Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo/Travel Blog: Week 15 - Denver at Baltimore

Photo/Travel Blog: Denver at Baltimore
Andy Lopusnak,
December 15-17, 2012

Once again, I headed back to the Charm City to cover a Ravens home game. I was here just a month ago doing the Baltimore-Oakland 55-20 blowout win. Baltimore is becoming mundane since I’ve been here so many times. This marked my 14th NFL game in Baltimore (15th if you include the 2007 Army-Navy). Please click here to see my vast Baltimore gallery

The Ravens are now tied with the Houston Texans for the most-visited city during my CBS career. I made my first trip to Houston a decade ago nearly to the day (12/15/2002). The Texans hosted the Ravens that day. A week later, I made my first trip to Baltimore. Both home teams lost those first visits.

This marked by second straight Broncos game I’ve covered and third within the last four weeks. All three have been on the road with Denver winning all of them.

I have lots of shots of Baltimore, so getting new and different images is getting harder and harder. Last time I was here, I drove by a few memorable exteriors of museums on the waterfront and snagged shots of them after landing at BWI.

First was the Baltimore Museum of Industry with its iconic Whirley crane that built ships as well as the oldest surviving steam tugboat (the Baltimore).

The glittery American Visionary Art Museum is next to Federal Hill. It’s shiny silver all over and even has a school bus in front of it that looks like it’s covered bling barnacle of weirdness. I didn’t venture inside either museum, but since I come here all the time will eventually enter at my own risk.

I went to the Charles Village neighborhood to check out Charm City Cakes (as seen on TV) only to see that Duff doesn’t have a store front. I clicked a few shots of the front. One street over from CCC was Baltimore’s version of the Painted Ladies from San Francisco (click here to see my SF Painted Ladies gallery) with colorfully painted Victorian rowhouses on Charles Street.

In the Inner Harbor is the Baltimore World Trade Center building, which is the world’s largest regular pentagonal building in the world (405 feet). On its 27th floor is the Top of the World Observatory. Admission is $5 and gives a great view of Baltimore.

I’ve been up here before, but the reflections are pretty bad and a railing is about a foot and a half away from the glass so you cannot get right up on it to eliminate the reflections. To combat this, I brought my superclamp to put the 7D on the railing and screwed on a circular polarizing filter on my 10-20mm Sigma lens.

When I went on the aquarium’s website, I thought admission was $10, but apparently that’s for the off-shoot branch in D.C. It was $30. Since I’ve been to Baltimore so many times that the “charm” has worn off. Even though it was a hefty $30, I went for it.

It’s not the Georgia Aquarium, but had some creatures I’ve never seen like the weedy scorpionfish.

The turtle collection was vast and I got some great shots of these reptiles in a half shell.

One of my favorite shots of the day was of the Lionfish, a poisonous fish that is a delicacy.
I’ve had some great luck with the view of rooms at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. It is on the direct outskirt of the Inner Harbor with great looks of downtown and the water. The last two times here, I’ve got great time lapses (click here for the view at the skyline and click here for the one facing away from downtown).

I did another time lapse of the above image going from day to night. It’s similar to my eight-hour time lapse but a little wider.

Last year, I got shots and video of the laser-light show called It’s a Waterfront Life. The video was more impressive than the images. Last year, I wasn’t aware of what the show would be like since I didn’t know anything about it until I was walking in the Inner Harbor. You can see last year’s video by clicking here.

This year, they added fireworks to every show at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00. I had to be back to the hotel for the 6:30pm meeting and shot the six o’clock set of fireworks from my room.

Hoping to get another fireworks shot during the time I was at the meeting, I did a time lapse and got three of them (one is at the top of this blog and below is another).
The meeting ended at 7:40pm and I hoofed it over to the Power Plant for the third shot. I took video with the GoPro, which was very grainy.

For 9:00pm, I decided to get some reflections of the fireworks hoping that they’d do a grand finale. They did.
This was decided early. The Broncos jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead and extended it to 31-3 before Ravens QB Joe Flacco tossed two long touchdowns to tight end Dennis Pitta (31 & 61 yards).
Denver won its ninth straight and Baltimore lost its third straight. During the game, Broncos QB Peyton Manning extended his NFL record for 4,000-yard passing seasons (12). 
On the other sideline, Ravens RB Ray Rice went over 1,000 rushing yards for the fourth straight season.

The Broncos have won their last four games I’ve covered, all of which have been on the road. In all my 252 NFL games, the Broncos have the best road record (12-4 not including the neutral-site London 2010 loss). Pittsburgh is the next best road team (9-3) followed by New England (8-3).

Since I had to take some of the crew to the airport after the game, I did another graphics truck time lapse. This time, using the GoPro Hero 2, I took an image every ten seconds directed at me.

Last time I did this type of time lapse (click here to view), it was facing the score machine operator and second broadcast associate; so I turned it the other way to get my lead BA and font machine operator.

In my first 12 CBS seasons, I did just one Green Bay home game. Next week will be my second Packers game in the last nine weeks. You can check out my blog from that game by clicking here. Because it’s the last weekend before Christmas, flights into little Green Bay were sold out, so I’ll be flying into Milwaukee and driving two hours to Lambeau.

Here’s a selection of some of my best images from this past weekend in Charm City.


  1. The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing."
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