looks more professional and appealing. Additionally, your views will not feel like they are missing something when viewing the photo.   

In the Photoshop program, you can use the clone stamp tool to fix missing parts in your photo. However, this is a highly tricky and time-consuming process for someone without prior experience. So, let an expert guide you or help you restore missing parts in your photo. 

7 Must-Know Sports Photography Tips For Every Beginner


Sports photography is a tricky and demanding task. The people you’re trying to capture are constantly in motion, and they don’t even know you want to capture them. They are more focused on winning the game than taking photos or posing for the camera.

So, how can you take quality sports photos? Here, we’ll be dissecting some tips. We have discussed how to edit sports photos. Now, let’s discuss how to take good photos. 

1: Get more knowledge about the sport:   

Sports photography isn’t all about taking still images. Your photos must tell a story. So, it’s important to understand the rules of the sports you’re capturing. That way, you can capture photos that can tell a complete story. 

2: Learn about shooting positions:

The shooting position is another aspect of sports photography to learn. Learn the best positions to capture athletes and get the best view of several positions of their bodies. You can learn about the shooting positions through other sports photographers’ samples. You can quickly become a pro when you study other photographers’ work and practice it.

A Handy Tip: You always want to be positioned with the object facing you. That’s where you can capture quality photos.  

3: Learn about the equipment you need:

Do you know the tools you need for sports photography? What equipment can make you more efficient as a sports photographer? Using the right equipment can set you apart. It can smooth your tasks and help you take quality pictures, requiring less editing. 

 4: Get used to your camera: 

Firstly, ensure you’re using a good-quality camera. Use a camera that will give you quality photos. Take regular pictures with your camera. Regular practice can improve you even if you’re a beginner sports photographer. Take photos in different modes to understand how to operate the camera to take different photos.  

 5: Your shutter speed should be super fast: 

Because sports are usually fast, freezing actions have become imperative. But then, your shutter speed must be super fast. It should be around the 1/1500s and 1/2000s. Ideally, the faster the object you want to capture moves, the higher or faster your shutter speed should be. 

6: Learn the usefulness of each feature of your camera:  

Having a camera isn’t enough. You must understand how to use the camera and how the various features of the camera affect your sports photos. These include the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. Understand how each of these features affects your image. A large aperture will be ideal for sports photos. For shutter speed, we have already explained that the faster the object you want to capture, the faster your shutter speed should be. However, a variable option is a wise choice for ISO, depending on the lighting. 

7: Be respectful and know your boundaries:

As a photographer, whether you’re older than everyone in the stadium, show some respect. Respect the officials, athletes, coaches, and even fans. Furthermore, know your boundaries. If the officials or security asks you to step back, respectfully honor their request. Don’t give your brand a bad name by disrespecting people. 


You have read how to edit sports photos. You can see that some aspects of photo editing are simple, while some are tough. You can do the simple ones as a beginner. But as for the tricky and complex photo editing, leave them to the expert editors. 

Photo editing is an important process to enhance the quality of sports photos. It helps enhance the appeal of your sports photos, making them more professional and ideal for top-media houses. With sports photo editing, you can eliminate dirt, dust, and any imperfections in your photos. You can change the background and adjust the color. 

The essence of editing sports photos is to improve the quality of the photos and make them more pleasant to the eyes. So, if you’re a sports photographer, sports blogger, sports content creator, or running or working for a sports magazine, editing your photos before using them will set you apart.