Purdue Pushes Back Nevada

Purdue Finishes Their Non-Conference Schedule With A Win Over Nevada

Yesterday was a good day on the campus of Purdue. My day started off with the Boilermaker football game against Nevada. This was the first Boiler football game that I was able to attend this year due to a couple of other commitments. I was very excited to get out and see the guys play. I may have been too excited as I was there way too early shooting anything that I could. It is hard to believe, but 20 years ago I bought my first season tickets to Purdue football. At the time they were not doing so well, but that would change quickly. This is the fourth season that I have been lucky enough to be down on the field making images of the team. I am not shooting for a wire service, and the school has so many good people shooting football that they don’t need my photos. That means that I am just there shooting for myself. As long as I can I would love to continue doing this. It is even more fun on days like yesterday.

A Nice Turnaround

Things did not start off so good for the Boilers. Some ball security issues led to them being down eleven with just over a minute left in the first half. They scored on a great pitch and catch from Blough to Marshall to go into the locker room with a little momentum. They took better care of the ball in the second half, and the defense came to play. They held the Wolfpack rushing game down which the ‘experts’ said that they couldn’t do. That combined with a nice balanced attack helped the Boilers finish off the win. You learn a lot about a team when they are down. Can they come back? Yesterday the Boilers never gave up, and they finished the game yesterday. Now they face a tough road test in Maryland next week. The next time that I will be photographing the Boilers will be in Champaign in two weeks. It will be nice to be able to walk into the stadium with my gear instead of sneaking it in as I have had to do in the past.

The Grab Camera

Yesterday I ran a three camera system for the game. I had my Canon 1DX mounted on my Canon 400mm lens. I shot most of the game with this combo. When the action was a little closer to me I switched over to my Canon 7D Mark II and my Canon 70-200mm lens. That allowed me to have a little flexibility near the goalline. As always I had a grab camera ready to go in case something surprised me close. For the first time I had my new Canon 5D Mark IV with my favorite lens the 24-105mm on it. If you watch me during a game I probably look like rain man as I keep checking to see if I have my focus right on that camera. That all paid off though when Blough threw his deep ball to Marshall yesterday. I was on Blough with my 400mm lens as he let go of the ball. I quickly picked up my grab camera in time to get the shot above of Marshall hauling in the pass. It is one of my favorite shots on the day, and shows off a little of Ross Ade Stadium and the nice crowd that was there yesterday. I have only shot two college games so far this year, but that grab camera has really come in handy both times.

Make Shaun Phillips the Permanent Leader of Shout!

One of the many highlights of the game yesterday was the way that Shaun Phillips led Shout! I have seen some great versions of the opening. Neil Armstrong leading Shout! just prior to a huge Purdue comeback was one of them. Dave Shondell led an amazingly spirited version that will always top the fire up versions. For pure fun though Shaun Phillips has to win. He sang, danced, and cheered his way through the song. Every time that I thought that he had topped himself he did it again. He was fun to watch, and it looked like he had a blast coming back to Purdue. I think that he should do this every week.

Purdue vs. Nevada Photo Gallery

I have put together some of my favorite photos from the game into a gallery here on my Exposure page. I normally try not to post an Exposure page right after the game because I like to let the Purdue Athletics page go up. I had some extra time before volleyball though, and I had such a great time shooting the game that I put one together yesterday. I may do so again for the homecoming game as I plan on putting a photo story together of all that goes with homecoming. As long as I am plugging Exposure pages you can see my gallery of images from the Purdue volleyball win over Indiana here as well. The game was for the Monon Spike, and it was played in Mackey Arena. It had been a while since I have been in Mackey, and it was great to be back in there. A huge crowd made for a good time as well.

Photographing the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls

Back at the Brawl House to Photograph the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls

Last Saturday I was back at the Brawl House to see the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls as they continue their 2016 season. As it seems is the norm lately I had a scheduling conflict that could possibly make me miss the bout. A three set sweep allowed me to finish a little early and head over to the Brawl House to see the second half of their bout. That was good news as I don’t get to photograph enough roller derby. It is a sport that many around here turn their noses up at, but the photos seem to make themselves. The subjects are great, and the sport is fun. When the second half ended I had a feeling that I should be shooting more. That did not happen though. I will have to wait until next time I guess.

