On the Red Couch with Flipboard Photo Editor Steve Fine

Inside Flipboard / January 30, 2014

When it comes to photo editing and picking the right shot, Steve Fine goes back to a piece of advice he was given early in his career: “You know it when you see it,” he says, recalling what a senior editor told him as he started working at Sports Illustrated, where he ultimately spent 17 years as Director of Photography. (Before that, he helmed the New York Times’ photo desk for nine years.)

During his storied career, the Manhattanite has anchored the photographic coverage of dozens of Olympics, Super Bowls and World Series—usually at the events themselves, on the field. He’s witnessed all kinds of sports history, from “Usain Bolt’s world-record sprints” to Super Bowl XLII’s iconic play dubbed “The Catch.”

Now Fine is Flipboard’s first-ever photo editor. You can find his work on @thephotodesk Flipboard account, as well as in sections like Flipboard Picks, News, The Craft of Photography, Weekend and more. Every day, he pores through a firehose of photography from The Associated Press, Getty and Reuters to assemble vibrant galleries around breaking stories and events. His week starts with Monday’s celebrity-oriented photo gallery and on Friday he publishes “The Week in Photos.” Subscribe to @thephotodesk to never miss his work.

With the Super Bowl days away and the Winter Games in Sochi soon to follow, we sat down with Fine to talk about what, exactly, photo editors do, the behind-the-scenes mayhem of getting the right shot, and what makes a photo truly special. Here’s what he had to say.

Follow Fine’s work by opening the section below: