What a beautiful day. Not too hot, not too cool. Shorts weather, but I wore cargo pants. Which was fine because there was a slight breeze and when the sun set, it was cool enough, pants were welcome. After a week of not shooting anything, it was nice to be on the pitch for the Rapids game. On paper, FC Dallas was going to win this match, but the Rapids are on fire right now, so, you just never know.
I am getting closer to finding the shot I want for an overall view of the stadium. While I think blue skies with white puffy clouds would look cool, I am beginning to think maybe a dusk shot, or even later would be better, maybe a sunset shot from the other side of the stadium.
As you can see from the photo above, only a small part of the field was lit in sunlight. I was one of the only photographers to shoot down in that corner with the sunlight and I was able to get some great, dramatically lit shots…. The few times the play actually came into the sun.
As you can see from the picture above, the light in the foreground was much nicer than the shade. But most of my beautiful light shots were of Atiba Harris, and he only came in to the light with the ball a handful of times. But each time he did the light got better and better.
Through most of the first half, neither team could find the back of the goal, but I was eating up the possible shots in the sunshine. I could have sat over with all the other photographers, and shot across the goal and had the entire scene bathed in light, but I stayed in my corner by myself and work with side lighting.
The shot above is one of my favorite from the match. Just the light alone made the colors pop. As the light was fading, I was getting ready to head up to the media room but I decided to wait until the 30 minute mark, and I was glad I did.
The shot above was one of the last shots I took before heading to the media room for halftime. The light was just gorgeous. So, I made my way behind the FC Dallas goalkeeper, over to the stands, and then up to the concourse level to find the elevator waiting for me. Awesome. As I walked into the media room I looked out on the field to see FC Dallas celebrating. The ball was in the goal. Dang it…I missed the first goal…but then the official waved it off. The ball went past the end line before the cross in front of the goal for the score. So, it was tied up at 0-0 at halftime.
Coming back down for the second half, the light I had from the first half had been replaced with the stadium lights. So gone was the nice side lighting. But, I could shoot more of the field now with the light even over most of the field.
Then, the scoring started. The Rapids scored first, and right after they took a 1-0 lead, FC Dallas answered with a goal of their own. Tied at 1-1. Then, the Rapids took a 2-1 lead and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was rocking.
Then, FC Dallas forward Blas Pérez found himself at the top of the box with no one near him. He launched the ball (pictured above) and found the back of the net to tie the game up at 2-2. Unfortunately, he turned towards his bench to celebrate instead of turning towards the FC Dallas fans in the corner I was shooting from, so I could not get a good view of the celebration.
The game went scoreless for the rest of regulation and the 5 minutes of injury time. So, the Rapids ended tied up with FC Dallas 2-2 to end the game. It was a fun game to shoot. One thing I noticed, there are about 4 or 5 working photographers photographers in the media room that are regulars. I think one other photographer and I are the only ones who have covered every home game this season. But for the most part, there are 4 or 5 of us that are usually there, then a random group of other photographers that change from week to week.
You can head over to Corbis to purchase photos from this game for media use only.