Finding a Skeleton With My DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Flying Over the Skeleton Bench at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

This past spring after covering a basketball game at Hinkle Fieldhouse I stopped at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I took the quadcopter up over the back portion of the grounds to see what I could find from the air. This set of connected benches for a skeleton from the air. It was a cool little find that I thought looked pretty cool. It made me wonder what else is out there that looks cool from the air?

The DJI Spark

Have you seen the DJI Spark yet? From what I have seen it looks like a cool way to take a drone with my on trips. Right now I have my larger drone bag that I can throw my dSLR gear in as well. The small size of the DJI Spark would make it easy to throw in a bag and go. I really need to see this thing up close, but the price is right for a travel drone. The 12mp sensor is not the best, but it is better than the digital cameras I started with. I like the 20mp sensor on my Phantom 4 Pro. I think that at some point they will come out with a version two of the Mavic that has a better camera on it. That might be my drone for travel.

Purdue Takes On Maryland In The Big Ten Tournament

Purdue Ends Their Season Against Maryland

Last night the Purdue season ended with a loss against Maryland. It was not the finish that the team was looking for, but they certainly proved a lot of people wrong this year. They far exceeded expectations, but that is also why the loss was so hard to take. They play so hard that I selfishly wanted to see more of that.

The Will To Win

Part of what made this team so fun to watch was the fact that they never gave up. They played a hard and fast version of the game all of the time. That is why with two outs in the ninth inning I thought that I might be seeing something special happening. They started a rally and really needed one more big hit to extend the game. Baseball is a funny sport though, and sometimes that well hit ball goes right to a fielder.

Pre Game Portraits

Before the game started I was having some fun with my wide angle on the field. I found a couple of moments that were nearly portraits oft the athletes that I liked. I also made some tight shots with my 400mm that I liked as well. These thing are rarely planned, and come down to who is standing in the sweet spot for the lens. Continue reading

Purdue Back In the Big Ten Baseball Tournament

Purdue Plays in the Big Ten Baseball Tournament For the First Time Since 2012

It is hard to believe, but the last time Purdue was in the Big Ten Tournament they won it all. That 2012 year was special, and I remember sitting next to my wife watching it wondering why we weren’t there. I said that day that I would go next year to see Purdue play. By the next year I was shooting the games on the field, but the attrition from the juniors and seniors leaving were too much for Purdue to overcome. In 2014 I shot nearly every game for the team, but they did not make the tournament. Fast forward to this year, and a new approach bringing this team to life. They have been very fun to watch play this season whether on TV or in person. They made it back into the tournament, but they don’t want to just be there.

Responding Like a Champ

I will be honest here. The first inning yesterday was brutal. An error and a scary play in the outfield helped Nebraska sprint out to a 4-0 lead. Some teams that have just broken a long postseason streak may have just packed it in. It was enough just to make it into the tournament. Purdue is not that team, and that is why they are so fun to watch. They stormed back with five runs in the top of the second to take the lead. This team will fight you to the end, and that is why they are here in Bloomington.

Rain Is The One Constant On Day One Of The Big Ten Baseball Tournament

All day long it rained. I watched all three games, and rain was a part of all of them. It seemed like it rained the hardest at the end as Purdue was finishing up their game. One good thing is that I have rain gear for my equipment. I say that because I love shooting in the rain. On a night like last night with the overhead lights illuminating the rain it made for some cool photos. Here Skyler Hunter runs to first during the downpour. This photo would probably have not made the gallery without the rain. With the rain though I made it a featured photo. The rain also made the base paths fun to watch. You have to start your slide very early with the turf as wet as it was.

Tip Your Cap

Late in the game Alec Olund smacked a ball to right field that looked like it might have a chance. I panned over to see if it would go over the wall. I saw the right fielder looking like he had a bead on it so I stayed with him. It came at a time when Purdue had a little momentum on their side, and I wondered if he would put his head down as the ball went over the wall. No such luck though as on the run he leapt up and snagged the wall saving a two run homer. It was a great play that was pretty critical at the time. The lead would have been cut to one I believe with the dinger, and Purdue would have had a little mo on their side.

