Friday, September 21, 2012

Endeavour's Final Flight

I saw one of the most amazing sights ever today as the Space Shuttle Endeavour (piggybacking on a 747) made its final flight today including a flyover the Golden Gate Bridge.

I was working for the SF Gate today to put the photos online from the staff and wire photographers.  My street in the Richmond District in San Francisco lines up with the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge so before the photos started to flood in I decided to grab a couple of photos with my 300 lens from outside my door.
The actual flight plan of the shuttle was unknown to anyone because of security reasons so I didn't know when and where the shuttle would come.  I was waiting outside when all the sudden, right above my house, Endeavour appeared. 
I quickly grabbed shots while it swept by.  I almost felt I could grab out and touch it.

As it flew away and got lost in a bit of fog I was excited and exhilarated by the sight.  A lady in the community garden across the street exclaimed "That was awesome!!"  I couldn't agree more!

It was a fitting way to say goodbye to the Shuttle program.  As a huge fan of the American space program I can't wait to see what is next to replace the space program I grew up with.

So long Endeavour!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cal's First Home game at the new Memorial Stadium

It's always fun to be at the home opener for a team, but I've never quite been to a home opener like this before.  Last Saturday, Cal re-opened its rebuilt Memorial Stadium and the excitement in the air.  Fans lined the grand staircase before the game to hi-five the football players entering the stadium.
I realized photographing the pre-game festivities I haven't been to a lot of college football games.  Actually one I can remember which was when Cal beat USC in triple overtime in 2003. So, in a lot of ways, it was a whole new experience for me.
It was fun watching the fans get excited at the prep rally at Sproul Plaza...
 ...and then joining the cheerleaders and band members as they marched across campus.

The band walked passed the Campanile...
And stepped to Memorial stadium.
The crowds entered the new gates.
It was fun watching the band do its pre-game routine on the field.
And see the fans receive their commemorative tickets for the game.
I had a birds-eye view of the ribbon cutting.
Which gave me a lot more space then the photographers on the field.
And then the team rushed the field and the game was on!
One of the shots I needed to get was of the full stadium with tightwad hill in the background.
The student section was ready and excited to cheer on the game.
And it was cool that the cheerleaders had their own stand in front of the student section to lead the cheers.
Cal went down by two goals early, but scored a touchdown in the second quarter to bring the home fans alive.
The Cal fans urged their team on in a back and forth game.
Cal's mascot Oski keeping the troops into the game.
When Cal scored a touchdown to tie the game in the 4th Quarter it seemed like the comeback was complete.
The Cal fans celebrated....
...and urged their team on.
But Nevada scored a last-minute touchdown to dash the Cal fan's dreams.
So although the Cal fans left the game dejected it was in the end a celebration.  Cal football was back home.