Gearing Up For Purdue Football

The 2015 Purdue Football Season Is Almost Here

Sunday afternoon the 2015 Purdue Football campaign will begin with a big road test at Marshall. If you read this blog then you know that I absolutely love baseball in just about any form. Just behind that though is college football. I don’t know where you can beat the overall atmosphere of a college gameday. The bands, the pageantry, and of course the football. I have been very lucky the last few seasons to be on the field to see Purdue football up close and personal. This season starts with great promise. A young team has struggled a bit the last couple of seasons, but they are now experienced upperclassmen that have a chance to shock some people. They are being picked last in their division this season, but that is a great spot to be in to surprise some people. I have high hopes for this team. I will be in Orlando for a family vacation later in the year, and I hope that I can break away to watch Purdue play some football in some warm weather while I am down there. It will be a hard road to get there, but that is what will make it so rewarding when they are there.

The Uniforms of Purdue

One thing that has changed with the new coach is the uniforms that the players wear. They have different looks nearly every single game which makes it fun for a photographer. We have something new to key in on, and it gives our pictures something different every game. The uniform pictured above is one that I am excited to see in person. It is the slate grey uniform that should look great with the sun hitting off of it. I am not sure what game they will wear it for, but I have a gut feeling that says Virginia Tech might get a look at these uniforms. This will be a game that I can only stay for a half of, but I will get my pictures of this cool uniform if they do indeed wear it that day. If you get a chance and the Mollenkopf Athletic Center is open a very quick detour on gameday will allow you to see all of the uniform combinations for the upcoming season.

Purdue Soccer vs. Missouri

Andrea Petrina of Purdue University celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the first half against Missouri on August 30, 2015

Purdue Soccer Is Back In Action

Yesterday I was finally able to get back out to the Purdue Soccer Complex to shoot Purdue soccer. The last time that I shot a game in the stadium was the Big Ten Conference Championship game. That was a great game that I thought would be hard to top photographically. The final game of the Boilermaker Challenge Cup was a good one. It followed an overtime game, but it went a little longer, and had some great moments in it. The first goal of the game was the one for me though. Andrea Petrina scored on a long kick to give the Boilers a 1-0 lead. Her reaction was priceless, and I just kept shooting her. She was in the air, hugging, and enjoying the moment. As a photographer that is what I come to see. I want emotion and excitement, and she gave it to me. This was my first soccer game of the season, but if this is what they are going to do every week as far as excitement goes it will not be my last. Next Friday I am coming out with a few friends to shoot another game as this one was too much fun.

Back on Campus

This game represented the end to a fun few days for me. On Thursday night I shot the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls scrimmage as well as a couple of group shots before the game. The next day I spent my birthday shooting volleyball on Belin Court. Saturday was spent shooting four volleyball matches, and of course this game on Sunday. I like to shoot sports, and this was a great start to the college season for me. I have been out of town during the previous events on campus so this was nice. There is an excitement this time of year for me as things start to crank up on campus. After traveling all over this summer to shoot sports I now have it in my backyard once again. The fall sports are just getting started so I am photographing things that I have not photographed in a while. It has been about nine months since I photographed any of the three sports that I did in the last four days. It was nice to get out and get back in the swing of things. If the events on Purdue’s campus so far are any indication this will be a fun fall.

More Photos From the Purdue Soccer Game

Here are a few bonus photos from the game yesterday. I spent a lot of time playing around with my case scenarios for my autofocus on my camera. I have one method that I love to use, but why not explore the camera a bit? Of course I ended up going back to my normal setting, and then I was able to make some interesting pictures. I love the celebration shots, and this game had plenty of them. Overall I don’t think that I had a great game shooting. I was playing with settings and not paying attention to the action. The two goals with the jube that followed really saved my shoot. I love what I do. Even in my spare time I still go out and make photos. How great is that? I am lucky that I live near a school that allows me to do this as it is something that really makes me happy. Helping capture these great moments is the least that I can do for that privilege.




