Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How Bright is Dallas Cowboy Stadium?

On November 20, 2009, the Aledo Bearcats took on the Stephenville Yellowjackets for the second time last season. The first time was at Bearcat Stadium where the boys from Aledo pulled out a 20 to 16 win to open the season. The second time was at Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington and it was "loser go home." It was the second round of the 4A state playoffs and Aledo won it in overtime, 26-20. Wow! What a night!

For me it was a treat to get to shoot a football game on the sidelines at Jerry Jones' mega-playland. The new Dallas Cowboy Stadium is every bit as impressive as it looks on television. The GodzillaTron overhead is a technical marvel and getting to see yourself on it is some kind of amazing. I did notice that it was important not to look up at the screen while walking. It's a good way to run into someone else who shouldn't have been walking and looking up.

In this first photo, I tried to give a sense of scale. A wide angle lens and a low shooting angle with cheerleaders in the foreground make it work.

So, just how bright is Dallas Cowboy Stadium?

In the next photo, my aperture was f/5.6, my shutterspeed was 1/640, and my ISO was 3200.

Back at Bearcat Stadium everything would have been the same except the aperture would have been f/2.8. For those of you keeping score, that means that Cowboy stadium is four times brighter than Bearcat stadium. WOW! What does this mean? Well, for me it meant that I could get greater depth of field without sacrificing the ability to stop the action with a fast shutterspeed. For someone with less ISO capability or with a slower lens it means the difference between getting photos of a great Aledo win or getting complete garbage.

By the way, that photo above is Matthew Bishop scoring the winning touchdown in overtime. Right after that shot - bedlam!

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