Creating My Header Image and a Note on Technical Skills

To me, it’s the perfect image. It’s a snapshot of life in the baseball broadcast booth, blessed with its breathtaking perch above the stadium and cluttered by papers and wires and pens strewn all about. It’s two of the most loved MLB broadcasters—seriously, the most loved—doing their enviable jobs, Mike Krukow flipping a ball to himself as Jon Miller points out something of importance to his partner. If a picture tells 1,000 words, this one talks about the long-standing relationship every baseball fan has with their broadcasters as they transport the fan to the ballpark and have intimate, 1-on-1 conversations with millions of people all at once.

And that’s why I chose it as the featured photo in the Sportscaster Central header image. Every sportscaster who grew up in love with a baseball team can tell stories about their team’s broadcasters. Now, all those young boys and girls have grown up and want to be those sportscasters. This blog was created with those people in mind, and (much like the blog’s name and theme) its header image sets the tone for that ultimate objective.

Don’t get me wrong, though, mashing up a header image without a basic knowledge of photo editing is quite a challenge. I had never done as much as open up Photoshop prior to constructing that image, so I was going in blind. Thankfully the free, online photo editor Pixlr offers many of the same tools that Photoshop includes, and the website also features an easy-to-use interface that assists beginners learning on the fly.

Pixlr and Penguins
Pixlr’s easy-to-use interface, plus some happy penguins. Credit: LiveDrive

While I was still a novice with no previous experience, Pixlr’s clear layout allowed me to overcome my early struggles applying the right tools so that I could end up with a quality header.

Pair that photo of Krukow and Miller with a clipart image of a headset, add a branding touch with the “SC” lettering, include some cool filters, and there you go! A guy with no photo editing skills creates a quality product and learns some valuable basic skills in the process. Now that I have learned how to use Pixlr, I’m confident I can tell an employer that I have a very basic grasp of how to edit a photo for broadcast or social media distribution.

And that’s not a fact I take lightly, either. Amassing as much technical and editing skill as possible is invaluable for media talent at all levels and all disciplines. Look no further than every small-market TV sportscaster. I’m sure they’d all be willing to tell you just how many hats they’ve been forced to wear due to budget cuts. Your sports anchor may serve as the broadcaster, videographer, editor, and graphic designer for his department all at once. At minor league and college play-by-play gigs, too, broadcasters are now commonly called upon to bring some web design or editing prowess to the table, adding more to the job description than just on-air responsibilities.

So I encourage you, learn as much about as many editing programs as possible. I had no idea how to edit a photo before I created this header, and now Pixlr has given me a basic understanding of photo editing. Who knows, your editing skills might just help you land a job one day!

Have your job prospects gotten a boost from the editing and technical skills you can offer an employer? Let me know in the comments below!