Friday, January 6, 2012

Travel Blog: Double Dip – Sun Bowl and Jets-Dolphins

Travel Blog: Double Dip – Sun Bowl and Jets-Dolphins
December 30, 2011 through January 1, 2012
By Andy Lopusnak/

I ended the 2011 year as expected on a plane to a game. On New Year’s Eve, I was in El Paso, Texas to cover the Sun Bowl between Utah and Georgia Tech. After the game, I took three different airlines to get to take my talents to South Beach for the New Year’s Day matchup between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

From the Sun Bowl, I traveled to Phoenix on Southwest, then to Vegas in US Airways and lastly on American to Miami. Less than 12 hours after the Dolphins game, I was back at the airport flying on Delta back home.

When I landed in El Paso, I noticed a huge statue outside of the airport. It was of Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate, who named El Paso in 1599. The statue is the world’s largest equestrian statue standing 36-feet tall.
After snapping a few shots of the statue, I headed to the trucks to check in and scout locations for a time lapse. That night after an amazing three-course dinner provided by the Sun Bowl, I walked across from the hotel to a little Christmas village that the city created in downtown. There was a huge lit Christmas tree and a lot of other things with Christmas lights. I got some shots of all the lights, but opted to create some pop art type photography with the lights with shots like the one below. I did this by taking a one second exposure off of the tripod and moving the camera all around to create swirls then in post I saturated the image.
This was my second Sun Bowl. The first was in 2008 when Oregon State beat Pittsburgh 3-0 in the lowest scoring college bowl game in over 50 years. This time, there was a lot more scoring and the game became the first Sun Bowl in the game’s 78-year history to go into overtime. In the extra stanza, Georgia Tech scored first with a field goal, then Utah punched in the game-winning touchdown on the next series.
Knowing that I had to get out of the game as soon as it ended for my three-flight journey to Miami, I opted to put my camera in the southeast corner. I love how the clouds move in the time lapse. In the far corner, you can also see cars driving by as well. This was the last of my 38 different sports time lapses in 2011.
Here's a shot of where I set up the camera.
The Jets were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. New York QB Mark Sanchez threw a career high three interceptions in the 19-17 loss. The game was the last for potential Hall of Famer Jason Taylor. The Dolphins’ linebacker ranks sixth all-time in sacks and is the league’s all-time leader in fumble recoveries for touchdowns. It might also be the last for Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson, who became the NFL’s fifth all-time leading rusher during the game. Tomlinson and the league’s second all-time leader in total touchdowns scored.
Here’s my favorite shots from this past weekend.

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