A Trey Ratcliff Photowalk

Joining the Trey Ratcliff Photowalk in Chicago

In 2015 I drove up to Chicago to join the Trey Ratcliff photowalk. It was a great way to meet Trey, but also to meet other like minded photographers. It was a great chance to make some photos of Chicago along the way. The photos in this post were made with more of a documentary focus early on. With the walk not starting yet I thought that I would document Trey interacting with the crowd. It has to be something to meet so many people that feel like they know you with you knowing so little about them. When someone puts so much of themselves online they really create a weird dynamic with their fans. They know so much about you through those videos. Trey on the other hand most likely knew very little with each person that came up to them. It has to feel crazy, but that is the price of fame. I have experience a little bit of this on a far, far smaller scale. It is crazy, and I can only imagine that it gets even crazier when millions of people follow you as opposed to the tens of people that follow me.

The Influence of Trey Ratcliff on my Photography

It is hard to gauge just how much Trey Ratcliff has influenced my photography. Early on he was pretty much my only influence. The form that this blog took was based directly on his blog at Stuckincustoms.com. As I have said many times I think that I am too cerebral of a photographer. The work and videos that Trey has put online have helped me find my creative side a little more. That is why it was so important to me to attend this photowalk in Chicago. It was cool to see the process and hang with a bunch of like minded photographers. I don’t do photowalks very often, but when I do I always some away very happy. I love to talk about photography. If you have spent time around me then I am sorry if I have gone on too long about it. I just love it, and I could talk about it forever. During a photowalk like this one you really have the opportunity to talk about photography and explore ideas with others. This year I have gotten a back into the photography of Trey a little more. I have taken a step back from the sports side of my photography, and had some fun with other things for a while. Watching him fly his drone to find new views on subjects was one of the reasons I bought my drone. It is hard to gauge just how much of an influence he has had on my photography, but the influence has been high.

A Drive Through Eugene, Indiana

An Unexpected Find In Eugene

I have been to Eugene, Indiana a couple of times now. The first couple of times I just photographed the covered bridge and then I turned around to head back on my way. This time I saw some interesting buildings on the mural of the restaurant by the bridge. I knew that they buildings on the mural were in the town so I went a little deeper into the town to see what the other points of interest were about. The first thing that you see is a beautiful home. It looks so out of place in that town. I drove by it knowing that I would see it on my way back. To me the highlight of the town is the  Methodist Church. It is a beautiful old church.

More To See in Eugene

I really had some fun in a limited time in Eugene. Right across from the church is what appears to be an old school building. It looks to have been repurposed now, but it still has the look of an old school building. I would never have guessed what was down the road based on what is around the bridge. The mural that pointed me into the town was a great thing. Below are a couple of bonus photos from the town that I liked.



The Week in Photos

What a week it was! I was able to get back out and photograph baseball again. It was a good feeling, and one that I hope that I can do many more times this year. Indiana State even celebrated my first game of the year with a walk off winner. Saturday morning I also was able to photograph my first football action of 2017. It was only practice, but it was fun to be back on the gridiron. I love to photograph baseball, and for some reason I have been labeled a baseball photographer, but football is the sport that I am closest to. I can’t wait to get some more under my belt this year. I also shot my first softball of 2017 this past week. The games above were part of four games in two days that I shot. The first photos at Purdue were purely for my benefit, but they were still fun games to cover. It was also fun to get to see my first Sycamore softball games ever. I scouted out the field before the baseball game Tuesday, but shot there for the first time Saturday. You can see my favorite photos from the past week on my Exposure page here.

