Friday, September 28, 2012

2012 Travel/Photo: Week Three - Kansas City at New Orleans

Travel/Photo: Week Three - Kansas City at New Orleans
By Andy Lopusnak,
September 21-23, 2012

New Orleans is my fourth straight NFC city after the preseason at the NY Giants, Week 1 in Chicago and last week in Philly.  I’ve been to the Big Easy a lot in recent years and have lots of photos of the city. That’s why I wasn’t too disappointed that I didn’t shoot any of New Orleans this time. I got the chance to photograph a college football on Saturday and then added another state capital after the game. More on this later in the blog. If you're in the mood for some some photos from the Big Easy, here's a link to my top shots from New Orleans

While watching TV on Thursday night, I found out that the Space Shuttle Endeavor would be flying over the San Francisco Bay Area piggybacking a NASA 747 en route to Los Angeles where it will be displayed at the California Science Center.

So, I decided to take BART into the city with Bethany Friday morning and then took a bus to the Palace of Fine Arts to get shots of the shuttle with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. There were a lot of people out looking for a last glimpse at the final shuttle to be retired.

Endeavor is the third different shuttle I’ve photographed, but the only one that actually flew in outer space. The first was the Enterprise, which was at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center outside of Washington, D.C. That shuttle named after the USS Enterprise from the TV series Star Trek. The Enterprise was built for test flights and was scheduled to be refitted for space flight, but it was deemed too costly to do so. It was moved from D.C. to New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum this past April. Check out my shots of the Enterprise by clicking here.

My other shuttle was when I visited the Kennedy Space Center in Florida back in 2010. That shuttle, Explorer, is a full-scale replica that was built for the Space center in 1993. It’s now at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The shuttle Atlantis is now at the Kennedy Space Center. Check out my photos of the KSC and Explorer by clicking here.

While in San Francisco, I did take some new shots of the Ferry Building as well as the large bow and arrow near the Bay Bridge. the sculpture is called Cupid's Span and was built in 2003. It was inspired by San Francisco's reputation as the home port of Eros. Click here to learn more about it

When in New Orleans, I immediately headed to the Superdome because I set up a photo credential to shoot the NCAA football game between the home-standing Tulane Green Wave and Mississippi Runnin’ Rebels.

This was the Green Wave’s first game since safety Devon Walker fractured his spice at Tulsa two weeks ago. Tulane wore Walker’s #18 on the left side of their helmets and Ole Miss honored him with “DW” on the back of their helmets.

Ole Miss led 26-0 at the end of the first quarter and went on to win 39-0 thanks largely to 304 rushing yards and two scores by junior running back Jeff Scott.

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles exploded for 233 rushing yards, including a team-record 91-yard touchdown. Charles is just the second player in NFL history to post at least 225 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards (Jim Brown was the first to do so in 1961).

The game featured six replays with four reversals. Two Saints touchdowns were overturned, including one in overtime.

Last year, I took a time lapse in the end zone (check it out here). The time lapse with the Canon was taken in the high corner of the dome. To get there, I went up to the press box and then up stairs tot he catwalk. Up there was a dark walkway through essentially a wind tunnel for hundreds of feet. The view was well worth walking in the dark. I set up the intervalometer for every 25 seconds and took a little more than 1,100 shots. 

While up in the catwalk, I stopped at midfield and set up the GoPro here. You can see part of the press box at the bottom of the screen. A little over 2,000 images were taken before the battery died out. It lasted five hours and 39 minutes. Apparently, you need to charge the batteries separated and cannot do so with them stacked. I think that's where I screwed up last week. 
After the game, I headed two and half hours north to Jackson, Mississippi to nab my 36th state capital. It’s my 36th capital in 2012. I added New Mexico and Texas during the basketball season and was planning on getting this one back in April at the Final Four, but I was slammed the entire week. Right above the eagle on the top of the capital is the moon shining down like a star in the sky. 

Here’s what my updated capitals map looks like. I need 14 more
For the first time in I don't even know how long, I didn't shoot any city shots in the host town due to the college game I shot immediately after arriving on Saturday, a late production meeting and driving to Jackson directly after the game to get the state capital. However, since I was in New Orleans for a full week this past April for the Final Four I have plenty of photos of the Crescent City. 

Monday morning when I landed in Salt Lake City on the way home, I saw on Facebook that longtime CBS Sports super runner Jack Shoemaker died Sunday following the Bengals game of an apparent heart attack. Jack was a class act. I met him in 2000 during my first season with CBS. Back then, there was no term super runner. Jack was a specialty stats guy that did pretty much everything. Soon, he moved on to organizing everything during Bengals home games and was the go-to guy for major sporting events like the Super Bowl, Final Four and the Masters. The last time I saw Jack was at the Jets-Bengals preseason game back in August. Sadly, I only took one photo of Jack. It was at the Final Four when I was setting up for sportraits with the four teams. It's hard to imagine CBS without Jack. He was always cheerful and treated everyone like a life-long friend. He will be greatly missed. 
NEXT WEEK: New England at Buffalo
Week Four brings me back to Buffalo, New York for the first time since 2010 when I did the Jets-Bills game. The only redeeming thing Buffalo has for it is that Niagara Falls is just half an hour away. Check out my Niagara Falls photos by clicking here.

Here’s by favorite photos from this week.

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