West Lafayette Basketball at McCutcheon

Shooting the Season Opening Game

A Thanksgiving tradition the past couple of years has been to see the season opening game for the West Side Red Devils. The night before Thanksgiving they play McCutcheon to get things started. The last couple of years it has not been such a great game for West Side. This year they kept battling after getting behind early to play even pretty much the last three quarters of basketball. I go to the games mainly to shoot my nephew who is on the team, but I can’t help but shoot a little more of the game action. Last night I used the 7DII mainly with a little of the 5DIII thrown into the mix. They are a good pair for basketball, but I really like the FPS of the 7DII. At times it was a little tight, but this is early in the season so I need to get some practice in. What better way to do that then to make things a little harder for me by using a longer lens.

Bonus Photos

Below are a couple of photos that I liked from the game. You can view my full gallery here. I like hosting the photos on SmugMug over sharing them on Facebook because you can see the full res image on SmugMug. I don’t like the way that Facebook makes my photos look.

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a day early, but I thought that with everyone traveling for the holiday that I would post this today so that I could wish all of you loyal readers a Happy Thanksgiving. This is a great time of the year where we can reflect on everything that we are thankful for. It is a happy time where you can spend a day or two with loved ones that you don’t normally get to see to much. That is something to be thankful for itself. Looking back on the past year I have had some great things happen in my personal and professional life. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I hope you do too. Enjoy the day and everything that goes with it.

A Basketball to Volleyball Time Lapse

Another Time Lapse Video

While I was at Notre Dame last week I knew that they were going to turn the basketball court into a volleyball court in quick time right after the game. Knowing that I set up my GoPro in the upper press box aiming down at the court. I wanted the wide view of the stadium as the crowd and the layout of the court changed. It was not as drastic of a change as I thought it would be, but it is an interesting video just the same.

A Leg To Stand On

Photographing at the Indianapolis Zoo

Each year we spend time at the Indy Zoo enjoying the animals. A lot of quality time is spent with the family, but the camera does come out. The animals are so amazing that I can’t help but photograph them. The zoo is a great place to spend a day, and it has its great sights as well as a chance to learn. As we were leaving the zoo we stopped to admire these beautiful birds. It is a colorful way to end your trip to the zoo.

Wait No Sports Photo?

It seems as if I have posted a sports photo a few days in a row now. Things have really picked up during basketball season for me, and I feel like those moments are a little more time sensitive to right about. A little color on a warm fall day looks much better now than it would have at that time anyway. Don’t worry, the sports photos will be on there way again shortly.

Purdue Women’s Basketball Against Toledo

Photographing in Mackey Arena Again

After a few games away it was nice to shoot in my ‘home’ arena again. Making the short drive to Mackey today was nice after a few road trips up north and down south this past week. I love shooting in a new arena, but it was also nice to set my cameras to the Mackey custom settings on my cameras. There were some familiar faces on the floor yesterday along with a few new faces. This seems like a much different team than the one that I saw play last season. They have already cracked the top 25 although I think they may drop back out again. A good showing in the Bahamas could put them right back in it though. When time allows I plan to photograph quite a few of the games this season. I love the college game, and it is a lot of fun to photograph it.

Back to the Basics

After shooting three cameras the last week I decided to keep it simple yesterday. I took two bodies, but knew that I would just be using my 70-200mm lens on them. During the first half I sat out near the sideline with my Canon 7D Mark II on the lens. This pulled me in a bit closer to the action from out there. During the second half I put the 5D Mark III on the lens as I was sitting under the basket, and I needed to pull back a bit more. This seemed to work really well for me, and I was happy with my take on the day. Both cameras performed well, although I am liking the 7DII more and more. I need to get a grip for it to make it a good camera for basketball though. The 7D just seems to make much better photos for me. It may be all in my head, but I think that it focuses faster than the 5DIII. I have always had some trouble with the 5DIII grabbing focus initially as I pan the camera to catch something. The 7D has no such problem even with the same autofocus settings. So far though I have been very pleased with the 7D, and it has paid for itself with the work that it has gotten me.

Bonus Photos

Here are a few bonus photos from the game yesterday. I have a full gallery up on my website here if you want to see more from the game.

