Saturday, July 30, 2011

Surviving the Summer of Hell

For my day job, I, along with some of my WTEN cohorts have been sentenced to covering all 6 plus weeks at the Saratoga Race Course' 2011 season. Everyday we come up with track related stories for the news and have to be done in time to man the cameras for LIVE coverage from 4 to the end of the news at 6:30.

Last week leading up to opening day, we dealt with a heat wave with hot and humid temps well into the 90s. We got to conclude our first official week with a heavy downpour. Most work days have ended up being between 10-12 hours long and sometimes I actually forget what day of the week it actually is! Its like the hot and sweaty version of Groundhog Day, except in the movie Bill Murray awoke every day to Sonny and Cher singing "I Got You Babe." At the track, they play Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" at the end of the final race, usually about the time we are getting for our last LIVE hit. This will go on until the track closes for the season on Labor Day, which right now, seems an incredibly long way off. Thank God for the overtime which will help pay for a 2 week vacation I have coming up toward the end of September. Right now, I just have to survive until then!

Shot taken by intrepid reporter Christine O'Donnell of Ric Easton trying to stay cool at his camera perch

Anyway, to try and keep my sanity throughout this seemingly endless gig, I am grabbing my DSLR and snapping shots whenever I get a free minute. Hopefully, every once in awhile, I'll get something pretty good.

The best shot of this first full week of racing is from under the rail during Wednesday's first race. Since photographers are not allowed right next to the rail during a race, I set the camera on a small tripod and had to use a remote trigger to fire off the shot. Went with my wide 10-22 lens to get the rail in the shot. Here it is...

It was pretty much hit or miss, there were a lot of shots with horses either just leaving or entering the frame. This was one of the few that seemed framed perfectly. I do wish the horses and the jockeys were a little sharper. I probably should have gone for a faster shutter speed, as 1/400th of a second may not have been enough!

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