A post over at Ronan Palliser's blog got me thinking about this today.
In general terms when I process my rugby shots I work in Photoshop and have a set 'Action' that I use as a starting point for each photo. If you use Photoshop but have never used actions, you should! They're a fantastic time-saver used individually, and when combined with the 'Automate' function will save you hours on repetitive tasks. I shoot 150 - 250 photos each match and process around 40 - 60 of them. I always shoot Jpegs for sport. I don't need the quality given by RAW (which I use for everything else) and I don't need the extra processing steps that RAW requires.
My standard sport action simply applies auto-contrast, a little sharpening and resizes the image. The Nikon D700 is a fantastic camera and the images come out almost perfect every time.
Every now and again I like to try something a little different and I know these won't be to everyone's taste...
This is the Tunbridge Wells captain after his last match before a 5 week break working as part of the PR team with Lawrence Dallaglio on his Cycle Slam around the 6 Nations Stadiums. I boosted the contrast massively, dropped the saturation right back, added in some sepia and finished it off with a vignette.
I felt this one benefited from Black and White. Again I have an action set up for this, and then tweak it once it's done. It's a standard Portrait B&W which I then boosted contrast on to give it some added punch.
This is a standard shot using standard processing. Really pleased with it as a photo and left it alone!
Finally, this had the same treatment as the first shot, but with added everything! Yes it's an acquired taste, but certainly with this age group it seems to go down well. These images are best viewed by clicking on them and looking at them at their largest.