A Little Frosty

A Look at the 2017 Purdue Gingerbread Houses

One thing that the kids love every year is seeing the different gingerbread houses that the different dining halls have created. This year they had some for princesses and trolls which they loved. I liked this one that had a bunch of famous movie characters in it. Of course you have Frosty up above. I thought that this was very well done. The photo below is of course from Christmas Vacation. It is great in its own way.

The Collection Is Full

Last week was a fun week for me, and my week in photos collection is full of images that I am proud of. I wish that every week was like last week was. It was full of fun shoots all around. Most of them ended up in the weekly gathering of photos, and some of course as always do not. You can view my favorite photos from last week here.

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Christmas On The Road

Stopping To Enjoy Moments On The Road

Last week I went to Indiana State two out of three days in a row. On the way home one night I was tired and just wanted to drive the half hour from Pine Village to my house. I drive by these old trucks in Pine Village quite a bit on my way to Indiana State. At night with some Christmas lights on them was just too much for me. I had to stop and make a few photos even though it was nearly a new day. I don’t know that they would ever win any awards, but they are a cool look at a moment in time.

The Week In Photos

This was one small part of a fun week of shooting for me. You can see my favorite photos from the week here.

Back At The Purdue Memorial Union Christmas Tree

Another Trip To The Purdue Memorial Union To See The Christmas Tree

Every year we make a family trip to the Purdue Memorial Union to see the Christmas tree and have dinner at Pappy’s Sweet Shop. It is a fun night of just being together enjoying the season. That is really what it is about anyway right? Sunday night was the night this year for us. We made our way down to campus and had dinner at Pappy’s. Then we went up to hang out around the tree and watch the kids try and sneak pieces of the gingerbread house. While that was going on I had the Canon 11-24mm lens with the idea of making an ultra wide photo of the tree. You rarely get that room to yourself to make a clean photo of the tree. I really had given up on that, and I was over with the kids when the room suddenly emptied. With my family at my back I was able to make a clean photo of the tree. Honestly this is ok, but an exposure with the full room slightly moving might be even better. That one might be impossible without using Photoshop.

From Wide to Tight

While I was waiting for the room to clear out I went around the tree with Lanie looking at all of the ornaments. We had already seen the tree together once, but it seems like lots of ornaments have been added since the tree lighting. I made some tight shots of those ornaments as they are always fun to get in close with. At f/1.4 you can also get some nice bokeh as well. The shot directly below this is also with the 50mm 1.4 lens. I liked the different levels of bokeh while looking up at the tree.

The Week In Photos

Lots of photos from two trips to the Union make their way into the weekly collection of photos on Exposure. You can view that page here. This collection every week is a labor of love, and it is always a little more fun around Christmas.

Indiana State Defeats Indianapolis

Indiana State Comes Back Late For the Win

The second game of my Saturday doubleheader was the Indiana State game against Indianapolis. Early on in the game it seemed like Indy could not miss. They hit everything that they took from behind the arc. That may be exaggerating, but it really seems like how it was. At one point near the middle of the second half they even appeared to be started to pull away. Coach Lansing must have had some good words for his troops in the huddle because they came out storming to take the lead back and eventually win the game. Once again Barnes and Scott were the leading scorers, but many Sycamores contributed to the win. Keys I felt was big early in the game. He kept it close with some great plays. He is having a season like Barnes did last year so far. You can see the promise already. I can’t wait to see a mature Keys and Barnes playing together. I think we will be in for some fun when that happens.

Honoring Coach Klueh

Before the game former Sycamore player and coach Duane Klueh was honored. He presented the game ball while his list of accomplishments were read. Coach Lansing then gave him some time in the locker room for a pre game speech. Indiana State only has two men in the rafters, and it was fun to finally meet one of them. I like this shot of two great basketball minds in the locker room prior to the game.

Going Long

Just like during the women’s game that I talked about yesterday I used my 300mm lens to get some downcourt action. It gives my gallery a different look that is much needed at some point. You can continue to make the same basketball pictures all year or change some things up. Your seating is always going to be the same for the most part. Changing up your gear forces you into making different pictures.