More Photos From the Brawlin’ Dolls Bout

Here you can find some more photos from the bout. The photos are there to download for free for non-commercial purposes. My only request is that you credit back to me if you use them on social media. The best part about roller derby is that everything seems to photograph well. Even the award ceremonies can be fun to photograph. This post comes about a week after the bout. It is not because I don’t like roller derby, but more because of timing. During a volleyball tournament I find myself with some downtime to deal with. I have found that writing my posts for the next week is a good way to use that time. Except for one day this blog was scheduled out through today with posts. That makes it easy on me, but makes some of the items appear a little old.

Three Years of Joy

A Miracle Born Three Years Ago

Three years ago today my daughter was born. You never really know how you are going to react until the moment comes. From square one holding my daughter I knew that thins had changed dramatically. My life would take a turn in a new direction, but it would be a great direction. This has been a great three years. It really does not seem like three years looking back on it. It is fun to think of just how much things have changed in that time. My photography career started its current trajectory right around the time that Lanie was born. I had my first real success just before her birth. Since then I have had a good run, and started to find some success there. That is all really good, but nothing compares to the success that I have achieved with Lanie. Some of my favorite photos that I make involve her. It really is amazing just how much one person can change your life.

My Best Picture

Of course I had a camera that I took into the delivery room. At the time I had a little Nikon point and shoot. As the nurses were checking out my little girl I made the photo above. I was not really thinking as I made the photo, but I did some really good things here. Just the nature of the photo will make it my favorite photo that I have ever made. No matter what I do, and what I photograph from here on out this will be the photo that I look to as being my favorite. A moment in time that forever changed my life.

Purdue Volleyball Opens the Big Ten Season Against Illinois

The Big Ten Season Opens Up With a Five Set Match

Last night I was back in Holloway Gymnasium to see Purdue take on Illinois to open the Big Ten season. After a successful pre-conference season it was time to really start the season. If you don’t follow volleyball then you need to know that the Big Ten is the toughest conference in college volleyball. Right now the top 3 teams in the polls are from the Big Ten. This is going to be an interesting season seeing where this team falls in that group. Last nights match went five sets before Illinois finally won. It was a great match thought that showed this young teams will to win. After a questionable call that put Purdue behind in the fourth set things looked bad for the Boilers. They came out of a timeout and came back to win set four. Mackey was rocking as they did so. Saturday is the annual Mackey match, and this year Purdue will battle Indiana for the Monon Spike there. If you ever want to see a Purdue volleyball match this is a good time to do so.

Testing the New Canon 5D Mark IV

Yesterday the new Canon 5D Mark IV arrived, and I was anxious to use it. I took it to my daughters school early in the day to make some photos with it. Trying to capture toddlers is a great way to test a camera. I took the camera to Holloway to give it another test. So far I think that it really is a good camera. Most of the time I forgot that I had it instead of my 5D Mark III in my hands. Over the course of the next week or so I will have a few chances to really test this camera out. I am sure that you will hear a little more about it as I put it through he paces.

Purdue Wins The Stacey Clark Classic

Purdue Wins the 2016 Stacey Clark Classic

Last weekend the inaugural Stacey Clark Classic was played at Purdue University. I have talked about Stacey on this blog before, but one more time won’t hurt. Stacey was the kind of fan that every team needs. She brought her joy and passion for the sport to the court every game. She also brought her camera. Last year I remember a huge block by a back row Boilermaker. They moved up and made a huge play. I was shooting that game for Purdue, and I was sitting on one of our outside hitters at the time. I missed the play. Stacey did not. Of course she nailed the moment and the celebration after the moment. She spent her time trying to give back to the teams that gave so much to her. As the first Stacey Clark Classic moved on I realized that Purdue was trying to give her something. They were playing their hearts out all weekend. You could see a level of energy that I don’t recall seeing in the past. They wanted that trophy bad, and in the end they walked away with it. I was not shooting the final game for Purdue, but after the awards I paused for a moment to make the photo that you see above. I really thought that it was a moment that I wanted to capture. I am glad that I did.