Andrea Petrina of Purdue University celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the first half against Missouri on August 30, 2015
Andrea Petrina of Purdue University celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the first half against Missouri on August 30, 2015

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Day Two of the Mortar Board Premier

Purdue Wins the 2015 Mortar Board Premier

For the second year in a row I have covered part of the Mortar Board Premier, and for the second year in a row I saw a dominating Purdue team win it. I spent about eight hours in Holloway Gymnasium by the end of the day, and I felt that I had shot enough volleyball for one day. I covered two entire games, and most of two more. I spent most of the Purdue game against Ohio looking for celebration pictures. The gym was absolutely packed, and I didn’t want to block the fans view for a game that I was not assigned. I decided to try and make some interesting pictures from my desk while I uploaded my photos. The photo above is one that I quite like. You can see the joy of winning a point as well as the agony of a mistake made on the other side of the net. This time of year is great for me. After a summer of having just a few things here and there to shoot I have sports starting up again. The past two days I spent getting back into the groove with volleyball. Today I will head out to the Purdue soccer complex to see the Boilers play Missouri. Purdue has started the season 3-0 under their new coach so I am excited to see them play in person. Next week I start photographing college football again. I think that you cannot beat college sports, and it feels great to be back photographing them.

Shooting in Holloway Gymnasium

I shoot in many of Purdue’s venues over the course of the school year. In fact I can’t think of one that I have not photographed yet. For some reason I get juiced the most at the beginning of the Purdue volleyball games. There is something about the way the crowd reacts as they pump up the intro song and the team comes out of the tunnel. It really is a great experience that you need to try. It seems like during these tournaments that I don’t give Purdue a fair shake when it comes to making pictures. I am either working for the other team, or coming to or from the court. As the season gets going I need to have some fun watching this Boiler team play. They are a special team that will make some noise this season.

More Photos From the Mortar Board Premier

This year like last year I have made an Exposure page for the tournament. You can find that page here. I like the way that it allows me to show many images from a couple of days in one easy to browse format. In case you don’t feel like clicking the link you can see a few other photos that I liked from day two here.



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Day One of the Mortar Board Premier

Ohio University and Purdue University Win on Day One of the Mortar Board Premier

Yesterday I shot my first college athletics of the 2015-2016 season. I was hired to shoot the tournament by VCU, but I attended the first match of the game to get my volleyball timing back. Volleyball is a sport that is all about anticipation. I wanted to make sure that I was back in the groove so to speak when the match that counted for me started. I moved around  bit during the match to find some new angles to use over the course of the weekend. During a three day tournament I want to make some new pictures every day. I don’t want my stuff to start looking the same. The nature of the sport is that I will repeat some shots, but I was looking for new angles that would give me a slightly different look. One thing that I won’t change is my use of the Purdue student area. I love the straight on look over the top of the net. I like the look of that shot, and I am sure that I will use it over and over this weekend.

Both Purdue and Ohio University took care of business in three straight sets so the actual shooting time yesterday was short. Even though both matches were three set sweeps everyone played well so I had plenty of moments to capture. In fact some of my favorite celebration photos were of the teams that lost the match. Today both matches that I will shoot do not involve Purdue. That is a good thing for a couple of reasons, but the most important is that I should have the space to move around a little more. With Purdue playing it is a packed house, and I don’t have the positions to shoot that I normally would.

More Photos From the Mortar Board Premier

Below I have included a few photos from the day that I liked. You can go to my 2015 Volleyball page on my website to see more photos from the tournament. You can also check out my gallery here on the VCU Athletic site to see images from the nightcap.



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Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls Scrimmage vs Kokomo City of Fists

Back Shooting Roller Derby at the Brawl House

It has been about ten months since I last shot roller derby. I really love shooting the sport, but the opportunity just has not been there. Last night I took some group shots of the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls, and then stayed to shoot their scrimmage against the Kokomo City of Fists. It took a couple of jams for me to get back into the swing of things, but then it was being right back in the pocket. I love capturing the moments that occur during a jam. You cannot get them all, but when you nail one it is a great feeling. The thing that I like about photographing roller derby is the need to anticipate. Your subject may be hidden in the pack, but you need to be ready to make the photo when your window comes.

New Light at the Brawl House

The first thing that I noticed when I stepped back into the Brawl House was the LED lighting that had been installed. The overall light level may not have changed by much, but the light quality went up tremendously. When shooting natural light you don’t have to worry about the green or brown frame that would always happen with the previous lighting. It was a constant color which is great. I did still strobe some of the bout, but by the end I was just shooting natural light. I also decided to try and go for it by shooting at f/2.8 with my main camera. It was a scrimmage so I felt like I could gamble a bit. I liked the look of the backgrounds even if it cost me a few shots.

