Steve Sheppard Photography Blog

Archive for February 2011

Downtown Charlotte

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Mattie and I spent the weekend in Downtown Charlotte, N.C. We visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame and ate in several great restaurants. All of these photos were shot with the Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic 20mm F1.7 lens.

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February 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Olympus E-P1

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Wood Brothers Win The Daytona 500 Again

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Wow!

Wow!

Wow! I’m not sure what else to say, but I am going to give it a try.

Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 yesterday in the Wood Brothers’ Ford Fusion. Tears were running down my cheeks as he crossed the finish line.

This is huge, just like the Colts winning the Super Bowl in 2007 and the Cardinals victory in the 2006 World Series.

I have favorite teams in sports, and they haven’t changed since I was a kid. It’s been the Cardinals, Colts, North Carolina Basketball and Wood Brothers racing.

Racing wasn’t live on TV, when I was a kid, so I listened to Barney Hall call the races on MRN Radio. At some point, in the later 70’s, Ned Jarrett joined him. I’ve always been afraid to meet people I admired. Dean Smith was a big disappointment – but that is another story. I was always afraid my heros would not live up to my expectations. However, Barney Hall and Ned Jarrett are two of the nicest people I’ve ever known. Dean was a big disappointment, Peyton Manning was great.

I listened to NASCAR racing in my dad’s cars. It started in a 1964 baby blue four-door Ford Falcon, continued in a 1969 Ford Torino, and progressed to a 1971 Ford Torino GT. I would sit in the Ford’s, on the carport, and listen to Cale Yarborough and David Pearson win races in the number 21 Wood Brothers’ Mercury. I lived about 16 miles from the Wood Brothers’ race shop. I can remember sitting in the Friendly Barber Shop, in Stuart, Virginia, while Glen Wood got his hair cut and listened to him talk about what they did the previous weekend at the Daytona 500.

While working as the director of corporate communications at Martinsville Speedway, I had the opportunity to meet all of my racing heros including Hall, Jarrett, Yarborough, Pearson and Richard and Kyle Petty. They are all wonderful people. I walked through the pits at Daytona with H. Clay Earles and Clay Campbell and would talk with my childhood heros. What an experience! I had lunch with Richard Petty at Steak and Shake near Charlotte Motor Speedway one day. I talked with Dale Earnhardt, on many occasions, and attended his funeral. I was fully involved.

For anyone who doesn’t know it, Dale Earnhardt was one of the nicest people who ever graced this earth – despite his persona.

But yesterday, it was Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers. I loved the quote from Len Wood on the Speed Channel after the race. He said, “He (Trevor) followed 197 laps of this race and lead the right ones.”

Eddie and Len Wood graduated from my high school – Patrick County High School – just a few years ahead of me.

I can remember when my dad’s 1969 Ford Torino overheated when I was coming back from my girlfriend’s house one Sunday night. I was driving down Dobyn’s Road, in Patrick County, and rolled it into the parking lot at the Wood Brothers’ race shop. I had to leave the car there and found a phone to call my dad to come pick me up. The next day, I came back to fix the car. I went to Carquest and picked up a thermostat and went to the Wood Brothers’ shop to work on the car. Leonard Wood came out to help. He fixed the car, and I was on my way. I will never forget that.

I loved that the Wood Brothers won the Indy 500 with Jimmy Clark in the car. They showed the Indy Series how to do a pit shop. In 1963, 1968, 1972 and 1976 they won the Daytona 500 with Tiny Lund, Yarborough, A.J. Foyt and Pearson. I listened to those wins on the radio. What a thrill it was to watch Trevor Bayne do it again in 2011. This time, I got to watch it live.

The Wood Brothers were royalty, in my mind, when I was a kid. I took piano lessons from Donna Wood when I was in the sixth and seventh grade. Donna was the daughter of Crystal Wood. Crystal is the sister of Glen, Leonard and Delano Wood.  Crystal worked at my elementary school. She would give us souvenir Wood Brothers racing cards from Daytona International Speedway each year. Since Crystal’s last name was Wood, I thought her husband took her last name because she was Glen, Leonard and Delano’s sister. I thought it was because she was royalty. I later found out her husband’s last name also was Wood.

Yesterday, was just like the old days when Pearson would come from behind to win the race. In 1973, Pearson won 11 of the 18 races he and the Wood Brothers entered. On Sunday, Bayne drove smart. Bayne drove a great race. Bayne won. The Wood Brothers prepared a winning race car and gave great pit stops. It was the same red and white car with the gold number 21 on the side. It was a day for racing’s royalty to win again. It was a day for me to relive my childhood. I cried.

Thank you, Wood Brothers, for making me love NASCAR racing again.

Written by stevesheppardphotography

February 21, 2011 at 12:36 am

Posted in My personal stuff

Marine Corps Diary

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Notice the white area at the bottom of the photo? This is what it looks like when the camera’s shutter is bouncing (aka, time for a repair). By the way, never stand in front of a mortar tube when firing live rounds. Mortar fire can be your best friend unless you are in front of it.

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February 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Marine Corps Diary

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Carlisle Basketball

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I shot a couple of Carlisle School basketball games tonight. After sending a photo to the Martinsville Bulletin, I started listening to Queen and began pulling keepers. I kept listening and ended up processing all the photos.

I’ll put them on my website tomorrow. Oh wait, it’s already tomorrow. I’ll post them later today after I get some sleep. I shot the JV and Varsity games and have 280 photos to post between the two. Wow, seven hours of work including post processing. I hope some of them sell. Anyway, here’s a few.

Written by stevesheppardphotography

February 11, 2011 at 1:24 am

Posted in Carlisle, Sports

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Marine Corps Diary

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This photo was shot in New Orleans in 1986. By this time, I was a platoon commander in the 2nd Light Armored Vehicle Battalion, and we were training in the swamps of Florida. We got a weekend off so a couple of other Marines and I rented a car and drove to New Orleans.

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February 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Marine Corps Diary

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