The secret to SI’s great photography: This is perhaps the most fascinating analysis of a magazine process I have run across while doing the rexblog. It is a look at how the photographers and photo editors of Sports Illustrated use digital cameras to capture the incredible images they use in each issue of the magazine. And then, how the specific images are reviewed and selected for inclusion in an issue. This article focuses on the process that went into producing this year’s Super Bowl issue (thank goodness, no Janet Jackson shots).
In 2003, Sports Illustrated’s photo department processed 1,028,000 digital photographs shot by staffers or freelancers under assignment. In 2004, an Olympic year, they estimate they will process closer to 3 million. Though a small amount of the work done for the magazine is still shot on film, the vast majority of its photography is now digital.
So, there you have the secret: A few million images to choose from taken by a select group of the greatest photo-journalists working today.