Top 17 Purdue Men’s Basketball Photos of 2016-2017

My Favorite Seventeen Photos From the 2016-2017 Purdue Men’s Basketball Season

At this point many may still be stinging from the loss to Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. Stop and look back at the season as a whole though. If you had told me on November 1st when the I first saw the team play that they would have the regular season that they did capping it off with a win over Indiana at home for the Big Ten Title I would have been thrilled. Add to that two big wins close to home in the NCAA Tournament and you have a season to be proud of. Nobody wants their tournament to end early. The truth is that it ends early for 64 of the 65 teams to enter it. This was a great season for sure. The irony of it all is that I was busier than normal, and only got to see a portion of it live. That did not stop me from following the team though on television though. It did make me pause to think about where this photography thing is going though. If I can’t be around for a season like this one what am I doing? It was a season to remember for sure. Here are seventeen of my favorite photos from this Championship season.

17. We will start the countdown with two things that I enjoyed from this season. The nets coming down after a Big Ten Championship is an easy one. I did not photograph everyone cutting down the nets. I did photograph a couple of the players though. Carsen Edwards was one of the surprises of the season. Each year usually in early November I get my first look at the team. One of the things I was looking forward to seeing this year was just how good Carsen was. He did not disappoint, and was one of the big reasons the Boilers were cutting down the nets at the end of February.

16. One thing that will show up a couple of times on here is the team introductions. The addition of the new lights last year allowed for something very cool this year. Purdue has really stepped up their game in the last few years, and basketball is a department that seems to be helping lead the way. The Boilermaker lights app was a huge success this year, and I am sure departments all across the country are trying to figure out how to do something similar. Here I was shooting for the opponent, but still wanted to make this shot.

15. Three photos into the countdown and Carsen Edwards makes his second appearance on here. This is part of why he is such a fun player to watch. He is explosive on the court, and right away in the first game I saw him play I saw that. He got up so quick to make this dunk that I am surprised I kept up with him. I expected a slow layup, but got a thunder jam instead. From that moment on I was prepared for Carsen. He gives the number three a little sauce.

14. I told you the light show prior to the game would show up on this countdown a few times. Here I made sure to show it during the t-shirt game. Each year I try and get to the t-shirt game because it looks so cool. I had a family dinner that night, but I was able to sneak this shoot in before racing to the dinner. I am glad that I did because I made a couple of my favorite photos that night.  Continue reading

Indiana State Softball Walks It Off For First MVC Win of the Season

Indiana State Wins Their First MVC Game In Dramatic Fashion

Saturday I spent the second half of my day with the Indiana State softball program. After photographing no softball since last spring I was excited to get back to photographing more softball. Two games at Purdue the day before really helped me shake out the rust so that when Saturday came I was ready to go. Off the bat it looked like it would be a long game for Indiana State. Then the comeback happened. The sycamores used a little help for a dramatic nine inning come from behind win. That is just the kind of game that I love to photograph as it gives me plenty of emotion to use. It was also the first MVC conference win of the season for the Sycamores, and a much needed win after what had to be a crazy week for the program. It was fun to see the team have a little success and in the process fun Saturday.

The Unique Angles of Price Field

One really cool feature of Price Field is the area in between home plate and the dugouts that you can shoot through. It gives me a chance to basically be next to the dugout without having to worry about getting hit by a stray ball. That may sound crazy, but when I am concentrating on shooting the fielders I can’t really afford to watch the at bat if I am to get the fielding play. This gives me a safe way to do so. I always try and find a place to do this when I visit a new stadium to make sure that I can get the shots that I need, but also make sure that I go home at night. My favorite spot turned out to be next to the Sycamore dugout near the end of the first game. That also happened to coincide with the comeback and win. I was able to get some great celebration shots from this angle. The angles from the top of the dugouts were good, but I liked being at eye level with the players.

Finding Another Angle of the Action

High blue walls at both the Indiana State baseball and softball stadiums make for a great backdrop. I would love to be able to photograph the pitchers from eye level, but you take what you are given. With that great backdrop I tend to make more photos from centerfield. When I make a photo at Purdue from center I have to have good action in it, but I also have to scan the crowd to see what is going on there. It takes a little more to make a successful photo. If the play looks amazing, but the crowd looks bored it can kill a photo. The nice clean blue wall behind the action here helps it pop off of it a lot more. It helps that Indiana State had on the bright white uniforms as well. Blue tops might not have worked as well here. Continue reading

Indiana State Football Goes Full Contact

The First Full Contact Practice of the Curt Mallory Era at Indiana State

Yesterday I was at Indiana State with a couple of sports to photograph. After not photographing softball at all this year I was in town to photograph the last two of four games in two days. Before I could do that though I was at Memorial Stadium to photograph the first full contact practice for the Indiana State Sycamores. There is a buzz around this program, and it was fun to be a part of it again for a couple of hours. I am looking forward to their first couple of games next season as the Curt Mallory era gets underway.