Into the Locker Room

I don’t go into the locker room very often. I feel that it could be a distraction. On special occasions though I find myself in there. I wanted to see Coach Kleuh talk to the team. While I waited though I made this picture of Coach Lansing addressing his team. I love the way the light was working for me here. This ended up being one of my favorite photos from the day.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun week. I had some great sports shoots, some fun shoots outside of that as well as the Christmas holiday photos that come this time of the year. This weeks edition of the week in photos took a little longer to put together, but it was worth it. Here is my weekly Exposure page of my favorite images.

Indiana State Takes On Central Michigan

Indiana State’s Second Half Rally Not Enough Against the Chippewas

Yesterday I shot a men’s and women’s doubleheader at Indiana State. The first game of the day saw the women take on Central Michigan. When I was editing my photos during the halftime break I was not sure what to expect in the second half. The Sycamores were down 18 after a quarter of play that was not so great. What I didn’t expect was the fourth quarter surge that saw the lead cut to six. That rally and great second half was where I made many of my favorite pictures on the day. It was fun to see this team excited, and the bench jumping out of their seats. Without arguably their best player they put on a great show yesterday.

Going Wide…

I normally do not make many wide photos at the Hulman Center. The stands in the background are a big reason why. My main camera for the second half of the game though was my Canon 1DX with my 24-70mm lens on it. I liked having that ability to zoom out quickly to get a shot like this. The Hulman Center will be changing soon, and may not look like this anymore. When it does I can go back to some of these photos to see what it used to look like.

…And Going Tight

In the first half I had my 300mm lens on my Canon 5D Mark IV. At Illinois I tried the 7D Mark II on the 300mm and found it to be a little tight. Here I could still capture the action down the court while still getting some ball handling to near mid court. I don’t think that I made any portfolio pieces this way, but in both games I made photos of players that were only in the game for a short time that I would not have had photos of this way. It is a good way to give your final gallery a change of pace.

Sycamore Sam and Patience

During a timeout yesterday Sycamore Sam was dancing to the Wabash Cannonball. I saw the band as a good background and waiting nearly the entire song for Sam and the band to line up. Here right as the song ended I got what I wanted. Before that I made a couple of so-so pictures, but this was the one I was really waiting for. Sometimes a little patience pays off.

The Adventures Of Nobow

Nobow Returns For Another Month of Memories

Every year on the morning after Thanksgiving our elf on the shelf Nobow makes his return. Nobow is here to watch the kids and report on their behavior every night to the North Pole. When he returns from his trip up north every day he finds a new place to hide. The fun every morning is seeing just where Nobow is, and what he is up to. This year as you can see above he decided to try his hand at photography. I think being a free elf intern is probably more lucrative so he did not stay with the new hobby very long.

Christmas Comes At The Right Time

Every year when the leaves are gone from the trees I have a few days of depression. What little landscape work there is here seems to fade away pretty quickly. We are left with very little color. Christmas season starts and the color returns! Nobow and all of the other colorful aspects of Christmas give me something to shoot for a month or so. This really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Breaking Out The Good Stuff

Photographing Nobow usually means that I break out a couple of lenses that I don’t use very often. My Canon 100mm f/2.8 and Canon 50mm f/1.4mm lenses don’t get a lot of use. They have a specific purpose, and come in handy when I need them. That being said I don’t really need them that often. When Nobow shows up I tend to rely on those two lenses for the season. I don’t know why I do this, but it is good that they get used. The 50mm 1.4 lens gives a great bokeh so that one is easy. You can see in the top photo what a great job it does. It turns Christmas lights into delicious bokeh.

Indiana State Women’s Basketball At Illinois

Back At Assembly Hall (The State Farm Center)

Three years ago I shot a game at Assembly Hall in Champaign for Purdue. The stadium was in the middle of the big overhaul at the time. Since that shoot the renovations have been completed, and they have had time to get the bugs out so to speak. I was impressed with the look of the stadium, and the light was amazing as well. You have to love a light that falls off dramatically just off of the court. You can get some very interesting pictures that way.