Support Your Local Roller Derby

The Brawlin’ Dolls have three home bouts this fall. They skate at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds in the Swine Barn. It really is a great experience to see in person. I was not sure of it when I went to my first bout three years ago, but now I am hooked. Here is the home schedule for this fall:

  • September 19 vs. Happy Camper Rollergirls
  • October 18 vs. Prairieland Punishers
  • November 14 vs Battle Creek Cereal Killers

More Photos From the Scrimmage

Here are a few bonus photos from the scrimmage. I shot the game very heavy due to a couple things. First of all I have not shot roller derby in a while. I was excited to do so, and I just kept firing away. The other reason was that I had the Canon 7D Mark II most of the time with its 10 frames per second. I would find my moment, and then fire a few frames off. I never liked to motor drive, but in some instances it can really be useful. I would pick my moment, and then fire off my shots. Looking through the photos I was happy to see that I avoided missing some shots this way when the skaters were blinking. It did make for a longer edit, but I was happy with the end product, and that is what matters. You can see my full gallery from the scrimmage here on my website.




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Henna Tattoos In Ocean City Maryland

A Henna tattoo is applied on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland

Getting a Tattoo That Is Not Permanent

This year in Ocean City I tried to capture some of the details of the trip that I had not captured before. Here I liked this moment when my step daughter was getting a henna tattoo. The artist at work here was really amazing. She took on some jobs that I don’t think many of the other artists on the boardwalk would have. You would think that something as intricate as the above tattoo would need a stencil to achieve, but it did not. It was simply a case of a great artist doing her thing. You can see the design that she was going off of, and the improvements that she made to it. I am glad that I captured this moment in time.

Using the Canon 24-105mm Lens

This was one of the first days that I took the Canon 24-105mm lens out with me. I liked the idea of the wide range in an L series lens, but I didn’t know what to expect. The 105mm end helped me get in close here without interfering with the process too much. I have since really come to love this lens. I have had times where I want a little more on either end, but in a situation like this you can zoom in with your feet.

Trayce Thompson Puts The White Sox On His Back

Trayce Thompson hits a triple in the second inning of the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015

The Chicago White Sox defeat the Boston Red Sox 5-4

If you have read this blog the past month then you know that I was really excited to see the White Sox play last night. I went to the game with my brother and dad to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my first White Sox game. The first player out on the field to warm up was White Sox right fielder Trayce Thompson. This was my first time seeing Trayce play live so I made a few photos of him warming up. He quickly gave me some more photos to make as he hit an exciting triple in the second inning. He went on to have a great day finishing a home run short of the cycle. His key hits helped the White Sox come from behind to win 5-4. It seems as if whenever I go and see the White Sox and Red Sox play something exciting happens. This game was no different.

Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez celebrate the Chicago White Sox win over the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015

Waiting For My Photo

I really wanted to make a photo of the cool victory celebration between Alexei Ramirez and Adam Eaton. I have seen a few photos of it, and I thought that it was a good way to celebrate. Luckily the White Sox came back to take the victory so that I could see it. This season they are not very good when behind past the sixth inning. Here they got the hits when they needed them so that I could see the cool victory celebration in person.

White Sox vs. Red Sox Photo Gallery

Here are a few bonus photos that I liked from the game. I did not shoot the game like I normally would have last night. I spent some time just enjoying my time at the park. I would pick up my camera when something interested me or I thought an exciting play was about to happen. In the end I made some photos that I really liked. Here are a few of them.

Trayce Thompson warms up before the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Avisail Garcia basts during the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Trayce Thompson hits a triple in the second inning of the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Alexei Ramirez bats during the Chicago White Sox game against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2015
Ryan Hanigan chases down Trayce Thompson during the White Sox vs. Red Sox game on August 25, 2015

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Thirty Years of White Sox Baseball

The Carlton Fisk statue at U.S. Cellular Field

Watching the White Sox Live For Thirty Years

Tonight my father and I will head to U.S. Cellular Field to see the White Sox play the Red Sox. Thirty years ago today we made a similar trip to the ballpark across the street to see the White Sox play the Blue Jays. That day the White Sox beat the Blue Jays 5-3. Harold Baines hit a three run home run off of Jimmy Key in the first inning to help the cause of the White Sox. A lot has changed in that 30 years. Players have come and gone, and the White Sox have added a World Series trophy to their trophy case. One thing has not changed in that time. Both my father and I love this team from Chicago.