The Beginning of Something Special

There was a buzz around the practice yesterday. That may be because of the energy of new head coach of the Sycamores Curt Mallory. He really has a fire to him that made me want to put the pads back on. Of course at my age I would get hurt trying to get my thigh pads in so I decided to just photograph the practice. It will be interesting to see just what this new team of coaches can do with the squad. I am usually a Kool Aide drinker for my teams, but I think that they can do something special at Indiana State.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

One of the fun drills to watch during the day was this reception drill that new coach Roy Roundtree had his receivers going through. I say fun to watch only because of the way that the receivers came out of the drill. It really forces you to concentrate on the ball by making sure you are in terrible pain everywhere else. If you can do this though going over the middle doesn’t seem so bad.

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

As the indoor season pretty much wraps up I have gotten the big glass back out of storage. I still use it in the winter, but not like I do during the outdoor season. It usually takes me a couple of outings before I am back to really knowing the lens again. When I just use the 400mm on my full frame bodies it is not such a big deal. When I use it on my crop sensor bodies the field of view is much different making it appear to be a 640mm lens. As close as I was yesterday I had no room for error so it was a good practice for myself as well as the players. Continue reading

Purdue Softball Wins Home Opening Doubleheader

A Great Day For Some Softball

I don’t know that you could have asked for a better March day to open the season. I made a couple of photos from centerfield during the National Anthem and the 1st inning, and then late in the game went back out as some more interesting clouds came in with the lights on. I don’t often get to shoot outdoor sports in shorts and t-shirt, but yesterday was one of those days. With the unknown nature of the rest of the weekend it was nice to have at least one good day in this week.

The Moments Between the Moments

When I am shooting a game it is easy to get wrapped up in just getting the action. Sometimes the best moments come in between the moments of action though. Here Maya Hughes shares a moment after a triple in the first game. This team seems to really be having fun out on the diamond, and that loose play led to some good shots today.

The Emotion of It All

One great thing about photographing softball is the emotion. Each pitch can lead to players yelling, and a strikeout can be great for emotion as well. You can quickly tell which players you need to focus on for these shots in the first inning. As the tension of the game ratchets up so does the emotion on each pitch. I love capturing emotion, and the intimacy of the softball diamond allows that to be done pretty easily.

A New Way To Perform An Old Trick

Normally when I start making multiple exposures I use them to show the pitching motion, or some other kind of motion. I try and keep my camera as still as possible while the player moves through my viewfinder. Yesterday I tried something a little new by using the multiple exposure feature to put two separate images together. Earlier in the game I was positioning myself to get the fielders with the large motion p’s in the outfield behind them. During the second game I was using the multi exposure function to do the same thing, but for places that I couldn’t get that angle for. I am still not sure if it worked or not, but it was fun to play around with. Continue reading

Grooming the Field

Making Purdue Sports Look Good

One thing that you probably don’t think of when you walk into a stadium is the grounds crew. At Purdue I find myself on many of the outdoor fields, and I always am in awe of them. They have better turf when they pull the blankets off in February than I do in peak season at my house. This isn’t by accident. They work long and hard to make those fields look that good. I went out this morning to make a photo of the softball field with the fresh motion P on it, and ran into the crew putting the finishing touches on the field. I made a few photos of them doing their thing, but I have one in mind that we may have to set up another time.

The Fields of Excellence

For the past four years the crew has won the Fields of Excellence Award for their work on the soccer field. Folk Field is a great place to make photos, and the field is one reason why. You can see that while most people are just getting to work in the morning these guys are already hard at work. That is even on a day when I am sure many of them will be back to work the game tonight.