Oh Say I Just Saw…

Last night I made what is probably my favorite National Anthem picture of all time. Lately I have been a little leery of doing too much during the Anthem as it has been in the news a lot. I have been careful not to take a knee while photographing if possible for that reason. I am not representing myself at the game, but rather the team that I am shooting for. When it is Indiana State I even have their colors on so I think extra hard about what I am doing. I was just going to be happy and shoot this from slightly behind and at an angle. That is until I saw this light on the players. I knew that something good was happening so I slowly moved to right behind the team. For a photo like this a lot is going right. You have the coach right in the middle with his players. You have the great light coming down along with the awesome light on the roof. The flag is lit up as well. There was a lot of things right here for me. All I had to do was get over there to photograph it. This was one time where briefly taking a knee during the anthem is well worth it.

More Good Light

Illinois is the rare place that gives the opponent a cool intro as well. Normally the away team is introduced in boring light, and then when it is the home teams turn the light show begins. I kept waiting for the lights to turn on here, but they never did. Once again I had a lot going in my favor at the start of this game.

Going Wide Remotely

During the game I had my Canon 5D Mark IV next to me with my 17-40mm lens on it getting a wide shot as I was using my 70-200mm lens to get in tight. I had the remote a little ways away from me trying to make sure that I would not get blocked on both cameras by a ref. I like the wide angle as it lets you into the three point play a bit. Sitting out wide like I was that is really your only shot. It does add something different to the gallery as well as give you an overall scene setter.

I Am Stubborn…Until I Am Not

I really have resisted using Photo Mechanic in my workflow. I just want to stay in one program to do everything. The problem with that is the fact that Lightroom is so slow. In the past week I have really worked on ways to improve my speed on the sidelines after talking with the team at Purdue. They have a lightning fast method of getting images out. Once I realized that I just have to lock my photos instead of star them in camera to make things faster it was a no brainer. For this game I decided to try the new method out. I have tested it at home, but how would it work during a game? I switched all of my cameras over to use the rate button as a lock button. Any image that I wanted to see later I would then lock during the game. I imported only the locked photos into Photo Mechanic (Lightroom will not let you do this for some reason). From there I used the hot keys to send the files to Lightroom where I had my Sycamore preset applied to them. From there it was a quick cull and export. This was so fast that I am kicking myself that I have not tried this sooner. In a sport like basketball it saves a lot of time. In a sport like baseball where you can have ten plus pitch at bats it will be a life saver. I will probably have more on this after my doubleheader Saturday.

Man I Love This Job!

I had a lot of fun last night. Hopefully that comes through in my photos. I think that I am that annoying guy that has way too much fun photographing a game. I am not cheering on the sidelines, but I really am inside. I keep thinking how lucky I am to do this, and how much more I need to do it. I just love photography. I could shoot every day and not get tired of it. On this trip I stopped and made photos on both ends of the trip just on the way to the job. The curse never is lifted. Thankfully I have a great family that puts up with my craziness. If I am not shooting something then I am watching a photography video, or reading something photography related. I jokingly always call it the curse, but in a way it acts that way. I will tell you what though. This beats making soup cans for a living.

The 2017 Purdue Memorial Union Christmas Tree

The 2017 Purdue Memorial Union Christmas Tree Arrives

Each year when the Christmas tree arrives at the Purdue Memorial Union we head down to take a look at it. For the last couple of years my daughter and I have actually watched the tree lighting ceremony. The Purdue Christmas tree has been an annual event for the family. The photo of it has been something that I have been doing every year as well. Each year I usually have some new piece of gear that I want to use on it. In a way that was true this year as well. I had my Canon 5D Mark IV with me with the Canon 17-40mm lens. I really want to make a photo of the tree with my new 11-24mm lens, but when I made this I was walking through from a job, and I had on me what I did. Before the tree goes down this year I will stop by to make a photo with the 11-24mm lens.

Should I Make Them Move?

As I was set up for this shot I was walking to my car from a job on campus. I didn’t want to spend too much time at the Union, but I wanted to get the shot. I liked the idea of the people at the piano even though they would be a bit blurry. What I didn’t like was the two guys standing on the left side of the frame on their phones. I waited over fifteen minutes thinking that I would wait them out. I contemplated asking them to move, but who am I to say who can stand where? At the end something at the Union must have gotten out, and the area around the tree was filled with people. If I could get a little higher that could have been a shot, but I didn’t see it so I packed up and moved on with what I have. Do you ask others to move so that you can get a shot?