This Game Is Fun

Baseball is a fun game. The players have time to have a little fun in between plays and innings. As the Boilers prepare to face with is now an unknown opponent they play with the tournament on the line. The good news is that they will face either Iowa or Maryland who will have just completed a game. Both teams are tough, but it would have to feel like extra innings for whatever team loses the first game. I think if Purdue can play hard and loose they can advance to play again tomorrow.

Top 17 Softball Photos of 2017

My Favorite 17 Softball Photos of 2017

Over the last few years I have really come to love photographing softball. The sport is fast, and it keeps you on your toes. There are obvious similarities to baseball which I love to photograph, but it really is much different to photograph. I always say that I need to get out and photograph the sport more, but that doesn’t always happen for me. I always come away with photos I really like from softball games.

17. The countdown starts off with a moment. That is why I do this. After a tough week for the Indiana State softball team they needed to have a fun game. A late game comeback against a very good Northern Iowa team was just that. Early in the comeback I loved this great moment after a run was scored. I love the look here as it really shows just how much fun sports can be.

16. I love hanging out on the field prior to the game. You can get little moments that you don’t have access to get during the game. Here the Purdue softball team is very loose just before a game early in the season. I love the way that the team plays loose. You can see some of that here. It is just a moment that I was happy to capture.

15. As I said in the opening there are ways that softball varies from baseball as far as photography goes. One way is that the behind the batter angle does not always work with every pitcher. Some motions though works very well. Here is one of those times. I love putting elements both in front and behind the pitcher out of focus.

14. This photo is here for a couple of reasons. It is not the best, most technically sound photo that I made all year. It was one with the interim Indiana State coach in it though. She did not like a call on the field, and was letting the umpire know about it. Her senior shortstop walking away covering her face as she laughed is what made the photo. Shortly after this photo was made the rains came and the game was called. The team was around me as I was sending the photos out, and they loved this one. That interaction seared the photo into my mind, and is the reason it is on the countdown.

13. With senior day rained out Indiana State did something very cool. They moved the senior ceremony indoors so that the seniors could get a proper send off. This year was a tough one for the team, and the staff did not want the seniors to get short changed. They were able to have the full senior day experience as the skies continued to pour down rain outside. The emotion was still there as you can see above. I say it a lot, but this is why I do this. To be able to capture these moments forever is an amazing thing.  Continue reading

Getaway Day

Preparing For a Trip

I usually use a baseball term when thinking about getting ready to leave for a trip. Getaway day in baseball is when the team leaves for their next city as soon as the game is over. For me it is a little different. It usually involves getting the kids to bed, and then preparing for me trip. Before I became serious about photography packing for a trip was easy. I would just throw some clothes in a bag and go. It was as simple as that. Now I agonize over lens and camera choices before I leave. I usually still have the one bag with clothes in it, but it also will have some extra photography gear stored in it as well. My multiple bags heading off make me feel like I am moving to a new house. For a multiple day tournament though you never know what you will need, or what you will want. Sometimes it is good to mix things up a bit, and I need to have everything somewhat near me.

The Geese Make Their Run

I made this photo as the geese were coming back north this past year. The mild winter really seemed to confuse the birds who didn’t know what to do. While waiting for some eagles to fly by this flock of geese flew over me. With the sky behind them it gave me an opportunity to make a photo I had been thinking about for a while. Early morning at the pond gives you many possibilities for photos. Always be ready for one that might fly by you.

The Week In Photos

Last week was really a busy week. The week was pretty much split down the middle between business and pleasure. I had a really busy first three days of the week with a golf tournament and baseball all thrown into three short days. From there it was all about the kids. Youth softball and a weekend full of everything that goes with a dance recital took up much of my time. It was amazing watching the girls get a reward for all of their hard work all year with the recital on the campus of Purdue University. You can see some of my favorite photos from last week here on my Exposure site. This coming week will be full of a lot of baseball. This time of the year that is the sport that is left. The baseball season for me will switch from college to the summer leagues soon so I want to get all of the college ball in while I can.