Fill It Up

Tonight the softball stadium will finally see another game. After a long winter the murmur of the fans and the sound of the crack of the bat will return. To top it all off we even get a doubleheader to start the home season off. Let’s play two!

The Week in Photos

I have put together another collection of my favorite photos from last week on my Exposure site here. This year I have tried to get out more to photograph things away from the sports arena. I think that my weekly look back at my photos has been a little better with that in mind. More side trips like the one the other day allow me to be a little more creative, and to give the blog some fresher content.

The Eugene Covered Bridge

The Eugene Covered Bridge in Eugene, Indiana

I have been to the this bridge a couple of times now. Both times I have been there the scenery has not been great around it. This is just off the road on my way to Indiana State so it is an easy visit. I may just have to come back again when the trees around it look a little better. These old bridges look very much like the old barns that I like to photograph so much so it only makes sense that I would find a few of them. I have a couple of more bridges on the list for the future. When I lived in Iowa I visited a few of the Bridges of Madison County. Now I have a new set of bridges to find and see what I can do with.

Finding New Ways For a Familiar Trip

Driving to Indiana State is something that I have been doing a lot of lately. I have decided that on days with no time crunch that I would find something to visit on the way to campus. I have already seen a couple of covered bridges and an old mill doing this. It is a good way to photograph something other than the game, and give me a chance to be a little creative on the way. So far this has been fairly easy to do, but soon I may start running out of easy ideas. That will be when the fun really starts.

The Week in Photos

I have put together another collection of my favorite photos from last week on my Exposure site here. This year I have tried to get out more to photograph things away from the sports arena. I think that my weekly look back at my photos has been a little better with that in mind. More side trips like the one the other day allow me to be a little more creative, and to give the blog some fresher content.

Indiana State Walks Off Eastern Illinois

Back To Baseball

Yesterday after a long wait I was finally able to get back out and photograph baseball again. I have been watching friends who live in the south shoot baseball for over a month now waiting for my turn. It finally came yesterday. I travelled down to Terre Haute to see the Sycamores take on Eastern Illinois. I was so excited to shoot some baseball that I got to the stadium way too early. I just wanted to be back on the diamond, and I will watch batting practice if thats what it takes to do so. It was a beautiful day for baseball, and I was able to see a good game.

Happy Birthday to You!

The first batter for the Sycamores was Kyle Moore. Kyle was coming off a week that saw him win the MVC player of the week. He took the first pitch that he saw, and deposited it into the parking lot in right field. What makes the story even better is the fact that it was Kyle’s birthday. This was a great way to start the game. With a pitcher on the mound with an ERA over 19 you would think that the home run was the start of a barrage. It would not turn out that way. The run was the last one scored until the ninth inning.

The Walk Off

This game was just moving along. As the ninth inning approached I was doing the math and seeing that I would be back in West Lafayette much faster than I thought I would. Then with two outs in the top of the inning the Panthers pushed across a run to tie the game. The Sycamores answered with a run though in the bottom of the inning to walk it off and avoid extra innings. Continue reading

Basketball Around the Country

I Don’t Think This Map Is Accurate

I was out flying the other day and I wanted to make a photo of Bob Friend Field from the air. As I was doing so I saw the map of the United States that is painted on the basketball court just outside of the outfield wall. I love the idea of painting a large map of the United States on the playground at a school, but I don’t think that this is quite accurate. If it is the new wall going up will prevent us from visiting Hawaii. I think that it does provide a strong visual though, and it was a fun photo to make.

The Week In Photos

It is that time of the week again where I compile my favorite photos from last week into one Exposure page that you can see here. I have a few stadium views in the post along with some great emotion from a couple of great semi-state games. This time of the year I never know exactly what I will get to shoot in a week. With the right weather though I have a few things on the schedule that should be pretty fun this week including a return to baseball, softball, roller derby, and even football.