Is the weather-sealing on pro DSLRs enough to keep everything protected?
Moisture and fine sand find their way into cameras. You have to keep them covered up as best you can. Some people invest in expensive rain covers which are really nice. I saw one photographer had plastic wrap around his camera. He had wrapped it around his entire body and lens. I thought it was brilliant. He’s like, “It sticks to the camera and keeps the water out, but I can still see the viewfinder.” It was awesome. But, you see everything out there from garbage bags to expensive rain covers. You do what you can to keep your stuff dry.
What were you using?
I had a towel over my 80-200mm. Whatever camera I had slung over my shoulder would have inches of snow on it every time I’d pick it up to shoot. Sometimes you don’t have time to brush it off, you just have to pick it up and shoot. I had the towel covering the camera and it got soaking wet. By the third quarter is was just about frozen stiff, so I had to ditch it. I kept the camera under my jacket.
Have you had a chance to look through all the photos you shot? Are you happy with how they came out considering the circumstances?
I saw what went out live and I was kind of surprised with myself. There was one picture of a pass to riley cooper in the endzone, and I remember picking up my short telephoto and shooting it, but I didn’t know if it was in focus or not. I saw it pop up on the computer screen and realized it was the play where the ball hit him right in the facemask. I remember shooting it and thinking that I wasn’t even sure if the ball was in the frame. The outtakes have a lot of out of focus stuff. My first half has a lot of white frames where you just couldn’t see anything. I’m pretty happy with them, though. I got what I needed.
Was exposure a challenge?
Not really. You want to underexpose a little for stuff like this. If you overexpose, you lose your highlights. You can’t get them back because they’re not there. Detroit was wearing white uniforms, so I was underexposing ⅓ a stop and everything was fine. There’s just so much detail you get with these cameras. It’s amazing.
Have you shot in conditions like this before?
I have come close, but this has to be the worst one. At least it wasn’t freezing. I remember shooting during an ice storm in Green Bay, which was miserable, but this one you really couldn’t see.
Did you get any chances to warm up at all?
We came in at halftime and they were serving food. They had these trays with lids on them with burners underneath. Everybody started putting their gloves and gear on top of these trays to start thawing them out. In the second half, I had warm gloves...at least for a little while [laughs].