Road America

A few weeks ago, my wife, in-laws, and I went on a road trip. Our first stop was Milwaukee. Second stop on the docket was Road America. My father-in-law is big into racing and I’ve accompanied him a couple times in the past to both Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville and Watkins Glen in Upstate New York; the four of us went out to see some loud cars. I photographed, my father-in-law interviewed people, and my wife and mother-in-law watched the races.

I was taking photos for Vintage Racecar magazine which means I got a press pass, meaning I got to go where most people couldn’t. I still had to stay behind fences, but could get much closer than everyone else. Most of the time I was at either the beginning or end of a long straightaway so I could see the cars coming at me and then screaming around the corner away from me. I also went out on the platform that overhangs the main straightaway—where the races begin and end—to get cars crossing the finish line. This was, to put it mildly, loud. I went out in short spurts to save my ears so if I do this again, I’ll be wearing ear plugs.

I also tried a number of panning shots. They’re a lot of fun if you can get steady enough and I’ve found that even if the image doesn’t turn out perfectly sharp, you can still get some very good results. That being said, I trashed a pile of shots that really didn’t work out at all.

When I went to Watkins Glen a while back, I rented a 2x extender. For this trip I borrowed one from my friend David. It really helped in all aspects since my 70-200 can only get so close; doubling the focal length really makes a difference, even with the added weight.

Reset: Green

I’m involved in another group show starting in August. At the Walter Fedy office in Kitchener. The show, titled “Reset: Green”, is being curated by my friend Amy Roger. The show runs from August 4 until October 23. It is open during regular business hours for visiting.

I used this show as a reason to finally try doing a canvas print. I once again asked my friends at Big Footprints to get a 24x16 enlargement of a photo I took a few years ago up in Sauble Beach. It was a nice deviation from doing a standard print so I hope there’s a good reception to it. 

And if it doesn’t sell, my wife and I have some new wall art for our house.

Miller Park

I have a life-long pursuit of visiting every major league baseball stadium. It isn’t something that I really set out doing until a few years ago where I was up to a handful and realized that seeing each of them might not be out of the question. This will obviously take some time, but it’s totally doable. Totally.

Anyway, the other week I, along with my wife and in-laws, took the drive over to Milwaukee to knock the Brewers’ Miller Park off the list. While we were there we also visited Road America to see some races, but that’s another story (and another blog post). The drive to Milwaukee was, all told, about 12 hours. A long haul for sure, but worth it.

We started out the day by getting a tour of the stadium in the morning. It was the first game after the all-star break, so the stadium was pristine, although our guide assured us that the park looked that good before every game. We got to see the press area, where the play-by-play announcers sit, and we even got to walk on the field from the visitor’s dugout (on the third base side) all the way to the left field corner. Had it not been game day we would’ve been able to see the team’s clubhouse.

Miller Park is one of the few stadiums in baseball with a retractable roof. I’ve long railed against Rogers Centre in Toronto and after seeing a place like Miller Park it further strengthened my stance. But I digress. We got to the stadium when the gates opened, which was about 5:45; the game started at 7:00. It was incredibly hot and humid in Milwaukee that day, so much so that I nearly got heat stroke before the game even started. Once I sat down to cool off with a frozen drink I started to feel a lot better. We sat in the second deck to the left of the foul pole in left field. The Brewers aren’t a very good team this year—they’re in last place in their division—were playing the Pirates who are in contention and expected to compete for a playoff spot. Surprisingly, Milwaukee hung on for a 4-1 win. We left after the 8th inning to beat the traffic and because we were exhausted, half-melted and almost stuck to our seats.

So right now my count is up to 10 of the current stadiums (Rogers Centre in Toronto, Safeco Field in SeattleComerica Park in Detroit, Fenway Park in BostonCitizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Oriole Park in BaltimorePNC Park in Pittsburgh, and Wrigley Field and US Cellular Field in Chicago being the others) with another 20 to go. Easy peasy. 

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