Cowboy Stadium has been at the top of my list for stadiums to shoot for a few years now, and yesterday I finally got the chance.

I had only seen it from the outside, a few years ago when I was doing my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” tour in Arlington — it’s within walking distance of the convention center where we hold my classes, and it’s just an amazing feat of architecture and design, and when I found out I I’d be here a day early, I reached out over Twitter to find a contact with the Cowboys, and before you know it I was talking with Shannon Gross, Social Media powerful overlord for the Cowboys (and as luck would have it, a photographer).

Our shoot was set for 2:00 pm yesterday, and I was planning out my shoot in the morning when I realized that the massive overhead high-def screens would be black, I shot off a quick last-minute email to Shannon asking if we could get the Cowboy’s logo up on the screens for our shoot, and I would need a helmet (for the shot you see above), and Shannon scrambled to make both happen. This were some of the first dedicated stadium shots the Cowboys would have since the new AT&T branding (It’s now AT&T Stadium) and so I wanted to make sure there was something on those big screens.

These shots were taken with a Canon 5D Mark III using an 8-15mm Fisheye zoom lens, and I usually had it zoomed out to between 14mm and 16mm on a Gitzo tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. Contrast and Clarity added in Lightroom (except for on the turf field itself).

This shot was taken at the 50-yard-line, up high with a super-wide angle lens â” the 16-35mm set at 16mm.

The stadium itself was just amazing. The screen….well…what can you say about the HD screen — it’s just insane, but the whole facility is incredibly well designed, well thought-out, and just so focused on creating the ultimate fan experience.

Above: Brad snapped this iPhone shot of me during the shoot.

The Cowboys offer daily guided tours of the stadium, and so we’d wait until the short break between on-field tours to take our shots, so we’d get set up, check our email and stuff until the tour headed for the locker-room tour and then we’d have a nice empty field all to ourselves. We’d shoot, pack and move to another location and shoot until the next tour hit the field, so it was a pretty relaxing shoot, and we still had everything wrapped up in about two hours from start to finish.

Here’s one for the road, shooting right down the handrail toward the corner of the field. I have lots more shots, and some great stories, but I’ll have to save those for next week’s episode of “The Grid,” ’cause it’s time to hit the hay — big day tomorrow here in Dallas with my tour tomorrow, and I hope I’ll see some of you there.

A big thanks to Shannon Gross and the gracious folks in the Cowboys organization for the wonderful opportunity to take some shots for them (and for me) and I hope to see you all again real soon! Cheers. :)

About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.

33 Comments

  1. Great to get a view “ahead” of time and what gorgeous shots. I’ll be there in 2 weeks to watch my beloved Fighting Irish take on ASU….not a bad way to follow-up my trip to PSW13 with one to Dallas!

  2. Cool, Very Cool! See you in a few hours, can’t wait for a great day of learning!

  3. Scott, those are some incredible shoots! I just might have to check out a fish eye lens! Sounds like you’re enjoying the Canon Cameras!:-) Soooo what does Nikon think of all this?:-) Thanks for sharing your Stadium Tour with us! Beautiful photos!

    Dennis

  4. Great shots Scott. Other than TV I have not seen the stadium. Your shots have done such an amazing job of capturing the expanse of the stadium. Just awesome!

    On a side note, I have to ask, should we be consider Scott Kelby officially as a Canon shooter now?

  5. Although I’m a diehard Giants fan, it’s a gorgeous stadium & some beautiful images. But I also have the same question as others; are you making a switch to Canon, or is this just a little fling 😎?

  6. Rockin that 5d Scott…….you love it eh? Great photos

  7. I’m a fellow Bucs fan, but wow, those are some incredible shots!

  8. Great shots Scott and I’m betting Canon is loving this coverage.

  9. Cool pics !!!

  10. Have you ever shot at Mile High (new or old?)?

  11. Love it. Welcome to the 5D Mark3.

  12. I was on the design team for that project with HKS! Fantastic to see one of my fav. photographers there taking pictures – you need to get access to the clubs inside and take pictures there too! :)

  13. From your last post I assume Canon started sponsoring you instead of Nikon…

  14. Man those are some awesome images! What a beautiful stadium. I hope you can come out to the Bay Area and shoot the new Niners stadium next year!

    And thanks for being a brand agnostic. I think it gives you a great deal more credibility that you are willing to shoot with different cameras and discuss the pros and cons of each.

  15. Wow, luv these super wide shots and what an amazing stadium!

  16. Amazing! Only Scott and his photography can make a football stadium sexy! Well done.

  17. SWEET! You should shoot another great field, Centurylink in Seattle!

  18. Those stadeuom shots are awesome looking.

  19. Great shots Scott!

  20. I really really really really like that corner fish-eye shot. Jeez. I’m not even a Dallas Cowboys fan and i’d have that on my wall

  21. Scott that is amazing! So is the Zildjian shirt :)

  22. Why does it matter whether Scott uses Canon or Nikon?

    Great shots Scott. Keep them coming. No matter what you take them with! :)

  23. Scott, do you get Moire in the seats, I always do. I tried the brush in Lr5 with no luck. Did you have that issue?

  24. Being a Steelers fan – no one actually likes Dallas ;~D – I hadn’t realized how beautiful that stadium is; awesome shots!

  25. A helmet?? Hmmm… I think you should have really pushed it and asked for a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader……..Heh…. Awesome shots!

  26. Scott, with the advances in ISO performance over the last 5 years making ISO400-800 incredibly clean, do you find yourself in two minds about whether a tripod is necessary for these kinds of shots these days? If I was given an opportunity like this I’d probably bring the tripod too, but I’d be doing it wondering if it was overkill in the back of my mind.

    Great shots by the way, and what a stadium!

  27. awesome looking the cowboys stadium.

  28. One of the things I wonder about photographing some of these amazing places you are able to go, is can you really enjoy them and appreciate them for what they are. Or, do you plan outings to some of the same places but without a camera, so you’re able to not be distracted and can fully enjoy them.

    It’s something I wondered when I was at Disney World or some other spot and I was always worrying about ISO or shutter speed settings, light direction, etc…and wasn’t able to enjoy where I was or who I was with. Do you find that your able to take your photographer’s hat off when necessary? I guess it’s something that comes with experience or a curse, per se, of loving photography and never wanting to miss an opportunity!

  29. Great shots Scott, It’s great you can get the place to yourself for your pics. I took my son to the Cowboys Stadium over the summer, and made this collage for him:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/miniburb/9943463323/

    It’s a great looking stadium. We will be checking out “your” stadium in December when we take a vacation to Florida. A trip the Buc’s Stadium is on the agenda.

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