Sunday, September 13, 2009

Budds Creek

At some point last night, I was poking around flickr (again), and came across some cool motocross photos. Since the greater DC area seems to have just about everything, I figured there had to be some motocross racing around to shoot. Google revealed that Budds Creek Motocross Park was only about 90 minutes away. And wouldn't you know it, there were races this weekend. Perfect.

Before I was even through the gate, I could already tell that this was going to be different than my usual trips to Summit Point. They made everyone sign a waiver on entry, and with good reason; the motorcycles aren't just on the track. They share the pedestrian paths and tunnels throughout the park. Granted, the bikes aren't exactly quiet, but when there are dozens of them running around, some piloted by eight-year-olds, you better watch your back Jack.

For this trip, I'd brought along the trusty 1D Mark II, 17-40/4, 70-200/2.8, and 400/5.6. As you know, I prefer to pack light, but seeing as this was a new venue and sport for me, I figured I'd bring a wide range of lenses. It turns out that I used them all at one point or another. In a pinch, I probably could have done without the 400, but sometimes it's nice to compress the action and force extraneous details out of the frame.

The 1D Mark II is a beast of a camera. It's heavy and it doesn't have a lot of the standard features that have been added to cameras since 2003, but as a raw picture taking machine, it's very hard to beat. Nikon couldn't touch it until they came out with the D3 last year. I know this because my former D2H forced me to switch to Canon in 2005.

Sky Ride

I was also pleasantly surprised at how wide the 17-40/4 looked with the 1D's 1.3x multiplier. 17mm comes out to about 22mm, which is still wider than my usual 24-105/4. I kind of threw it into my bag as an afterthought, but I shot quite a few pictures though it. I guess that's also a testament to how close the action is at Budds Creek.

One last note, watch out for all the Amish buggies on MD-236. I didn't encounter any in the morning, but on the return trip, there must have been at least a dozen of them on the six mile stretch.

One Tree Hill

Shadow Chase

Monday, September 7, 2009

Unforgetting Philadelphia

It's easy to forget how close Philadelphia is to Baltimore. In some ways, it's closer than DC. Likewise, it's not too far off the path to New York City, and yet it continues to be forgotten. We finally put a stop to some of the ignorance on Sunday.

Even though this was mainly an exploratory trip, I can recommend that you check out the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.  You can walk all the way across on either side of the bridge, though the south side seemed more scenic.  You can get on where the bridge intersects with 5th Street on the Philadelphia side.

Also, The Bourse is worth a quick stop, even if you aren't looking for fast food. It's a former stock exchange floor with plenty of character remaining in its atrium.  Oddly enough, there's also a Mexican consulate located on the third floor.  If only it were a British consulate, then the irony would be complete.

Granted, we barely scratched the surface by mainly staying in the touristy historical sections of town, but we had to start somewhere.  Additional depth will have to wait until the next trip.  And now that we know how close it is, there will certainly be a next trip.


Sail Tour