All week long, I couldn't wait for Sunday. It was another Texans home game and I was ready for game day. I had done some research during the week and knew I wanted to try a few new things. I also wanted to talk to a couple of photographers whose work I had seen online.
I arrived to Reliant Stadium earlier than usual. My plan was to get tailgating shots before heading into the stadium but it had been raining all morning and after checking the radar, there was no chance it was going to let up. It only stopped raining for a few minutes and that's when I exited my car, got all my gear and made a mad dash to the media entrance of the stadium.
I was much earlier than usual and the media room where the photographers set up wasn't empty. Photographers were already setting up their laptops, cleaning their gear and showing off photos from college games that they had shot on Saturday. Some of these photographers had traveled from as far as Dallas (4+ hours away) and Austin (3+ hours away) to shoot the NFL in Houston. I met some wire service photographers as well as a guy who in addition to shooting for wire services also shoots for Topps. We all chatted for a while before heading out to the field about an hour before the noon kickoff.
I brought along my 3 cameras. The plan was to keep my 300mm f/4 lens on my 5D Mark II. With the overcast skies, I knew I wasn't going to have the extra luxury of bright sunlight beaming through the translucent retractable roof so I would need the Mark II's high ISO capabilities. On my Canon 5D, I affixed my 70-200mm and on my Rebel XTi, I swapped between my 15mm fisheye and my 24-70mm. So, I had a long zoom, a medium zoom and a wide angle, ready to go. Of course, throughout the day, I would opt to swap out lenses here an there and shoot with different combinations depending on the situation.
While the Texans lost the game as well as a couple of key players to injuries, I had another learning experience and walked away with some photos that my client and myself were happy with.
You know I said last week I'd give someone else's right arm to shoot the NFL, well I'd give their whole body to shoot the Raiders - I've been a fan of the Raiders since about 1983.
Indeed, when I started my own team in the UK around 1984 I named them the North Herts Raiders in honour (though I didn't choose the same uniform as I liked the UCLA strip better)
Great shots, as usual. It looks like you got to vary your position during the game, do you get free reign to wander along the sidelines?
LOL!!! Someone's whole body huh? I wish I had the luxury to invite someone, I'd get you over here quick!
About positioning, we are free to roam in a U-shape from the 20 yard line around the end zone and to the other side. We can do this on both ends of the field. We can also walk behind the benches to get to the other side. We cannot however, take photos from anywhere behind the benches. It is strictly forbidden due to the plays being reviewed, clipboards and coaching staff in full view. I guess they don't want us taking photos and sharing with the other team. I can respect that. We can however, shoot from that 20 yard line area into the benches for player sideline shots. Something I have yet to do as usually there is security and team staff all bunched up on the ends.
Feel free to ask any other questions and I'll do my best to answer them.