OK, there is a slight distinction in the headline you see above from my normal football game coverage—I didn’t say “shooting from the sidelines.” This time, I actually shot from up in the stands, because I didn’t have sidelines credential.
Now, if you’re wondering how I got some “big glass” into the game, here’s the trick. The NFL has a rule that a spectator can’t bring a lens that’s more than 6 inches long (15.25 cm) into the stadium, and they measure the length as you come through the security. So, I measured my beloved Nikon 70-300mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 VR lens, and it measures (without the lens hood, and attached to a camera body), about 5-3/4″—just under the wire, so they let me in with it.
I shot with a D700, so to get even closer (I was a ways back from the field), I used the DX crop, so although it got me in much closer than I would set at full frame, it does crop your image down to 6 megapixels.
Our seats (I went with my brother-in-law), were right on the goal line, so when the action was down on our end of the field, we both took some shots, but when they went past the 50-yard-line in the opposite direction, we pretty much just put down our cameras and watched the game.
The half-time show was absolutely amazing to see in person (and especially seeing them build that huge stage and lightshow in less than 6 minutes). The Who sounded just fantastic in person (much better than I expected), and the stage looked so cool I had to snap a few shots of them, too (but again, I didn’t really have the right access or the right lens, but it was fun shooting them anyway).
Although I didn’t get a sidelines pass, as I was walking into the Stadium, I ran into my buddy Jeff Snyder from Adorama, who had sideline media credentials, along with his son (who was shooting his 9th Super Bowl). You can check out his blog about shooting Super Bowl week right here.
As I write this, I’m back in my hotel room in Miami (heading back home first thing in the morning), and I really had a blast. A good friend hooked me up with the tickets, and we hung out with him and his family during the game, and just had an amazing time (plus the Saints won, and as an NFC guy, with a few buddies as die-hard Saints fans too, I had to root for New Orleans, but honestly, I thought the Colts would take it. Glad they didn’t though!).
Saw lots of celebrities at a party before the game (Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Harry Connick, Jr. [he’s told me he’s been using Photoshop since version 1.0], Jerry Rice, LL Cool J, Hillary Swank, and we saw Brad Pitt and John Travolta a little later).
What a fun day. I know, I know—the fun’s over—now back to work. :)