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Legendary Photos: The Stories Behind 7 of Peter Read Miller’s Iconic Sports Images

Lights, cameras, action!

Fisheye Coin Toss

Photo of a coin toss

When I first heard that Canon was introducing an 8-15mm zoom that was a full frame fisheye at 8mm (provided you remember to remove the lens hood), I was reminded of what I had learned over 35 years in the magazine business.  An editor will run approximately ONE fisheye photo a year. I was determined to make that photo mine.

I reached out to a friend in the Dallas Cowboys’ public relations department and shared my idea with him. I know I’m not the first photographer to make this shot, but I hadn’t seen it in a while.

The Cowboys told me to come down to their next game and we’d check with the officials.  When I went into the officials’ locker room before the game, they were all for it. So, after the national anthem, the referee escorted me out to the center of the field. I had a camera set up with a remote trigger to fire from a distance.

I put the camera down on the field and the players from both benches came out. The first thing they did was reach out to shake hands with each other, in the process kicking my camera. The ref admonished them and let me go in and reposition the camera. There I was on the sacred star and the center of AT&T Stadium in front of 70,000 people. I was a bit nervous to say the least.

I think a lot of the shot’s success was due to the roof being closed – it was 98 degrees that day in Dallas. Thus, you had an interesting background instead of empty sky. If you look closely at the upper left side of the image around 10 o’clock, you will see behind number 82, a part of a khaki short, a red vest and my hand holding up the radio transmitter.

Camera:  EOS-1Ds Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 8-15mm f4L USM @8mm

Exposure: f5.6 @ 1/320, ISO 1600

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