Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Houston photo travel blog (Sept. 10-11, 2011)

Houston (Sept. 10-12, 2011)

I blasted off the regular season in Houston for the second straight year and once again it was the Colts at Texans. The Final Four was here this past April and I concluded last year’s NFL season in Houston as well, so this city is like a second home. With that, I’ve kind of got away from photographing this place. So this time, I drove around and scouted different, unusual angles to shoot the city and I found a great location.  

The adage of Texas-sized goes to the extreme with artist David Adickes, who created massive heads of U.S. presidents. A few years back I was driving on the interstate and nearly crashed when I saw four huge heads of former presidents on the side of the road – Mount Rush Hour. This time, I found out that he created even more of these heads and was storing them at his studio’s parking lot.

On the eve of 9/11, it was pretty cool to see all these gargantuan creations of the men that have led this great country over the past two centuries. He even has one of Obama.

In addition to the POTUS, Adickes has a towering homage to the Beatles that made a nice foreground shot with the city skyline and an enormous “We love Houston” sign (scroll down for my best shots of Houston and the game).

I’ve covered more CBS games in Houston than any other city. This was my twelfth Texans home game and the fifth time that I’ve covered the Colts-Texans in Houston (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and now 2011). The Texans are 3-16 all-time against the Colts and I’ve covered all three of the wins (2006, 2010, 2011).

I looked at my all-time games in Houston and I’ve done some memorable Texans games.

  • Last season, Arian Foster ran for the second most yards in an opening day in league history (231) as Houston won just its second game ever against Indy. 
  • In 2007, I was here when Tennessee kicker Rob Bironas, a former Arena Football player by the way, kicked an AFL record eight field goals including one as time expired (Titans won 38-36).
  • Later that year, I was here when the Texans used a kickoff return to end the first half and one to open the second half to beat Jacksonville 42-38. The 42 points is still a Texans franchise record.
  • On Christmas Eve 2006, the Texans secured their first win over the Colts 27-24 when Kris Brown nailed a 48-yard field goal as time expired.
  • In 2003, David Carr had a one-yard rushing score as time expired to lift Houston to a 24-20 win over Jacksonville.
This game was another memorable as Peyton Manning missed the first game of his pro career after starting an NFL record 208 regular season games to start his career. For the Texans, they were without the reigning rushing leader, Arian Foster. Houston dominated and led 34-0 at halftime en route to 34-7 opening day win. After the game, I went to up to where I placed my camera for a time lapse at the 50-yard line and got a surprise that the final few frames taken were of the roof opening at Reliant Stadium. I've now done six different time lapses of Reliant Stadium (two NFL games and four different time lapses during the Final Four).

Here’s my time lapse from this week.

Last season, the Texans upset the Super Bowl runners up 34-24 thanks to 231 rushing yards and three scores by Foster, who went on to record a league season-high 1,616 yards. Additionally, this game a year ago was the first sporting event that I created time-lapse videos from individual stills. Since then, I’ve done nearly 30 sports time lapses including eleven NFL stadiums (and Wembley Stadium in London for last year’s Broncos-49ers game).

Take a look at my first sports time lapse from last year’s Colts-Texans game.

On the plane Friday night (red eye, ugh) from San Jose to Atlanta (en route to Houston), I saw the opening montage of Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris where the first two minutes are just wide-shot scenes of Paris and got a bit inspired. It looked great and I thought, “I can do that.” So after the NFL game, I drove around and got short video clips using by Canon 7D of some of the sites of Houston. I think this one's okay and know I'll get better once I get my new ballhead for the tripod. My previous one cracked after six years of use all around the world. The new one is suppose to be heavy duty, so we'll see.  

Take a look at my first attempt of making city video clips.

My crew might be back in Houston in Week Four for the Pittsburgh game. I looked back at my all-time games list and that would be my first road Steelers game since Week 17 of 2009 when Big Ben had three touchdowns en route to a 30-24 win at Miami.

Next week, I’m heading to New York for Jags-Jets and will go down to the new 9/11 Memorial. You need tickets to go in the museum and the wait list is pretty long, so I’ll just try to get some exterior photos of the twin waterfalls where the towers once stood.

I was upset initially of getting Houston again, but after the video, new time lapse and interesting new vantage points of the city; I was pretty pleased with the trip. Here's a look at my best shots from this weekend. 


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