The Start of Big Ten Play

This blog is really not a news source. If it was a news source I would have posted this on Saturday when it was fresh. It is posted a couple of days late, and on the day that Purdue begins Big Ten play. Illinois comes to West Lafayette to start the Big Ten season. This is a big few days for Purdue as they need to get off on the right foot in league play. After Illinois looms the big Mackey game against Indiana. Both matches in the win column would be a great way to start off the Big Ten season.

More Photos From the Weekend

This was a fun weekend. That made for some great photos. I have made an Exposure page just for the tournament that you can find here. I also have made my weekly Exposure page with some of my favorite images from the week that you can find here. A lot to look at, but some nice moments make it easy to go through them all.

Purdue Volleyball Upsets #4 Kansas

Purdue Takes Down the #4 Team in the Country In Front of a Rowdy Crowd

Friday night I was finishing up sending in my photos from the third game of the Stacey Clark Classic when the fourth game was getting ready to start. The crowd was really into the pregame, and that made me take notice. While at my computer at the end of the court I realized that something special was happening. I grabbed my 5D and went up into the stands to get a wide angle of the crowd during the National Anthem. This was going to be a special night so instead of packing up to go home I stuck around. I grabbed a couple of cameras and decided to document the game. As the match progressed the crowd and the players were really getting worked into a frenzy. It was a great night to be in Holloway Gymnasium for sure. It was a special night, and I was glad to be a little part of it. The photo above is an example of how the night went. Purdue won the first set, and had a nice lead in set two. As sometimes happens the tide turned, and Kansas stole set two. Purdue came out with a purpose during set three, and took the next two sets. The were on a mission this weekend, and I will say that they accomplished it.

More Photos From the Weekend

This was a fun weekend. I really think that Purdue came out with a purpose to win the first Stacey Clark Classic. Stacey was a big time supporter of the volleyball team that passed in February. I don’t know that I have ever seen the volleyball team exhibit such emotion during a three match tournament as they did this past weekend. They really brought it, and I think some of that was that they wanted that trophy to stay at Purdue. That made for some great photos. I have made an Exposure page just for the tournament that you can find here. I also have made my weekly Exposure page with some of my favorite images from the week that you can find here. A lot to look at, but some nice moments make it easy to go through them all.

Xavier Defeats Northeast Louisiana

Xavier Defeats Northeast Louisiana in Three Sets

This past weekend I was lucky enough to cover the Xavier volleyball team again. The reason that I say that I am lucky is that they are so easy to photograph. They are a team that has a lot of fun with each other as they play the game. They are also a good volleyball team that gives you some good action stuff as well. I have photographed five of their matches this year so far, and they have made it my pleasure to do so. I may just have to head to Indy in November to watch them play in the Big East Tournament. It is a good chance to watch them again, but also to see volleyball in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.

More Photos From the Weekend

This past weekend I made many photos. I have put some of my favorites into an Exposure post here. I have also put together an Exposure post with my favorite images from the Stacey Clark Classic here. Xavier also put together an Exposure post with my images from this match that you can find here.

John Wooden Returns to Purdue

The new John Wooden Statue at Mackey Arena

As I was walking into the first day of the Stacey Clark Classic on Friday I walked right past the new John Wooden statue at Mackey Arena. Earlier in the week I saw an Instagram post of the statue, but I did not know where it would be located. After seeing where it was it all made sense after seeing some work in that area for a few weeks now. When I walked into the arena there was just the top portion of the John Wooden Pyramid in place. By the time I unpacked my gear and made it back out to the statue the entire pyramid was in place. It was pretty cool to see this come together, and it will be a place for Purdue fans to visit over and over for sure. It would be nice to see Purdue do this for many of the athletes up in the rafters of Mackey, but I am sure that they are working on it. John Wooden is the perfect place to start though. The statue is up now, but it will be officially dedicated Saturday before the football game against Nevada. A lot of good reasons to come down to campus Saturday. One cool thing about walking around this part of campus is that you never know who you will run into. I have bumped into NFL athletes, Olympic medalists, and other celebrities. Now I can bump into John Wooden whenever I want to.

