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HOW TO SHOOT A STADIUM FROM THE STANDS
Watching the Super Bowl halftime show on TV, have you ever found yourself saying smugly, "Look at all those fools firing off flash photos! There's no way they can illuminate the halftime show from their seats!" You'd be right to say it, but at least they were there, and if you were watching on TV, you weren't. They may be bad photos, but at least they can say, "I was there."
Shooting wide to give a feel of the event and the venue will probably yield sharper shots than telephoto, because telephoto requires a faster shutter speed to make a sharp image. What's more, most compact point-and-shoots lose a stop or two from wide to tele, which slows down the shutter speed even more. Give telephoto a try, too, but don't expect great results every time.
You see, the exposure for the far-off point of interest during a halftime show will be the same whether or not you throw flash. But with the flash on, you'll illuminate the heads of the couple of rows ahead of you, which draws the eye away from the real point of interest, which is the far-off show. Without flash, the people in front will be much more silhouetted, which adds to the feel of being at a big event without competing with the show.
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