Continue reading

Shooting Volleyball at Notre Dame

Shooting Notre Dame Volleyball Again

Earlier this season I shot three matches for Notre Dame volleyball when they were in West Lafayette for a tournament at Purdue. It was a very pleasant experience that really was hard to top. This past Friday I had a chance to shoot for them once again on their home court. Usually when they have a volleyball match in progress the setup is much different, but since the game was immediately after the basketball game they went with what was already set up. The lighting was amazing though. It was much better than anything that I have shot volleyball in before. I wanted to try and make a few images that were a bit different from the norm for me. A completely new venue though already makes the images a bit different from what I have in my portfolio anyway. This past week I was very lucky to have the opportunity to shoot in a couple of new venues. This was a busy week, but in the end I made some good images so it was all worth it.

Bonus Photos

Here are a few bonus photos from the match. I have postedĀ a larger gallery of images from the match here.

Continue reading

Shooting Basketball at Purcell Pavilion

Shooting One Last Game for the Mocs

Last night I shot my third and final event for the Chattanooga Mocs in four days. This was a tough game for the Mocs as they went down 88-53. They kept it close early, but in the end Notre Dame was too much for them. The light was much better in Purcell Pavilion than it was at the Hinkle Fieldhouse so I was able to try a few extras things on the night. I have yet to go through all of the images, but I feel that in the end I had a much higher keeper rate last night. I was confident enough late in the game that I put the 7dII on the 70-200mm lens to get a little closer. I tried to wait until the ball came up, and then I would make my shot. This gave me a little more intimate look at the players. When you shoot two games in a row for a team you try and give them something a little different to use. I think that I did that last night.

The Floor Remote

I ran a floor camera the entire night at my feet just to get more of the arena in the photo. Most of the shots do not turn out with a floor remote. It is those few that do though that are very cool, and they add a sense of place to the photo story. I don’t use an expensive floor rig, but rather a pack of batteries to hold my camera in place. This keeps me lower to the floor, and it is a lot easier to carry around. I also placed the remote a few feet over from me when I could so that I had a slightly different angle on the action. If the ref or a player was blocking me maybe they were not blocking the remote. This is a way to make sure that I get the shot.

A Very Cool Side Story

One thing that you may not know is that Muffett McGraw got her start coaching under Jim Foster. She then went out on her own to start a Hall of Fame career. The more interesting aspect to me is that Muffett replacedĀ Geno Auriemma on Foster’s staff. What an eye for talent Foster has. Continue reading

The LaPorte Slicers One Win Away From State!

Two Wins For a State Title

This has really only been true one other time in the history of LaPorte Slicer Football. In 2006 the Slicers were coming off a record setting offensive season. The only problem with that was that a lot of the reasons for the record setting performance had graduated. It seemed as if 2005 would have been the year for the team. 2006 though just had a feel to it the entire season. It seemed as if the entire postseason had a feel of redemption to it. Losses to powers Mishawaka, Penn, and finally Crown Point were avenged as the Slicers moved on. The story ended in Carmel though as the team had just run out of gas. This season has the same feel to it. This Slicer team has no quit in it. After a couple of tough seasons filled with tragedy this team has made history. The team is playing for Jake West, and they will not go down without a fight. I will be waiting for updates all night as the team plays Fort Wayne Snider in Fort Wayne.

One Last Chance to Photograph This Team

This past summer before school even started I was at Kwanis Field to photograph the new turf. I was planning on attending the season opening game which would dedicate the field. Of course I was booked by two teams that night to photograph volleyball here in West Lafayette so I could not attend. The same thing kept happening as the season moved on. I have been booked every time that the Slicers were at home. In fact even on away games that I would attend I would get booked as happened last Friday. In fact I only made it to one high school game this season, and that was a scrimmage. I love high school football so that is a shame. Once again this weekend I will be at Notre Dame on a job while the Slicers are playing. I have however made sure that I have nothing going on the following Saturday just in case the Slicers make it to the finals. I will be there with my camera to document the day.

Shooting for the Mocs Again at Hinkle Fieldhouse

Another Night in the Historic Fieldhouse

After having a visit to Hinkle on my list of things to do for a long time I made my second trip there in two days. It is funny how things work sometimes. This time it was to cover the women’s basketball game for the Chattanooga Mocs. Things were a lot different the second time around. I left at the same time as I did to cover the men’s game giving myself plenty of time in case of traffic. With no mix ups with the parking I pulled right into the lot. In fact there was nobody at the lot to let people in. The stadium was actually locked when I got there about an hour and a half before game time, but of course someone let me in. I used my extra time to make a few photos of the historic fieldhouse. One of those that I posted on Twitter went viral last night during the game. I was just trying to show off this stadium, but it must have hit at the right time as it really was well received.

A Night and Day Difference

Things were amazingly different covering a men’s and women’s game at Hinkle. The media room which had been very nice the night before looked much different. I did not know why until I realized that I was the only member of the media there. There were plenty of people in the room when the pizza came, but when I edited at the half and at the end of the game I was the only one in the room. Another huge difference was the access. I went to pick up my media credential at will call, and was given a ticket with the stub torn off. Apparently that was my ket to court side access. I kept expecting someone to ask where my credential was while I shot the game, but it never happened. The one big difference for me from the night before was the lack of extra chairs on the baseline. For the men’s game I could not shoot by the hoop like I like to do. About half of the baseline is filled with folding chairs for VIP’s. For the women’s game there was no chairs on the line. I set up a camera under the hoop on the floor, and then took a spot that I liked a couple of feet away from the hoop. Being the only person on the baseline is kind of nice as well. Being the only photographer at the game I can say that I made the best image of the night.

On To the Game

This game was really in the hands of Chattanooga from the start. They jumped out to a big lead early, and then kept the pressure on the entire game. This worked for me as I was able to make a lot of photos at the hoop. I also was able to make some photos of a few more of the bench players as the bench cleared late in the game. The 76-47 final score really does tell the story of this game. It will be very interesting to see what happens Friday night as the same Moc team travels to South Bend to play Notre Dame. Notre Dame is ranked #2 in the country and is very good. I will be there photographing the game as well so expect some photos to follow.

Seeing Jim Foster Again

I really did not do my homework on this game apparently. As the first half was going on I made a few shots of the coach of the Mocs. He looked really familiar to me. I kept wondering if it was Jim Foster. A quick look at the website of the Mocs confirmed that it was the former Ohio State coach. I kept thinking as I watched the game that this team looked like one of those Ohio State squads. Looking at the roster most of the players that impacted the game were young, and must have been recruited by Foster. It will be fun to watch this team play again Friday night. Continue reading

Chattanooga Visits Hinkle Fieldhouse

Shooting a Basketball Game at Historic Hinkle Fieldhouse

Last night I was in Indianapolis to shoot at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the Chattanooga Mocs. I have wanted to see a game in this historic stadium for quite some time, but it took a job to get me there. It was great to see this historic stadium, but I really did not enjoy it as much as I could have because I was focused on my job. One thing that I feel that I have to talk about is the lighting. The lights themselves look very cool from the stands. They give out a good quality of light when looking straight down. They are not the typical stadium lights though. The nature of the lights makes for a dramatic fall off in light near the edge of the court. This makes for interesting shooting, but has one other great effect. If you set up your camera correctly the player is well lit, and the background goes to nearly completely black. It is a very dramatic light that can make for very cool photos.

Lightroom 5 Now Supports the Canon 7D Mark II

Last night while my files were being uploaded I saw that RAW support for the Canon 7D Mark II was in the newest update for Adobe Lightroom. I would have used the 7D much more during the night had I known that the update was that close. The shadows on the faces required a bit of shadow recovery. I wanted the extra data of the RAW file so I mainly shot with my 5D Mark III last night. Now with Lightroom finally on board I feel like we can truly see what the camera can do. I have some shots from past events saved in RAW format. I may have a post in the next couple of days comparing the images. If you use Adobe Camera Raw that program now supports the new 7D as well.

Bonus Photos

As per usual here are a few bonus photos from the game last night. I have many more posted here on my website. I used a wide variety of camera and lenses to try and use the background to my advantage. For the first time in a long time I used a floor remote to capture the action with some of the iconic portions of the stadium in the background. Continue reading