Going Wide At Super Bowl XLVI

Sometimes it pays to shoot with a lens other than the one you’re supposed to.

I usually want the longest lens possible so I can get closer to the action. For example, last weekend in Indianapolis I used a Nikon 600mm to make this photo of New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks trying to avoid two New England Patriots defenders at the Super Bowl.

20120205_Superbowl_0254.NEF (Nikon D3, 600mm lens, ISO 2500, 1/800, f/4)

I used the same lens to photograph Madonna at halftime with Cirque du Soleil dancers.

20120205_Superbowl_1306.NEF (Nikon D3, 600mm lens, ISO 4000, 1/250, f/4)

But it’s important to use wide-angle lenses to show the pomp and circumstance surrounding the biggest game of the year. Here’s Patriots QB Tom Brady leading his teammates onto the field before the game.

20120205_Superbowl_0093.NEF (Nikon D3, 24-70 lens at 24mm, ISO 2500, 1/640, f/4)

Immediately after Brady’s last-chance hail-mary pass fell to the ground (a “fail mary?”), I shot wider-than-normal to show the New York Giants players rushing on to the field in celebration. The image ran across two pages to open SI’s Super Bowl coverage.

20120213_Superbowl_opener_iPad_sm (Nikon D3, 70-200 lens at 200mm, ISO 2500, 1/1000, f/4)

If I had shot any tighter, you wouldn’t have been able to see Brady dejectedly walking off the field (far left) as Giants QB Eli Manning (red hat) runs right behind him.

Here’s an iPhone picture I took of my gear before the game. The short lenses in front are (l-r) 14-24, 70-200, and 24-70 (all f/2.8). In the back row, I have two 200-400 f/4 lenses (one was for my GigaPan) and a 600mm f/4.


Don’t lock yourself into only using the lens that you’re “supposed” to use. Try something different and you never know what might happen.