Sprint Cup Practice and Crashes!

NASCAR: The Sprint Unlimited

Today was the busiest day so far at the track. I arrived at 8:30am and I left at 11:30pm. It was chucked full of practices and racing. I started with the Daytona 500 practice that lasted for a few hours then I shot the Arca race later in the day then the Sprint Unlimited at night. Easy event made for some awesome photos, so enjoy!

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Sprint Unlimited Practice Friday

NASCAR: Sprint Unlimited-Practice

The Sprint Unlimited formally known as the Budweiser Shootout, is an invitation only race take kicks off Speedwek for the Daytona 500. Only 28 cars are in the race compared to 43 in the Daytona 500. I was super excited for Fridays practice as it started at 5pm and the sun has been setting around 6pm, so I knew that would make for some killer pictures.

On with the photos.

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Daytona 500 Media Day

NASCAR: Daytona 500-Media Day

The Daytona 500 Media Day is very similar to the Super Bowl Media Day, where the drivers spend hours doing television and print interviews. As this event isn’t really meant for photographers it’s a great opportunity to knock out headshots of drivers for the upcoming year.

Once I got to work, I was quickly frustrated with crappy backgrounds and light that was hitting the drivers that was causing crazy shadows. Instead of getting more frustrated I just told my self, it’s what I make of it, which is true for everything. So I put my game face and went to work.

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Daytona International Speedway Features

NASCAR: Daytona 500-Features

Greetings from Daytona Beach, Florida home of the Daytona 500 and also my home for the next 18 days. The Daytona 500 is the Super Bowl of NASCAR, two weeks of events and racing leading up to the biggest NASCAR race of the year. It’s especially important each year because drivers change teams and also get new sponsors so it takes a little bit of time to get accommodated to.

Since today was an off day, I headed to the track to pick up credentials, mark spots in the media room knock out some features.

Tomorrow is Daytona 500 Media Day which is just as big as the Super Bowl Media Day.

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Actual Coffee

Actual Coffee

Back in February of 2012, I was introduced to Lance Roper, owner of Actual Coffee. Since meeting Lance I have had a unique opportunity to learn way more then I should ever know about coffee and been able to experience the process of roasting a coffee bean.

When I first met Lance, he was running a Kickstarter Campaign to raise $15,000 to purchase a new coffee roaster to be able to roast more beans with a quicker roasting time. Lance was 100% successful at raising the funds getting $16,000 to purchase the new roaster.

So over the last year or so Lance has taught me that Starbucks is the worst coffee ever, and I will have to agree with him. It tastes very burnt! Also when you hold coffee beans in your hand they should never leave an oily residue and the most important part of roasting the perfect cup of coffee it should take 2 minutes at 45 seconds for a 12oz cup. There has been alot of other things I have learned along the way but you will have to reach out to Lance (lance@actualcoffee.com) for further information.

So I shot some product photos to be used for some new marketing and social media in 2014 to help consumers become more aware of coffee consumption.

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Red Wings defeat the Blackhawks in a shootout

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings

 

I don’t shoot a lot of NHL throughout the year, but when I get the chance to I don’t turn it down. Hockey is starting to grow on me, I still don’t know any of the rules and I could only name about a handful of stars in the league. Some may ask, aren’t you the team photographer for the Toledo Walleye? Why, yes I am! But my job is to find creative images to be used for marketing purposes so action isn’t my primary focus.

The Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings are the original six NHL teams and anytime they get together to play it always ends up being a good game. The game went into overtime, then into a shootout. Detroit would end up winning the game 5-4.

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AFC Divisional: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots

NFL: Divisional Round-Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots

The NFL Playoff tour continued for me, this time I traveled to Foxborough, MA to cover the 2013 Divisional round between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. I was pretty excited to cover this game after shooting the Chiefs vs Colts game the previous weekend. The only part I wasn’t looking forward to was the fact, it was going to rain the entire game. Usually when it rains is the only time, I use lens hoods for my cameras. When I went to the Olympics in London last summer, I left my lens hood for my Nikon 400mm in the hotel after frantically packing last second.

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AFC Wild Card: San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

NFL: AFC Wildcard Playoff-San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

 

After the amazing comeback by the Indianapolis Colts against the Kansas City Chiefs, I made the short 99 mile drive from Indianapolis to Cincinnati. The whole week they were predicting crazy amounts of snow, which I was hoping was actually going to happen this time as I haven’t shot a game in the snow all year. Surprise!!! NO SNOW! Instead we got heavy rain for the second half of the game. Enough about the annoying weather on with the photos.

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Colts defeat the Chiefs 45-44

NFL: AFC Wildcard Playoff-Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

The NFL playoffs are finally here and unlike college football where you have to be #1 and #2 to make it to the National Championship, in the NFL you have be in to win and the Colts made a statement against the Kansas City Chiefs overcoming a 28 point deficit to win.

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2014 Winter Classic at the Big House

NHL: Winter Classic-Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings

After shooting the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas I jumped on a red eye to back to Detroit to cover the 2014 Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. I landed at Detroit at 6am, and made the trek to snowy Ann Arbor. Once in Ann Arbor it was to start feature hunting. A few things a lot of people were talking about was snow and ice conditions and high priced parking.

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About

Andrew Weber is a professional sports photographer based in Toledo, OH. He was a place kicker for The University of Toledo football team for four years. Andrew's primary focus is capturing important events on film. He was a staff photographer for the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune covering a wide variety of events ranging from high school athletics and late-breaking stories to local county fairs.

Contact

andrew@andrewjweber.com
513-519-8903