Metroplex sports photographers 'blown away' by stadium lighting
By Wyatt Kanyer
Posted September 12, 2012
Posted September 12, 2012
Related items: Amon G. Carter Stadium: 80 years of history
Photographers in the metroplex are impressed with vast improvements in Amon G. Carter Stadium's lights.
The renovation of the stadium brought with it more upscale suites, wider concourses, improved food options, beautiful archways and even a redesigned seating layout.
Those swanky new amenities weren't the main focus for spectators experiencing Saturday's game from behind a camera lens, though.
Game photographers from around the Dallas-Fort Worth area said the stadium’s improved lighting made a marked difference in the quality of their photos.
Kevin Jairaj, a freelance photographer covering the game for U.S. Presswire, said the new lighting in the stadium is much brighter than it was in the past.
He said he noticed the photos were more balanced when he shot Saturday’s game.
Photos were sporadically lit in seasons past at the old Amon G. Carter Stadium, Jairaj said.
Jairaj said he also appreciated the other amenities the new stadium offers for photographers, such as a new photo room close to the field and a more spacious press box.
Lara Solt, a Dallas Morning News photographer shooting in the stadium for the first time, said she did not have to adjust her camera’s resolution because lighting was evenly distributed.
Even though Solt said she hadn’t taken many college athletics photos, she said the lighting in the stadium was better than in past sports photos she took.
Sharon Ellman, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram photographer who has plenty of experience shooting in the stadium, said the old stadium’s end zones in specific were darker in the past, which made it more difficult to catch players in that area of the field—an important photo opportunity area.
“It was a huge bonus to have all that extra light,” she said. “It’s been two years since we had that much.”
She said the light was at least two stops brighter, which, in photo terms, means she was able to keep her camera two lighting increments below what she normally uses.
“Before, you had to work harder to make (photos) look good,” she said. “Now the lighting looks much more even.”
More light meant fewer shadows and less editing, too, Ellman said.
Shadowy lighting made it more difficult to see players’ faces under their helmets the past two seasons, she said, but she didn’t have that problem Saturday.
And the stadium’s quality lighting goes beyond the shots photographers get during game action, Ellman said.
Better photos mean better advertisements especially when it comes to billboards, she said.
“A quality billboard photo could bring attention to TCU as a university and program, as well to the TCU campus,” she said.
Paul Moseley, also a Star-Telegram photographer, has been photographing TCU football games since 1981, when he began working at the newspaper.
The stadium’s lighting had been a problem since then, he said. The old stadium’s design gave photographers less time to use natural light, too, he said.
“[Lighting] is always a problem when a stadium is smaller,” he said. “But shooting at TCU used to be just awful.”
When color photography was in its early days, lighting used to be so bad in the old stadium that, when editing photos, photographers had to choose between purple uniforms and green grass, Moseley said.
With vast improvements in camera technology since the 80s, lighting isn’t always an issue, he said, but good lighting allows photographers more freedom. They simply don’t have to adjust the cameras as much, he said.
The editing process was no different for Moseley on Saturday. During game time, though, he said he didn’t have a hard time with timing when to shoot players in action.
“Players used to be running in and out of shadows (at the old stadium),” he said.
And from what his fellow photogs were saying, the stadium ranks with the best.
“Every photographer is just blown away at how great it is,” he said. “I thought I’d miss the old Amon G. Carter Stadium, but I didn’t have any worries once I started shooting.”
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