Thursday, October 18, 2012

Travel/Photo Blog: Week Six (OAK@ATL)

Travel/Photo Blog: Week Six (Oakland at Atlanta)
By Andy Lopusnak,
October 13-15, 2012

I fly through Atlanta almost every week since I travel on Delta Airlines to get to the games. It's rare that I get a Falcons game. My last time in the Georgia Dome was in Week One of 2009 when the Falcons beat the Miami Dolphins 19-7. I was there two weeks earlier for the preseason, but before that, my previous Falcons game was six years earlier.
The last time I was in the ATL, I did get many shots with those back-to-back games in 2009. Not wanting to get the same shots again, I focused on a few different vantage points and went to the Georgia Aquarium.

Upon arrival in the ATL, I headed over to Piedmont Park to get shots of Midtown skyline reflected off Lake Clara Meer. When I got there, the area was getting ready for Atlanta Pride, the largest LGBT event in the Southeast.
I wanted to go back Saturday night to get evening shots, but parking because of Pride was going to be horrible so I walked from the Four Seasons where I was staying after the production meeting.

This tunnel links the Atlanta neighborhoods of Cabbagetown and Inman Park. It’s known for its street art (aka graffiti). This place would be awesome for photo shoot with an urban or post-apocalyptic theme.

$35 is pretty steep, but since this is the #1 attraction in the entire state, I figured I should do it once. Was it worth it? Not sure. I did get some great photos, but don't think I'd go back. The aquarium is set up into six different segments that correspond with a specific marine environments. One of them is geared towards kids and another is the Dolphin Tales, a show that doesn't allow photography and is an additional cost on top of the $35.
That leaves four other marine segments. The first is the River Scout that features an overhead river as well as unusual freshwater animals.
Next is the Cold Water Quest showcasing cold-weather animals like massive Japanese spider crabs, Beluga whales and African black-footed penguins. My favorite animals were the otters and sea dragons. 
Another segment is Tropical Diver that has 164,000-gallon reef that has more the 90 different species. Not in the reef, but one of the main draws is the jellies. This exhibit is nothing like the massive collection of jellies that the Monterrey Bay Aquarium (click here to see my gallery from there).
My favorite part of the Georgia Aquarium was the Ocean Voyager segment. This 6.3-million gallon exhibit is the aquarium habitat in the world. It has over 100,000 fish in the tank including four manta rays and four whale sharks. The whale shark is the largest fish species in the world. This exhibit almost justifies the $35.

Sunday morning, I drove around before sunup to get new vantage points of downtown. This view reminded me of downtown Minneapolis, which is one of my favorite skyline views with traffic snaking toward the camera.
Then after the game, I went near Turner Field and found another overpass to shoot. I waited until after the sun went down to get another view of downtown ATL with traffic coming right at the lens. 

The Falcons became the league's lone 6-0 team after kicker Matt Bryant connected on three second half field goals, including the game-winner from 55 yards out with just one second left. In a losing effort, Oakland QB Carson Palmer tossed 353 yards with a touchdown, however, in the fourth quarter he was picked off and it was returned 79 yards for a score by Asante Samuel.
It was the eighth straight Raiders loss that I’ve covered. The Falcons are now 6-1 in home games I've covered. Atlanta's lone loss was on November 4, 2001. That was Tom Brady's sixth ever start. He tossed for 250 yards with three touchdown passes. The win put New England at 4-4 on the season on its way to eventually winning the Super Bowl that year. In an interesting side note, Atlanta's Michael Vick, who was two-of-nine for 56 yards in relief duty had his NFL debut a week later when he beat Dallas 20-13.

I set up two time lapses of the Georgia Dome. This became my 24th different NFL venue (including London) that I’ve captured a time lapse. In two weeks, I’ll be adding Green Bay. Both time lapses were set up on the Georgia Dome's catwalk. There were three different rings to the catwalk and I had ones in the first two. I was going to do one of them from the third ring to give a direct overview of the stadium, but opted against it because there were various obstacles that would have obstructed the time lapse. When the Final Four is here next April, I will set a few up to get the direct over the rim shots. I'm actually pretty psyched for the Final Four because of this set up.

CANON 40D: Sideline view
I went to midfield of the second ring of the catwalk to set up this time lapse. It was very shaky due to the catwalk being connected by huge guide wires. The interval was set up for every 40 seconds equating to a little more than 500 individual images.

GOPRO HERO 2: Corner view
I set up the GoPro Hero 2 near the CBS “beauty” camera up in the catwalk’s first ring. The interval was at every ten seconds lasting for 1,829 images, which was barely the entire game before the battery died.

On Friday, I had a model shoot at my studio that I made in my garage. It was my first in the studio and I think it turned out pretty good. I'm still in the process of touching up the shots, so here's one of the images. 

This is a rematch of the 2011 divisional playoff game that my crew did back in January. I also had the opportunity to photograph in a studio setting players for both the Ravens and Texans. Here's my favorite photo from each team shoot.

Here’s my favorite shots from the weekend.

1 comment: