Watching the ISS Go By

Finally Getting Out To Photograph the International Space Station

Last night I went to campus to photograph the International Space Station flying overhead. Being my first time photographing the space station I did not know what to expect. Honestly I didn’t really know what I was looking for in the sky. I thought that I had watched it overhead before, but I was not sure. The clouds did not seem like they were going to cooperate, but they did move fast enough for us to get an unobstructed view of the ISS setting as it finished its pass overhead. I learned a lot in a short time on campus tonight, and I can’t wait to get out and try this again. It really is amazing when you think about what you are seeing when you look up.

The Reason That I Made This Photo

Let’s face it. I would not have had any idea where to look in the sky to photograph the space station if not for Trevor Mahlmann. I first started seeing Trevor’s work pop up in my timelines last year. Every picture I saw made me more and more interested in who this person was. I have known Trevor on the internet for just about a year now, and he still surprises me with what he comes up with next. He has done some great work that you can find here. The best part about Trevor is that one day he expects to be up in the space station flying overhead. I can’t wait to make that photo.


A gun is fired at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon at Fort Ouiatenon just south of West Lafayette, Indiana

Watching the Tactical Demonstration at the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon

For the last few years we have spent some time at the Feast of the Hunter’s Moon gathering held at Fort Ouiatenon just south of West Lafayette, Indiana. Each year I have gone out with my camera to make some interesting photos. This year I brought my camera, but only brought it out twice to make a photo. The first time was to make a portrait of an interesting looking Indian, and the second time was for the tactical demonstration. If you have never seen this demonstration before I can say that after watching Hollywood movies it seems a little slow. With that in mind though everything does not happen like it does in the movies. I did not have much time to shoot here so I had to get my shot very early on in the ‘battle’. I tried timing the first shot perfectly, but a misfire of the weapon threw me off, and I missed the shot. The same thing happened with the second person that I was locked in on, but I made the shot above when he¬†fired his¬†weapon again. The feast is a great place to make some very interesting photos if you are a photographer. If you need subjects to fill your portfolio this would be a great place to start. Maybe I will set up a photobooth at the feast next year.

Hanging With The Bard

Back at Purdue North Central For a Day

Yesterday I had the pleasure of shooting an engagement session at Purdue North Central. I spent the bulk of my college years at this small college in Northwest Indiana. This was a great school for me because they had classes that allowed me to work my way through school, and the teachers seemed to understand what I was going through. When I needed to get away and study I would head for this little garden to read and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Before the engagement session started I arrived early enough to enjoy a little of that peace again. I thought that I could make one photo of a place that used to mean a lot to me. With all of the chaos that exams and papers can bring this was one little place that I could go to get away from it all.

Shooting With the Canon 24-105mm f/4

This may have been the best lens that I have purchased in the last couple of years. I love the versatility that it allows me to have with a wide range of focal lengths. At 24mm on a full frame sensor you have a nice wide angle shot with the ability to zoom out to 105mm if you need it. I used this lens for multiple purposes yesterday with great success. As a portrait lens I like the ability to have a wide range of focal lengths without having to swap out lenses. With the slight rain that was falling during my engagement shoot having one lens to do it all was a great thing. I know that a prime lens can get better bokeh, but if you are always looking at the bokeh then I am not giving you enough to look at in my photos.

Purdue Volleyball Sweeps Rutgers

The Purdue Volleyball Team Wins in Straight Sets

Last night I was back in Holloway Gymnasium shooting volleyball again. This time I was shooting for the hometown Boilermakers. It is much more enjoyable shooting for the home team than for the opponent. That being said they are the fourth team that I have shot for this season. When this Purdue team is firing on all cylinders they are very, very good. This will be a fun season to watch unfold as this team realizes their full potential.

Bonus Photos

I usually post some bonus photos from the match here, but I will direct you to the Purdue Exposure page here to see more.

Return To The Moon

The Moon Comes Out of the Earth’s Shadow

Sunday night I shot the blood moon over West Lafayette. The clouds parted just in time for me to make my photos. As the show was ending I stayed out to make a few more photos. I liked the idea of just part of the moon showing. The bottom usually has the most character anyway so why not make a few more frames. Just as the moon was where I wanted it a large, fast moving cloud came through. Luckily it was not too big as it passed quickly. I could see the overcast skies coming so I made one last photo before going inside. I like the look of this photo, and the simple nature of it.

Lafayette Theater Open Mic Night | Concert Photography

Trying My Hand At Concert Photography

I have been really wanting to get out and photograph a concert for a while now. This past summer I picked up the book All Access by Alan Hess, and I was really inspired to get out and give it a try. Things just have not lined up for me as something always got in the way. Wednesday night I finally was able to give it a go. I really enjoyed using the light to my advantage. The musicians were heavily backlit with very little light on them from the front. I did like how they kept changing up the lighting though throughout the night. I was able to get a few different looks to see how I would adapt. Each band had three songs to sing so I was basically shooting them with the three song rule. I had to capture something that showed who they were in a short period of time. I came away from my experience with a need to shoot more, but also a great appreciation for those that do this for a living.

Bonus Photos

Here are a few bonus photos from the night. I did not shoot the entire show, but I did have fun shooting for a little over an hour.

