A Skeleton Crew

Making Photos of More Than the Animals at the Indianapolis Zoo

While at the Indy Zoo last weekend I had a lot of fun making photos of my family and the animals. When you go to the Zoo Boo though they have other decorations that are also fun to photograph. They cover a lot of territory with the various decorations, but I liked this one for some reason. At first glance you think that someone is looking at you from around a tree. You have to get close up to see that you have been fooled.

The Zoo Boo

As I have said before we like to make the Zoo Boo a family tradition. It is a great way to get out and see some animals, but also a good chance for the kids to get some extra Halloween candy. The event is still going on this weekend at the Indianapolis Zoo so get out and see it if you can. While you are there check out the new Orangutan Center. You can get up close and personal to see that they are not much different than us.

The Pump House

The Pump House on Clear Lake

One of my favorite locations to shoot when I am back in LaPorte is the pump house and the three trees beyond it on Clear Lake. With the trees in full color it was a no brainer to shoot there on my last trip into town. I had a busy day shooting some architectural work for a local client, and my family wanted to eat. Of course I pulled the car over to make a few photos on the way. Well it really wasn’t on the way, but the way that I drove there it was. Sometimes I wonder how people put up with me.

Cloud Cover Puts a Damper on the Solar Eclipse in Lafayette

Of course when an event above us occurs the clouds rolled in as usual yesterday. The lone event in recent memory where that did not happen was the blood moon. Early on it looked as if it would be a great day to view the sun as it went down. The heavy clouds that came in made that impossible. You can’t win them all, and I had a great time playing in the neighborhood park instead of being out on a country road waiting with my camera.

The Autumn Road

Finding the Perfect Road Shot in Autumn

A great shot of a road in the midst of autumn colors is something that I have been chasing for a while now. I find shots that I think are okay like the one above, but I am still looking for that great shot. One of these days I will stumble upon it. There are a lot of elements into what I think would make the perfect shot. Some of them are here, but not exactly how I would like them. One of these days I will post a shot that I think is awesome. It will be my job then to find one that is even better once I do that.

Catch a Partial Solar Eclipse

Tonight just as the sun is setting the moon will come in between us. Here in West Lafayette the eclipse will start at around 5:45. We will not see the entire eclipse because the sun will set too soon. Just before it sets we will get the most that we will see. That will be at around 6:45 tonight. For a brief moment in time it will look as if someone has taken a bite out of the sun. If the conditions are right I will have a picture of it for you tomorrow.

The Skating Dead

A Haunted Trail

I took a drive out to Prophetstown State Park yesterday to see how the color looked out there. The leaves have really turned making it just absolutely beautiful outside. While driving through the park I saw the scarecrows that the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls have set up. This is a great way to for local business and organizations to get their name out and to also be creative. I love the way that this looks like an actual circumstance that could happen at a bout.

Catch the Brawlin’ Dolls ‘Live’

This was the closest that I will get to photographing roller derby this month. Next month though the Brawlin’ Dolls hit the flat track again. On November 8th the Dolls skate in Beloit against the Beloit Bombshells. They then return home the next weekend on November 15th to face the Aurora 88’s. These will be the last two times that you can see the Brawlin’ Dolls in 2014.

Joel Sartore Comes to Purdue

Joel Sartore and the Photo Ark Come to Purdue

There are not many photographers that would have me star struck. For some reason though I have really come to relate to. Two photographers that I love to watch talk about photography are Dave Black and Joel Sartore. I will meet Dave Black next month when he comes to Indianapolis. Imagine my surprise when I saw a retweet yesterday talking about Joel coming to Purdue last night. It was just a couple of hours before the lecture, but it was enough time to get there. I am usually very up on any photographers coming near the area, especially one that I look up to so much. Luckily I did find out in time, and I was not booked last night. I first saw Joel’s work in a National Geographic video called At Close Range. It follows Joel around a bit, and you really get to peer into the life of a photographer on the go. For some reason the video really resonated with me. I was then very pleased to see that he had a course on the Great Courses on the basics of photography. He has since added a course on travel photography. Joel’s easy teaching style makes the subjects very easy to watch. It was great to see that he was the same in person.

I spent most of the talk listening to Joel. I don’t often do that anymore. I usually have my camera up to my fact making an image. When the question and answer session started though I set about to make an image for this blog. I had a lot going against me, but a National Geographic photographer would not want to hear excuses. I made the best photo that I could in the void that he was in.

The Photo Ark

The lecture was the keynote to open Green Week on campus. That was the reason for Purdue to reach out to Joel to come here. His reason to come to campus was to educate the audience on the danger that we are in. He is in his own words about a third of the way into a great endeavor that will see him photograph every species of creature in captivity. This is a great project that needs your help. You can read more about the project here.