The Week in Photos

This week I had a lot of fun making photos, and I think that it shows in the sheer volume of photos that I have placed in my weekly Exposure post. You can find that post here. I have also put together a post with my favorite photos from the Stacey Clark Classic that you can find here. There is some overlap, but I am proud of both posts.

Xavier Takes #4 Kansas to Five Sets

Xavier Gives Kansas a Bad Scare to Open Up the Stacey Clark Classic

My second game of the day Friday was the matchup between Xavier and Kansas. Kansas was ranked fourth in the country, and Xavier had ideas of taking them down. They nearly accomplished that feat. After winning sets two and three to take a 2-1 lead they had a nice lead in set four. Kansas was just too much though, and in the end prevailed. The match was great though as Xavier came to play, and really brought the emotion. They gave me some great photos as they willed themselves to win. At one point I was just focused on the emotion more than the gameplay. They were emoting so well that I would have been crazy to not sit on it. When I covered Illinois in Champaign I had a great time because the team seemed to be having fun. They gave me a lot to work with, and they just did more of the same during game two of the Stacey Clark Classic. You can view more images from the two days of the tournament here.

The Canon 300mm f/4

I had a little money from my birthday burning a hole in my pocket so I went to the Adorama website to see if they had any Canon 300mm f/4 lenses for a good price. I had the idea that it would be the perfect lens for volleyball and wrestling. A quick test at soccer Thursday night told me that it would work, but could it keep up with volleyball? The answer was yes. It really was quick and helped me make some great tight shots during the day. I think that it worked so well for me because I have a good camera behind it though. The Canon 1DX allows me to shoot at a fairly high ISO so that I could be at f/4. This was a bit of a gamble because I did not know if it would work for me or not. I was going to rent the lens, but if it worked I would just be buying it anyway. This was one gamble that really paid off. In a crowded gym I would rather be holding this reasonable lens than my large and heavy 400mm f/2.8. I am sure that I will be talking more about this lens as the week goes on.

Purdue Volleyball vs. Southeastern Louisiana

Purdue Opens the 2016 Stacey Clark Classic With a Win

Yesterday morning was kind of bittersweet. Purdue opened up the Stacey Clark Classic with a win over Southeast Louisiana. As the Boilers celebrated the win one huge smile was missing. That was the smile of Stacey Clark herself. I have touched on this before, but Stacey was a very early supporter of my volleyball work. Her kinds words on Twitter were very much appreciated. It seemed like with every post I would see her name pop up shortly after with a like. Her big smile when greeting you was also amazing. When she passed in February I was hesitant to post anything about it. I really only knew her very superficially, but I felt a connection to her. It was when I realized that it was for that reason exactly why I should say something about her. She touched so many people at Purdue that I found I was just one of many who felt the need to say something. As this tournament moves on I am sure that Stacey will be on the minds of many in attendance as they cheer on their Boilers. During the course of the day I made a few photos. I put them together in one collection on my Exposure page here.

Ten Years of Blogging!

After writing that above I feel kind of  weird bragging just below it, but today is a huge milestone for me. Ten years ago I was so excited with a Purdue football win and my photos from it that I decided to start a blog. I had been looking for a way to show off my amazing images, but I did not know how to do it. I found some people online who had a blog through Blogger so I joined up. I did not know what I was doing at the time, and ten years later I feel that I still might not know. One fun thing to do is to go back and look at these awesome images that I captured at the time. I cringe looking at many of them now. Some of them I still quite like though. The first image that I blogged about is one of them. Purdue running back Kory Sheets stretching over the goalline for a touchdown against Ball State. You can see the image and read the post here. I have talked a couple of times here about how excited I was about that image at the time. I had captured the same moment that Tom Campbell at Purdue had. One of my favorite things to do was to look through Gold and Black Illustrated to see Tom’s images every week. The fact that I had the same timing as him at the time was very cool to me. Now that I am down on the field though I realize how much easier it is to make a photo from up top. One thing that I like about my image is the shadow that I could capture from my seat that breaks the plane of the goal before Kory does. I wish that I had better equipment back then because I really like the idea of this photo. Over the course of that blog I made a few images that I still like today. That blog has not been updated in quite some time now. My photography took off, and I have spent my energy on this blog for nearly five years now.