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The Cubs Walk Off To Win On Fan Appreciation Night

The Chicago Cubs Win Their Final Regular Season Home Game of the Season

Monday night we were in Chicago to see the Cubs play their final regular season home game of the season. This game was originally scheduled to be played in May, but was cancelled due to rain. That worked out great f0r me as I was shooting the first round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament in Champaign, Illinois. My games were rained out that day as well so I was able to spend the night with my family. It was an unexpected treat for me. Flash forward a few months, and the Cubs and Royals squared off in Wrigley Field. It is very possible that this will be the final baseball game that I see this year. If it was then it was a good one to end the year on. It was a well pitched game with an unexpected hero winning it with a walk off home run in the 11th. Even though my season ended when Chris Denorfia hit his home run into the left field bleachers I was very happy for everything that came with baseball this year. This was a great year shooting the sport that I love that may bloom into even more next summer.

Seeing Clayton Richard Pitch Again

My new home in West Lafayette, Indiana. Even though I haven’t lived here that long I did go to school here. When Clayton Richard pitched for the White Sox it felt like the hometown boy was pitching for my favorite team. The only time that I saw him pitch in person was in 2009. He pitched for Chicago in the Civil Rights Game in Cincinnati, Ohio. Clayton left the Sox in the Jake Peavy trade, but I have followed his career over the years. He actually picked up the win earlier this season at U.S. Cellular Field when I was there, but I was in the outfield so I could not make any photos of him. Monday night I was able to make a few photos of him during the short time he was on the mound. He has found a bit of success on the Cubs, and I am happy for him.

Bonus Photos

I did not make many photos during the game. I enjoyed just sitting back and watching it for once. Of course I did have my camera, and I made a few photos throughout the night. Here are a couple of extra photos that I liked.

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Photographing Purdue Softball

Purdue Softball Takes On Ball State and Indiana State

Sunday I was back at the Boilermaker Softball Stadium photographing the Purdue softball team. I photographed the first game for Purdue Athletics, and then watched a couple of innings after I was done sending in my images. I made a couple of photos while watching because I can’t put my camera down. I really enjoy photographing softball. The emotion of each pitch is fun to see.

Bonus Photos

Below I have posted a few photos that I liked from the second game. As I said I only was able to watch a couple of innings before I had to leave, but they were a packed couple of innings. I saw a player hit her first collegiate home run, and some nice catches. You can see my gallery of images from the first game on the Purdue Athletics Exposure page here.

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It’s a Blood Moon and a Super Moon!

The Skies Clear Just In Time For a Great Show

Last night I had just about given up on seeing the rare super moon eclipse when I saw a break in the clouds. I loaded up my car and took off to a country road that I have not photographed on in a long time. Early on in the life of this blog I spent some time on that road learning how to compose a shot. It was a gravel road at the time, and now it has been nicely paved. The little trip west allowed me to see the moon a little sooner than I would have if I had stayed at home. On a night when I thought that I would not see the moon I was pleasantly surprised that I could. With the short notice that I could shoot the moon all I came up with was this shot of the moon set against the black sky. I wanted some foreground interest in my photo, but I did not think that we were going to see it. Oh well I can get the shot I was thinking about in 2033.

Photographing the Blood Moon is Not Easy

The last time that a blood moon occurred I made a terrible mistake. I did not put my CF card in my camera, and I was just shooting jpegs on my SD card. Not having the RAW image was not a good thing. I made sure that I had everything that I needed this time though. I knew that once the Earth casts its’ shadow on the moon it would get dark in a hurry. I would need all of the data that I could get to make a good image. I realized while I was shooting the moon just how bad my tripod has gotten. I normally do not have a heavy lens on it so I didn’t realize just how rickety it had become. It was basically a glorified monopod as I had to support it while shooting the moon. At exposures of 1/10th and 1/15th of a second that is not a good thing. I may have to fix that problem in the near future. Even at that slow of a shutter speed I was pushing the limits of my Canon 7D Mark II. For my sports work I don’t like to use the camera above ISO 2500. I was at 6400 and even 12800 during this shoot. I did not stay there long as I could see the grain on the LCD screen. That is not a good thing. Normally the moon is easy to shoot if you just expose for the moon. A blood moon is so dark that it presents a new challenge of finding enough light to expose it properly. I think that the next one of these will occur in 2033. By then the cameras should be very capable of solving this problem.

Purdue Football vs Bowling Green

Purdue Comes Up Just Short Against Bowling Green

Yesterday I was back inside Ross Ade Stadium making photos of the Purdue football team again. There really is nothing like a college gameday. Walking to the stadium you hear the band plays and the buzz of the fans. As Purdue started to take control of the game yesterday the fans responded in a way that gives you goosebumps. The roar of the crowd gets to me as a photographer. You know that you are documenting something great. Yesterday the final result was not what I wanted to see. There were positives to take from the game though. Freshman quarterback David Blough looked good during his first start. For someone with as little game experience as he has you would never have guessed it by his demeanor. He looked poised and ready to go. An early rushing touchdown for him may have helped. He added a couple through the air as the game went on. You have to wonder if we saw the start of something special yesterday.

Purdue vs. Bowling Green Photo Gallery

Instead of posting many photos here on the blog I will direct you to my Exposure page that I made for the game. You can view my images here. There is a little magic going on there in the way that they make the photos look with only a 5mb file to use. I think that Facebook needs to take some notes on how to compress files. For some reason my football Exposure posts don’t get the traction that my posts on other sports do. You would think that with a bigger fan base they would get more, but they do not. I may just reserve Exposure for the smaller sports. Although with homecoming on the horizon that might make for an interesting photo story.