Thursday, November 24, 2011

Travel Blog - 2011 NFL Week 11: Cincinnati at Baltimore

Travel Blog - 2011 NFL Week 11: Cincinnati at Baltimore
By Andy Lopusnak,
November 19-21, 2011

I was in Baltimore just five weeks ago for the Ravens 29-14 win over Houston. Last time here, I shot video and more stills of the Inner Harbor and downtown. Charm City is so compressed that I feel that I’ve photographed it too many times.

So this trip I decided to take the water taxi that traveled throughout the harbor to get a different vantage point of downtown. The water taxi was $10 for unlimited rides for the day. It was a nice change from the mundane Baltimore that I’d photographed.

One of my favorite new spots was by the Domino Sugar factory where the Nord Vancouver ship is docked. It provided a great view of downtown.
THE GAME: Ravens 31, Bengals 24
This marked my third Bengals-Ravens game. Cincinnati won the first two meetings but three interceptions by Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and a 104 rushing yards (and two scores) by Ravens running back Ray Rice gave Baltimore the victory. Out for the game were Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis and Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green.

For me, I secretly root for the Bengals now because of their offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. The brother of the former Buccaneers Super Bow winning head coach, Jon, was one of the greatest players and coaches in the history of the Arena Football League. Jay won four ArenaBowl titles in six seasons as the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Storm and won two more as the head coach of the Orlando Predators, including titles in his first season with both franchises. Gruden took over a Bengals offensive unit that last year was 4-12 and oversaw a complete overall at QB and WR. Including Sunday, Cincinnati is 6-4 through ten games. 

I hate aisle seats on plane and Friday night’s flight from San Jose to Atlanta was one of the worst despite being in first class. I was stuck with 1C, which is in front of the bulkhead and of course an aisle. As the first seat (and an aisle), I was hit by either luggage or people as the nearly 300 people were corralled into the plane. Sadly, I forgot my ear plugs and eye mask this trip and suffered for it. The light from the galley and the flight attendants’ constant chatter kept me up for most of the nearly four-hour trek. Honestly, I’d rather be in a window in coach than a first-row aisle in first class. Maybe it’d be different if I brought my mask and ear plugs; but I doubt it.
At the end of shooting on Saturday, I turned my Canon 7D with the Tamron 18-270mm to the brightest star in the night sky – the planet Jupiter. I knew that even the minimum aperture of f/6.3 at 270 and the lens length wouldn’t fill the screen or give a crystal-clear view of the gas giant. What surprised me after a few test shots was that very clearly, I could see five moons orbiting Jupiter. These included the four Galilean moons of Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto which Galileo Galilei discovered in 1610. The other moon is Himalia, which was discovered in 1904. 

Five weeks ago, I got an amazing view of the city and harbor from my hotel room (room 1139). This time, I got what they claimed was a partial view (room 1432) and it was terrible with no downtown and barely any harbor. As disappointing it was not to get that view, I figured I’d just go to the outdoor pool area to get similar shots this time (at sunset since I got sunrise last time). Sadly, the area was closed for renovations.

Next week, I get my second double-dip of the season. First, I’ll be covering the college football matchup between #3 Arkansas and #1 LSU in Baton Rouge on Friday afternoon. Then, I’ll head to the City of Brotherly Love for the NFL contest pitting the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. Time lapses of both games coming soon!


Here’s a selection of my favorite shots from this past weekend in Baltimore.

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