Images: USA vs. Colombia

TSG photog extraordinaire Matt Mathai (@mathaim) braved horrendous lighting and, well, not the most enthralling match as well to delight you with the images below.

If you like ’em, let Matt know in the comment section here or tweet him. And of course, RT to your friends so Matt can feel the love and we can fire him up for the next home games.


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Gooch gets the armband...

12 responses to this post.

  1. Stunning work.


  2. Posted by Alex on 2010/10/14 at 2:32 PM

    sdfsdfadfs? hahah

    Matt, pics are incredible man. Thanks


  3. Posted by guti on 2010/10/14 at 2:48 PM

    These photos really capture the identity and style of each player. Matt has that uncanny ability. Cheers!


  4. Posted by Crow on 2010/10/14 at 4:39 PM

    Wow! Nice work. PPL Park is as dark as a tomb- tough to get photos like that. What model camera does he have? Can I find out what his shutter/aperture/ISO settings were? I was in the 3rd row in the AO section and didn’t get any good photos with my SLR, and my video on my HD camcorder was mediocre- even though I switched the settings up.

    I’m a little bummed I didn’t make Matt’s photos this time. ha ha


    • I shot most of the game w/ a Nikon D3S body and a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens. I shot the bridge picture and the team shots w/ a 50mm lens.

      I used the following settings: 1/1000 sec shutter speed, f/4, and I let ISO vary as it needed to in order to get the grab in whatever crappy light there was.

      If you’re a camera geek you’ll get a kick out of this. Most shots were around ISO 2000, but they ranged much higher. The shot of Bob Bradley was ISO 10,000 and the shot of Tim Howard laughing on the bench was ISO 12,800. The miracle of the D3S is that there’s very little noise even at ISO speeds that would have been unthinkable two years ago. With my last body (Nikon D200) only about 25% of the shots I got at ISO 1600 were usable, even though I was shooting as slow as 1/400 sec. which of course introduces a lot of motion blur.

      Hope this helps.


      • Posted by kaya on 2010/10/15 at 9:07 AM

        Damn, I had no idea you could get great looking shots like that at those kinds of ISOs.
        I’m just looking at these now, and though I have no idea of what this stadium is like, they’re lovely photos without citing challenging conditions.


      • Posted by kaya on 2010/10/15 at 9:12 AM

        Hah. I stopped reading and started commenting after “…The shot of Bob Bradley was ISO 10,000”
        I have a Nikon D200… it’s a little sad to confirm how out of date it is considering its price when I bought it!


        • Sad, isn’t it? Camera bodies are nearly disposable now. It’s the lenses that you keep, and Nikon will pretty much never orphan them.

          I’m about to sell my D200. I have no use for it now that I have the D3S. I thought I’d try to look all professional and carry two cameras, but the D200 just doesn’t give me the response in low-light that I need, so out it goes…

          Might have to pick up another decent body to use for real close-up stuff. It’s only money, right?


      • Posted by Crow on 2010/10/15 at 12:38 PM

        Thanks for the specs! I purchased a mid-level DSLR last year and…. WOW…. I don’t have even close to that ISO range. Time to get a new camera!!!! I’ll repeat the prior comments, though- I had no idea you could get nice shots at an ISO level like that.

        The funny thing, though, is that I have some NICE pictures from the USA/Brazil game (it did help I was in the front row of the AO section) but none from this game whatsoever. I was really into the game cheering and I was trying to film with my HD camcorder- so it wasn’t like I was dedicated to taking pictures the whole game- but I couldn’t come up with ONE decent picture the whole night.

        Anyway, I think I spotted you Matt. Did some guy from the front row of the AO section ask you to take a picture of himself with two girls that were hanging out near the section?


        • PPL park was so dark that you really needed to be right next to the field to get anything, and even that was a struggle.

          I seem to spend a lot of time getting asked to take photos of people. :) It might well have been me.


  5. Posted by Tim on 2010/10/15 at 12:25 PM

    Great Work! Love the pics!
    With respect to the darkness, on TV you couldn’t even tell there was a bridge just beyond the stadium.


    • I heard a story about why the field is so dark. The architects didn’t want light poles in the corners to spoil the view of the bridge. So they restricted the field lighting to the canopies on the sidelines. As a result, the end lines are terribly dark. It’s way worse than Toyota Park, which used to be the worst night shooting venue in MLS. It’s really a shame, because it’s otherwise an an excellent new stadium.

      The best shooting venues? It’s a tie between Qwest Field and Gillette Stadium. Not coincidentally, both are home to NFL teams.


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