Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Timbers, Earthquakes and Sounders

I had just left the office, heading home on a sunny Wednesday evening when my cell phone was a photographer that often shoots for the Portland Timbers Professional USL Soccer Team. He had a conflict that evening and asked if I was available to shoot the Timbers vs San Jose Earthquakes US Open Cup match that evening. This was a cool opportunity, so I quickly took him up on his offer. Game time was in a little over an hour...I just happened to have my camera gear with me so off I trucked to PGE Park. I met Collin Romer, the Timbers' media relations manager, got the lowdown on what he was looking for and then headed down to field to shoot the match.

Unfortunately for the Timbers, going up against an MLS team in the second round of the Open Cup dashed the hopes of going further in the competition as San Jose downed the Timbers 2-0. I was able to pull off a handful of decent shots that were used for the MatchDay game report on the Timbers Web Site.

Collin was pleased with my work and offered me the opportunity to shoot another match a week later when the Timbers took on their arch rivals, the Seattle Sounders. PGE Park in the late afternoon presents some fairly challenging light conditions with half the field in dark shadows and half in bright sunlight. One is either shooting into the sun or blowing out the background with shadowed players against the sunlit outfield wall. This match the Timbers and I both faired well with their 1-0 victory over the Sounders and my photos that once again used for the MatchDay game report.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Hot 43 Degrees

One of the steepest velodrome tracks in the United States can be found at a family owned dairy in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. I have mentioned before that Alpenrose is a family entertainment paradise without equal. Not only is there a terrific mix of sporting venues on the dairy property aimed at providing wholesome family is all provided for FREE, courtesy of the Cadonau Family, founders and owners of Alpenrose.

In 1962, a half-mile dirt track was installed in the back lot of the dairy property, intitiating what was soon to become a rich history of cycling at Alpenrose. The dirt track was replaced by the Velodrome in 1967 to host the National Championships...a 268 meter oval with 43 degree banks. If one stands at the top of one of the banks and looks down, the extreme angle is intimidating to say the least. After years of use and exposure to the elements the track went through a complete restoration in 1997 and remains in excellent condition today.

The "Circuit d' Alpenrose" is a jewel to the Oregon bicycling community. The summer weather brings a packed agenda of racing events, weekly series races and evening training races. The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) oversees all organized activities at the Velodrome through the tireless efforts of its volunteers. Schedules of events and information about the Alpenrose Velodrome can be found on their website.

Below are a few shots I recently took of some training races after shooting a softball game on the adjacent fields.