It was my last game of the season (doesn’t look like I’ll be shooting any post-season), and it was an amazing venue — the Cowboys stadium (OK, AT&T Stadium), is just insane, and an incredible place to experience a game — maybe the best ever. In the end, the Eagles won the game (which is good since I was shooting with the Eagles crew), and although it was a huge game in terms of impact (it was winner take all: whichever team won the game, not only won the division but got into the playoffs. The loser…well..).
Some surprising things from the game:
(1) From a photography standpoint, the lighting in the stadium is….ummm…well, it’s kinda lame. I had to shoot at 5000 ISO at f/4 and 2500 ISO at f/2.8, which really surprised me.
(2) The field-level luxury boxes are even cooler than I thought. The folks in those boxes have outdoor patios with tables and it’s like they’re right there on the sidelines with you.
(3) That amazing huge screen (the largest indoor HD screen in the world) — it’s not made for viewing from the field level. They’re aimed out at the stands, so to look up at them during the game, you get a serious neck ache before long. I’ve seen them from up in the stands, and they are stunning. From field level…not so much.
(4) While this game was really high-stakes, it wasn’t a particularly exciting game to shoot (made worse by the fact that the one cool play, Escobar’s flip into the end-zone, happened when I was in the opposite end zone. I did catch an end-zone to end-zone shot at 580mm (a 400mm f/2.8 + a 1.4 tele-extender), right between two players, but it’s so far away that even cropped it’s just not a really good image.
(5) This one’s totally on me, but I hadn’t planned on shooting a remote camera, but since I was shooting with the team, I was issued a green all-access vest, so I could go on field during pre-game warmups, and I still had my pocket wizards from the Bucs game in my camera bag, so I mounted my camera on top of my monopod and fired it with a pocket-wizard Plus X. I know, I know, they’re not made for that — I should have used Plus IIIs, but I didn’t have them, so….it fired. Sometimes. My fault. I know better. But at least it did fire some. Funny story — the Cowboy’s team photographer sees me, introduces himself (really nice guy) and asked if my remotes were working (he had read the blog post). Small world.
Some days you’re really in the zone, and some times you’re in the wrong position at the right time, and that pretty much summed up my night. I got two of the Eagle’s three touchdowns, but overall, I was pretty disappointed, which isn’t a great way to end your season, but I still had a great time shooting, and hanging out with my buddy John Geliebter who shoots for the Eagles, along with Drew and Hunter (great guys, great shooters), and overall I had a really fun time, which helped to make up for how I shot.
Anyway, here’s a few of my favorites from the game:
BELOW: Here’s a couple of shots taken with the remote camera mounted up high on my monopod with a 16-35mm lens (I’m supporting the monopod on my thigh, but the monopod fully extended is pretty darn long, so it’s well above the player’s heads).
Above: I thought this might made an interesting shot: former Eagles starter Michael Vick looking on as his backup, Nick Foles, has literally lit up the QB stats this season and is about to lead the Eagles to the NFC East Championship and the Playoffs.
Above: It’s not a game action photo, but still one of my very favorites. I got this photo of a Marine holding one section of the giant flag they display on-field during the playing of the National Anthem. This is the above view from the monopod-remote rig. I was also out there for the coin-toss, and I did some shots of the players coming on/off the field, and some just outside the locker room with the rig. Next time, I’ll use the Plus IIIs. And by next time, I mean…next August. Sigh.
Above: OK, this wasn’t a great moment, when Foles lost the ball the Cowboys recovered the fumble, but it all turned out in the end.
Next week I’ll be sharing a collection of my “best of the season” (like I did last year), so I’ll hope you’ll come back and check those out.
Here’s wishing today, the last Tuesday of the year, is your best Tuesday of the year! :)