May 18, 2014

(5-18-14) The Preakness

Right now we (Ting Shen, Brett Moist, and I) are on our way home from Baltimore. We all drove together from Chicago to shoot the Preakness for Eclipse Sportswire. I gave up on trying to sleep and now I'm going a bit loopy.

For The Preakness I got to be the head-on position which was really cool and pretty intimidating. It hasn't really sunk in that I might be witnessing one of the most amazing and rarest feats in sports. California Chrome would be the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown if he wins the Belmont Stakes on June 7th and I will be there if he wins or not.

Throughout the Preakness Day, I was all over the place, which was a much different experience than I had at the Derby. I visited the infield, helped my friend Brett Moist set up his remote at the turn for home (where I finally met Jeff Snyder of Adorama in person), shoot turf races head on while kneeling in the grass and finally shooting the Preakness from head-on.

Just like the Derby, there was some crazy exposure differences and I used the same method of setting my custom modes to different exposures but without a pan shot. Seconds before the race started clouds came in and then went away which made for a little bit of panic trying to switch the settings up.

Unlike the Derby, I had a much faster pace of responsibilities for after the race. Less than 5 seconds after all the horses passed me, I walked through the gate of the track and started running along the outer rail to the finish line. On my way to meet Scott Serio to hand over my card, I noticed someone at the edge of the rail trying to reach a pair of sunglasses that fall on to the track and was just barely out of reach, so I stopped for just a second to grab them for him and met Scott right as he was crossing the track. I had to tear down all 4 of the remotes we had used for the finish. I somehow managed to carry 4 remotes and my 2 cameras with me back to the media room through the heavy crowds. I don't think I've ever had that much gear on me before (for the tech nerds, the cameras were various bodies, but the lenses I had to carry was Canon [200-400 & 85] and Nikon [300 2.8, 70-200 2.8, and a fisheye]). There were also a few floor plates and magic arms on them.

Throughout my time working with Scott Serio at Eclipse Sportswire, I have become more comfortable with going feature hunting. This is something I have always struggled with and I'm glad to be seeing an improvement. He's been really pushing me and helping in challenging myself. I know that for the Belmont I am going to push myself harder than I ever have because I might never have another chance to shoot a Triple Crown winner, if he wins of course.

I'm glad I didn't have to do the editing on my own for deadline, below are my favorite frames in chronological order.

General features from early in the day

This photo was featured on NBC's photo gallery about the fashion at the Preakness.

General features from early in the day

One of the races before the Preakness taken next to Jeff Synder and next to Brett Moist's remote

My friend Ting Shen texted Brett Moist and I that there would be a fly over and we both scrambled to find a picture. When I took this shot I accidentally had my lips on the back of a chair so I could get the steep angle.
California Chrome ridden by Victor Espinoza on the first turn.

California Chrome ridden by Victor Espinoza crossing the finish line to win the 139th Preakness Stakes

California Chrome ridden by Victor Espinoza after crossing the finish line to win the 139th Preakness Stakes

California Chrome ridden by Victor Espinoza crossing the finish line to win the 139th Preakness Stakes

California Chrome's assistant trainer Alan Sherman reacts after winning the Preakness

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