My first ever University of Texas football game

University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas

University of Texas Football – Austin, Texas

In the 23 plus years I’ve lived in Austin, I’ve never been to a University of Texas football game. I got that opportunity this past weekend. My wife graduated from the University but it’s also been 20 years since she’s gone. We both had a great time, thanks to my friend Mark who generously gave us the tickets.

As you can tell, we had excellent seats. My wife remarked, as a student, she was stuck way up there in the nose bleed section. While photographically, a super wide-angle or fisheye would have rendered some interesting compositions from way up there, I was glad to have these seats as a football spectator. I didn’t do much exploring. I was content to take occasional snaps from where we sat.

University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas
University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas
University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas

And as much as I enjoyed the football game, I was equally entertained by the band, the flags and the spectacle that surrounds the game. The precision of the marching band and the pageantry of the flags made for more interesting images, I thought. At least from this level. While I also shot the game, I like the photographs from the pre-game more.

My gear selection, which always involves an interesting set of calculations, centered on being unobtrusive. The UT stadium allows detachable lenses of less than 10 inches. I remember vague, anecdotal comments of people being restricted from bringing “professional” cameras so I purposely went small to fly under any radar. I brought my Olympus E-PM2 with kit lens which looks small and non-threatening enough. I paired that with a small film camera that I recently purchased that I’m in the midst of reviewing. All told it was a humble setup that fit comfortably in my small Domke bag. In retrospect, I wished I also brought my Olympus 40-150mm. The security bag check looked much less imposing than I imagined.

Chanel Woman Watches - Breda, Netherlands

The afternoon was a success though, both for the Texas Longhorns and for my wife and I. Texas beat West Virginia soundly 33 to 16. We had a great time and I got to take snaps of the event. Nothing fancy. I wasn’t shooting on the field and had no illusions of being a sport photographer. All that I was going for was some nice pictures to remember the event. I even pressed my iPhone 5S into service for a decent looking in-phone panorama.

University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas
University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas

It occurred to me that a compact super zoom would’ve of been an ideal camera. Something small that wouldn’t raise the suspicions of guards on the lookout for wannabe pro photographers. Ironically, with all my different cameras, I don’t own a single super zoom. Nope, I’m not in the market for one either. After shooting for months with a fixed lens 35mm equivalent Fujifilm X100S, the 28mm to 84mm equivalent Olympus setup felt more than enough from my needs.

University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas
University of Texas Football - Austin, Texas

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10 thoughts on “My first ever University of Texas football game

  1. Nice collection of photos, Andy! I was also at this game (we have season tickets), and ironically our seats are directly above you… we are also on the 19 yard line – but we are 1/3 of the way up the upper deck. We are high enough to see the other goal line just fine, but not so high that we can’t see everything unaided optically.

    I also love all the pageantry and all of the other stuff that happens off the field before and during the game, and especially during halftime.

    The biggest challenge that I have when I photograph during the games is the constantly changing color of the light sources (daylight, twilight, sodium vapor lights, etc.). Looks like you handled that aspect very nicely!

    1. Thanks Gregg. The game and everything else was great fun. Except of how long it took to get out of there and the parking lot. Photographically, I found it challenging to get good color and exposure when the stadium was half shade and half sun. The dynamic range was hard to handle properly.

  2. Great photos, especially of the Longhorn Band. I am partial to the band at football games since my daughter is in the high school marching band. Based on the name of your blog, I thought you would be happier at a game full of maroon in College Station!

    1. Aubrey, thank you for visiting and commenting. Glad you like the photographs.

      You’ll have to excuse my ignorance. Can you explain the relationship of atmtx with the Aggies? I wasn’t sure what you meant. 🙂

  3. It initially comes from the logo: aTm Texas (TX). I am a high school history teacher and several of my kids go to Texas A & M. They refer to it (or their parents do since the kids are hitting the automatic tellers regularly) as the atm school in Texas, thus a T m in TX. It is a stretch, but kids today are really good at that and I often fall prey! Hope that makes it clear as mud! Enjoy the cold weather y’all are getting. Hopefully it will last until Thanksgiving when I make to Georgetown.

  4. Looks like a fun experience for you. I’m not into football but the spectacle of the game is interesting and curious to me. Dealing with parking and getting into the stadium with hoards of people isn’t very appealing to me so I’m not sure I’d ever brave a UT football game. 🙂

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