Looking Back at that First Game

That was a great season for me as a White Sox fan. The end result was not what we were looking for, but some exciting things happened along the way. The game was a few days before my 9th birthday, and just a day away from the start of the school year. The giveaway was a White Sox cloth backpack which sadly fell apart on the first day of school. This was a day of firsts for me. This was the first time that I saw Ozzie Guillen play baseball live. He was at that time an exiting rookie shortstop that would go on to win the Rookie of the Year in 1985. He of course lead the Sox to their first World Series since 1917 twenty years later as their manager. Floyd Bannister pitched for the Sox. For some reason I was in line with Floyd when I went to my first few games. He pitched the first three games that I saw live. The first two were for the White Sox, and the last was for the Royals. I would later watch his son Brian pitch 25 years after seeing Floyd pitch for the first time. The names from that first game are forever ingrained in my brain. I scored my first ball game that day, and I would look at the scorecard often for guidance in scoring games from home. A name like Garth Iorg should not be one that I recognize, but when a guy plays during your first game you tend to remember him. One interesting fact from the game is that both managers would be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for both teams that day they managers heyday would be with other teams. The Blue Jays would get rid of Bobby Cox and he would take over the Braves. At this time Joe Torre had just been fired in Atlanta, and was out of work. Tony LaRussa would get run out of town by Hawk Harrelson only to take Oakland and St. Louis to great places. It is amazing how a change of scenery can help a manager. More to the point sometimes a little luck in timing can go a long way.

Meeting Your Hero Before You Know That He Is

The highlight of the day came before the game started to be honest. I met Richard Dotson and he autographed my program for me. The highlight of the day though was meeting the catcher for the White Sox, Carlton Fisk. Somehow before the game my dad had us in a tunnel near the players entrance to what I think was the clubhouse. Carlton was in a bit of a slump and he was in the indoor cages getting some extra swings in. He had to make his way across this concourse to get to where he was going. He walked out of the cages, and when I saw him I might have mumbled something about an autograph. He walked a couple of feet and asked me to come to him if I wanted an autograph. He signed my program near his photo, and I had my first idol. Carlton played until 1993, and I was able to see him play a few more times in person. He work ethic and dedication to the game gave me something to strive to be. I don’t think it is any coincidence that his work ethic matched my father’s. Over the years I have gained countless things with Carlton’s photo or name on them, but that program was the first and my favorite. When I attended my first game this season at ‘the Cell’ Carlton was at the game just above my section. I had no idea that he was there, and I was a little disappointed that I missed out on meeting him again thirty years later. This is the season that the White Sox are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their last World Series title. I have been celebrating 30 years of seeing the team play live. Tonight before the game we will probably make our way out to the outfield to see that statues of both of our favorite players. Carlton and Minnie Minoso sit side by side out there so it makes it easy for two generations to revisit their childhood. My latest favorite player Paul Konerko is just a couple of sections over. Baseball is a game that is ever changing. The players on the field change, but the name on the jersey does not. Hopefully the latest edition of the White Sox can bring home a win tonight, and we can see Adam Eaton and Alexi Ramirez celebrate the win behind second base.

Backyard Waterfalls

Having Some Fun In Your Backyard

This weekend I was in Pewaukee, Wisconsin visiting family. I only had one shot at a sunset, and it was not that great. I did make a couple of photos that I liked, but it was not the great sunset that I had hoped for. I was walking up to the house to put my camera away when I saw this little waterfall. This was at the bottom of a large series of waterfalls, but I chose to just focus here. I use the low light just after the sun went down to get a thirty second exposure. I liked the way that it ghosted out the water, and made this image interesting. This just started off as a way for me to play around a little, but I ended up liking the photo enough to post it here.

The F-14B Tomcat

Seeing the F-14 at the Grissom Air Museum

Part of the fun of seeing the planes up close at the Grissom Air Museum is seeing the planes that you recognize from the movies. I am not that into aviation so that is the only way that I know certain planes. With so many planes out there I don’t know how people can keep up with all of them. Of course Top Gun made me aware of the F-14. As a kid I made a few models of the plane. It is an impressive craft that the pilots could really push to the limit. They have since been retired, and now you can only find them at shows and museums like this. This particular plane is made up to look like it belongs to the VFA-11 squadron or The Red Rippers as they are called. This plane also has the markings of the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy. A little light reading about the squadron shows that they were deployed off of the Kennedy. A close up look at the plane reveals the call signs of the two members of the crew. “Chi-Chi” was the pilot with “Wedge” behind him. The squadrons and call signs are all very cool to someone who is just looking in from the outside. I can only imagine that the squadron you are a part of you identify with the rest of your life. Below are a few more photos of the F-14.


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