Using Aurora HDR Pro 2018

This is actually the first photo that I have made with the new Aurora HDR product. When I really got started into photography I used HDR on everything. I mean everything. I used Photomatix to make images of pizza, ornaments, and even a dog. I really liked a part of the look, and I sacrificed the rest of the image for that. I have since nearly quit using HDR programs. It has been a long time since I opened Photomatix which was my most used program. The in program HDR function in Lightroom really does the trick when I feel that I need to combine images. I do have Aurora HDR for some shots where I want to play a little though. This was one that I had an idea for when I made the photo. I like to combine the sharp and glow looks in Aurora for a picture with a little dreamy quality to it. I think that it worked well here, and gave me a different look than I have been making lately.

Christmas At Purdue

Seeing the Christmas Decorations At The Purdue Memorial Union

For the last couple of years my daughter and I have gone to the Purdue Memorial Union to watch the President turn on the Christmas tree lights. This year her school got out a little later so we missed the ceremony, but we still stopped by to check out the tree and the gingerbread house. While we were there we went to Pappy’s Sweet Shop for some lunch so that the gingerbread house would still be standing when we left. We have seen what hungry kids can do to it when they are left alone. It will not be the last time that we visit the tree this year, but it is always more fun the first time.

Using the Light That You Have

The light during the ceremony is always poor. You have direct sunlight hitting the tree making a good exposure impossible. I rarely make photos of the tree while there, but I like to get some details and document the fun Lanie is having. I will visit the tree again at night when the light is better to make my annual photo of it. The table with the switch to turn on the lights is always well decorated, and the light from outside really gave me an interesting look here. I would not have gotten that later in the day. Sometimes you have to take what you can get, and then come back when the light is better for you.

Turn The Page

I don’t think that this was what Bob Seger was writing about all those years ago. It was kind of fun to watch the husband turning the pages for his wife while she played. He has to know the music as well to know when it is time to turn. This was not the photo that I went to the union to make yesterday, but it is one that I liked.

Purdue Women’s Basketball Takes On Ball State

Purdue Takes on Ball State at Mackey Arena

Last night I was back in Mackey Arena for the second night in a row. It seems like it has been a while since I could have said that. When I had my season tickets six rows up from the court I think that I attended more women’s games then men’s games. I really love the way that the women’s game is played. Don’t get me wrong I love a night like Sunday night as well, but it seems like much more of an intimate game when the women play. The moves just always have translated to better pictures for me for whatever reason.

Camera On The Ground

For a couple of years now I have used the camera on the ground technique. If they would ever put a tilting screen on a pro dSLR this would be much easier than it is. Luckily I have gotten pretty good at knowing what my camera is pointed at. I use this when the team is on the other end to get the great floor reflections in my photos. It also makes the players look larger than life on my end of the court. For the last half of the 2nd quarter I just kept playing around with this technique. It is a fun way to shake things up. I could put a remote at my feet to do this exact thing, but when I am just playing around I will just use one camera. You really need to be patient to make this work. This was probably the only picture during that time doing this that I liked. The added bonus this year in Mackey is that you get the new bottom of the scoreboard in your shots.

Pete On Air Guitar

I used to know the different Pete’s much better than I do now. There is one that has to be a camera guy because he constantly used to swipe my camera to mess around. This particular Pete was having some fun during the TV timeout playing air guitar with his hammer. It is fun to see Pete engaging the crowd, and I always try and get at least one Pete picture in my gallery. Sometimes it doesn’t work out from where I am sitting. Other times He looks right at you to make a picture.

A Busy Week

This game was for fun, but also to try some things out. This will be a packed week. I have games Thursday, two Saturday, and maybe one on Sunday this week. Throw in my shoots other than sports and that translates into some fun. I really like being slammed, and this week I get my wish. I bet next week will be a good edition of The Week In Photos. While you wait for that take a look at last week’s edition here.