Friday, September 21, 2012

Travel/Photo Blog: Philadelphia (2012 NFL Week Two)

Travel/Photo Blog: Philadelphia (2012 NFL Week Two)
By Andy Lopusnak,
September 13-17, 2012

My photo journey actually started on Thursday when I had a photo shoot with two San Jose SaberCats cheerleaders as well as a male model in San Francisco. There's more shots at the end of the blog, but here's a favorite from each model. I shot this near the Golden Gate Bridge at the abandoned bunkers. The shots came out pretty good despite heavy winds and chilly weather. On the way home, I stopped at the Painted Ladies in San Francisco to get new shots. You can check out that in the best of the blog gallery at the bottom. 
Week Two of the regular season was a rematch of my first NFL game in the City of Brotherly Love back on Halloween of 2004. That year was my first with CBS Sports' #2 crew and instead of Greg Gumbel on play-by-play, it was Dick Enberg. The Eagles beat the Ravens 15-10 that day thanks to 101 receiving yards and a touchdown from Terrell Owens as Philly advanced to 7-0 en route to eventually playing in that year's Super Bowl (losing to New England in Jacksonville). More on this week's game later. Now on to shooting Philly. 

In previous trips to Philly, I’ve shot the city skyline from across the river in Camden, New Jersey and the art museum; but saw a different angle last time that I didn’t shoot due to a lack of parking. This time, I did find close parking and took day and early morning shots from the South Street Bridge that’s near the University of Pennsylvania’s football stadium (Franklin Field). I love this view. 

Right next to my hotel, the Four Seasons, is Philly’s iconic Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Circle. The three large Native American sculptures that spout water represent the three major rivers surrounding Philadelphia: the Delaware, Schuylkill and Wissahickon. Click here to read more about the fountain and its sculptures. The last time I was here, it was November and the fountain’s waters were shut off.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is where Rocky climbed the steps to the song “Gonna Fly Now” and did the victory pose at the top of the 72 steps. I’ve never been inside the museum, but it’s gorgeous on the outside and if you walk to the overpass, there’s an awesome view of the city that’ve shot numerous times (click here to see). This time, I climbed those 72 steps tripod in hand to get some different dusk skyline shots since my previous “magic hour” photos came from the over pass.

The statue that was “unveiled” in Rocky III was originally just a prop, but in 2006 (some 24 years after the film), the ten-foot bronze statue was brought back to the museum. It’s not at the top of the steps, but is located at a grassy area at the foot northeast corner of the museum. Rocky won the Oscar for Best Picture in the year of my birth (1976). The story about the underdog beat out two movies that have arguably the two of greatest questions in film history - Network: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore" and Taxi Drive: "You Talkin' to me? They both got beat out by "Yo Adrian!

Last time I was in Philly, I tried to go see the Liberty Bell and tour Independence Hall, but the lines were packed. This time, I didn't get a chance to get in but got exterior shots of it as well as the Liberty Bell. Not only were the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution penned here, the formation of the US Army and Navy were created in this tiny building. It's also the building on the back of the $100 bill. 
I should’ve known that Baltimore would lose this game. The last eleven road Ravens games, I’ve covered have all been loses for the Purple and Black. I’ve covered a dozen Ravens road contests and only the 23-19 win over then expansion Houston in 2002 remains as the lone victory away from Charm City. That, of course, doesn't include Baltimore's win in Super Bowl XXXV back in 2001, which I covered since that's considered a neutral-site game (by the way, CBS has the Super Bowl this season).
The Eagles got on the board first thanks to a one-yard rushing score by LeSean McCoy, but the Ravens scored the next 17 to end the first half up 17-7 (Baltimore had won its past 16 contests when leading at halftime). Baltimore sputtered in the second half scoring on two long field goals by rookie kicker Justin Tucker.

A Ravens touchdown was called back late after an iffy offensive pass interference penalty. Philly QB Michael Vick rallied the Eagles and scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:55 left on a one-yard rush. He finished the day with 371 passing yards with one passing score, but turned the ball over three times. It marked the tenth career 300-yard passing game for Vick and his eighth with the Eagles.

With this being my second Ravens-Eagles game, I’ve had 134 of my 236 NFL games since 1997 be between the same team. Of those, my most common game is the AFC North grudge match between the Bengals and the Steelers, which I’ve done seven times.

I complained about this last year, but come Philly; does every street corner need “No Turn on Red” signs to go along with like 20 other signs? This was absolutely ridiculous especially when I was driving at five in the morning when no one was around. Nothing like sitting at a red light as the only car around for miles. And how many times do you need to show your major’s photo?

I set up this one at the high-endzone TV set up. Sadly, the apparent five-hour battery (actually two batteries in total) lasted just three hours and 40 seconds. Unlike last week when I ended up shooting nearly 4,000 shots for the time lapse taking a photo every two seconds, this one was every ten seconds and totaled a little over 1,100 shots. Don’t know what happened to the battery. I guess it must have been turned on at some point since I charged it.

This one turned out great. The clouds were stellar and in the distance you could see the Philadelphia skyline. This is the angle I wanted to get last season, but since I needed to be in the “organized departure” from the stadium, I had that day-to-night time lapse set up in the lower corner (click here to view that one).

On the Friday-to-Saturday overnight flight from SFO to ATL, I went over one million qualification miles on Delta. The next day, Delta sent me a welcome email with a list of Million Miler gifts to choose from Hartmann luggage or Tiffany's jewelry. I opted for the luggage since I get $400 each year in Tiffany's gift certificates already from Delta. I'd never pay $475 for a 20-inch carry-on bag, but here's a link to the fancy new luggage coming my way in four-to-six weeks.

Week Three takes me back to New Orleans, where I was back in April for the Final Four when the Saints host the Kansas City Chiefs. It marks four straight seasons that I’ve done an NFL game at New Orleans. The Saints have won the last seven New Orleans games I’ve covered including Super Bowl XLIV. As for the Chiefs, this is my first KC game since 10/10/10 when I did a Colts-Chiefs game in Indy. Of all AFC teams, I've done fewer Chiefs games than any other team. This was just my ninth KC game. I've only done three at KC and my last was in 2007.

Here’s a collection of my best photos from this past weekend.


  1. Hi! Nice blog .You have done a great job.Keep on working.
    Philadelphia Taxi Services

  2. Wonderful Design Blogs, Such a great list. Thanks for sharing all these blogs all are very useful to every one..
    Philadelphia Airport Taxi Service