Getting Ready For Halloween

Having Fun at the ZooBoo

Saturday I spent a good portion of the day out photographing sports. Sunday was a day to spend with the family. I did not edit an image or even post ahead a day on this blog like I normally like to do. We spent the day out enjoying some of the fun of fall. To start off we went to Indy to enjoy the ZooBoo. This has become a yearly tradition that is great fun. This year we had another girl walking around at the zoo which was very cool. My one takeaway from the zoo is that I think every girl this Halloween will be dressed as Elsa from Frozen. After the zoo we explored Exploration Acres just west of town. We had a long but fun day enjoying the last few days of the good weather. This is a great time of year to get out and enjoy yourself.

Acting Like a Squirrel

My wife has been having a little fun with me as I put away pictures for the winter. This is a crazy endeavor posting a photo a day. When the weather turns in the winter I don’t get out as much as I would like to make new images. I have been going out to make a few images a day in order to prepare for the winter. With sports thrown in the mix it really does not have to be many, but it is nice to know that you are not back to going day to day looking for images. The days of the photo 365 project cured me of that.

#22 Ohio State Volleyball Takes #14 Purdue Five Sets

Shooting Volleyball For Ohio State

Part of the interesting thing of this season is the fact that I have shot for so many of the opponents. There is something about shooting a sporting event that gets the adrenaline going. When you are paid to do it you get the adrenaline going even more. You have to make the photos, and that is something that you don’t get any other way. Last night I shot the volleyball game for Ohio State against Purdue. Early on I thought that it was going to be a quick night. Purdue jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the break that I thought was leading to a sweep. Most teams fold up under that kind of pressure. Ohio State did not though. They fought back winning the first two sets after the intermission to force a 5th set. Those extra sets were great because of the emotion that Ohio State was playing with. I made some great pictures of some jube that I will be able to use.

Finding A New Location

One thing about this season is that it started to feel like I was making the same photos. I ran into this during the baseball season. You just have to try and find something new to spice things up a bit. I normally jump up high on either end of the court to get the over the net stuff, but also to keep everything on the same plane of focus. Last night I decided to crawl up into the TV platform right on the net to try it out. I liked the angle, but with a packed house someone has to move so that you can climb up. You can get trapped up there pretty easily I would guess. It was a new perspective that I would try again. The photo above was made from that location.

Bonus Photos

Here are a couple of extra shots that I liked from the game. I will update this post with a link to the gallery on OhioStateBuckeyes.com when the photo gallery is up. Edit: A small gallery can be found here.



The Indiana Intercollegiates

Shooting Swimming For the First Time This Season

It has come to that time of the season where the winter sports are starting to coincide with the fall sports. The weather feels like it should be happening, and it is. I spent most of the morning today shooting the large swim meet at the aquatic center on campus. I don’t shoot swimming very often, but I have a few things that I look for every meet. Swimming is another sport that I really had never been around until last season. I don’t get many opportunities to shoot it, but I try and make the most out of all of them. I walked away from the meet today very happy with my results. Of course now that I have gotten used to swimming I have a volleyball shoot tonight.

A Lucky Accident

During the 500m races I usually play the shutter speed game. I keep going down and down until I can’t get a usable image anymore. I had some fun with that again today, and then did a quick pivot to shoot a diver coming off the board. Of course I didn’t change my settings, and I was way too slow for anything good. Unless you look at the left eye. That is the only thing really in focus, and it just shows you the weird pivot that he was on.

Bonus Photos

As usual here are a few other shots from the meet that I liked. I also have a couple of galleries up on PurdueSports.com here.





At The Pumpkin Patch

Having Fun at Kent’s Cucurbits

Yesterday I spent the morning with my step daughter at Kent’s Cucurbits just outside of Brookston, Indiana. After a couple of days of rain we had great weather to explore this farm. We had a great time seeing all of the pumpkins and squash of various sizes. When I first saw the farm I noticed this barn. I am guessing the lift is for the straw, but I liked the pumpkins outside of the barn. You know how I like a good barn. The sky was a little gray for me, but I still think it is a nice photo. It is one that will remind me of a fun day anyway.

Using the Canon Powershot G16

This was another shot that I made with my Canon G16. This really is a great camera to take with you if you want to cut down on the weight. My normal dSLR setup weighs about as much as my daughter. The G16 fits nicely in my pocket, and produces good results. This was a jpeg that the camera gave me. I am normally a guy who shoots in RAW, but here the jpeg did just fine. I made some small adjustments in Lightroom 5, but not too many.

The Calm Before the Storm

Trying to Capture a Little of the Fall

Yesterday was a day to make some photos. During the day I went out with my daughter to see how far the leaves have come. They really have come a long way in a short period of time. It won’t be long before they are off the trees now. At night I went to campus to shoot some portraits with the university as the backdrop. I was not looking to make a photo like this when I set out, but when I saw it I had to give it a try. The storm clouds were rolling in, and a lot of the leaves on this lake were turning. I have photographed this small lake a few times, but none since my photo 365 project ended. I come from a city with many lakes. The lack of public lakes here in town make it hard on me. I will have to go out of my way to find some more water shots before the leaves are gone. I like the idea of this shot, but I could use a little more color in it.