Tiny Dancers

The Spring Dance Recital Has Come and Gone

For the past couple of years the end of May has meant a dance recital. This year was the first year that we had both girls on stage. Of course with me I always want to over cover events so it was crazy for me not to have my camera up while the girls were dancing. I decided to sit back and watch what happens for once. I tried it earlier in the week at my step-daughters softball game, and I found I enjoyed the experience. Now saying that you should know that I took many photos during the dress rehearsal when I had much better access. I took that time to get what I needed so I could enjoy the performance. That is the way to go.

The Week In Photos

This past week was a fun one for me. The first three days were super busy with multiple events each day. That is how it always seems to go though. You can have a small dry spell, and then get slammed for a few days. The busy front part of the week directly informed how slow I took it at the end of the week. I still made photos, but they were family photos. I wanted to spend some time at home before having to leave again. With that being said this is a very golf heavy week in photos. You can see my Exposure post here. I really enjoy photographing golf, and I can’t wait until I get the chance to do it again.

A Grauman’s Theatre Replica

A Very Fake Grauman’s Chinese Theatre at Hollywood Studios in Florida

The ‘Great Movie Ride’ is a fun way to spend some time at Disney if you are a movie buff. I have a post dedicated to the ride here that you can look up if you are interested right here. The ride takes place inside of this very fake replica of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. That helps get you into the big movie spirit right off the bat. Many great movies premiered at the actually theatre in Hollywood. This replica has many of the features that make the actual theatre look so spectacular. It was worth a minute or two to make a picture of it.

The Return of Summer

As the school year winds down the summer will soon begin. That means that more family trips are on tap. When traveling with two kids photography is not the primary objective. Part of what I try and do on a trip is to find time to make some photos while everyone else is resting. That usually means that I am always tired on vacation, but when will I ever see this stuff again? This summer we have a couple of trips planned already that should be very fun. I am sure that you will hear all about them when they happen through this blog.

Reasons Why I Love Purdue: Part 1

Living Near a Great Campus

There is a group of students that I see their photography work and get very envious of. That is because you can see how much they love their campus while they are there. I was never that guy. When I went to Purdue it was all about the end result. I never really walked campus much outside of going to my classes. With a little time on my side now though I have come to love this campus. I even moved back to town to be closer to it. This year I have made a point to get out and photograph the campus more. Today’s post will show some of my favorite photos that were still unpublished until today.

The Bell Tower

I think that I focus on the Bell Tower a little too much when photographing campus. I try and put it somewhere in most of my campus photos even if it is in the background. I feel that it is like visiting Paris. By putting the Eiffel Tower in the background of your shots you immediately convey a sense of where you are. It is this tall iconic part of the campus of Purdue.

The Engineering Fountain

The other part of campus that I photograph too much is the engineering fountain. I often will stand in such a way that both the bell tower and the fountain are in the same shot. This year I was determined not to do that so much. I really have not been to the fountain much since it was turned on as the weather turned warmer. Continue reading

NCAA Golf Regionals Day Three

The Final Day of the NCAA Golf Regionals Was An Exciting One

The third day of a hot tournament should be one you just want to end. I was dragging my butt up and down the golf course for three days with a baseball game also thrown in the middle of all of that. The thing was thought that even though it was a tough day on the course I was really excited about it. I really enjoy covering golf. You get to pick where you want to be with very few exceptions. Coming soon after basketball season where you are given a small square it is a great amount of freedom to have. I will probably end up shocking some random golfers this summer when I just show up at a course to make some photos.

Purdue Survives a Scare to Advance to the Championships

At one point in the afternoon looking at the leaderboard Purdue was in trouble. They had just fallen out of the top five, and the team that knocked them out was the top seed Florida. The top five teams advance to the Championships so Purdue needed to be there. The Boilermakers were at the end of their day so they had little time left to make a move. Luckily for them Florida was making a move in the other direction. Purdue ended up in the next round comfortably, but not without a little scare I would imagine. For the first time during the tournament I was able to see them play as they were paired with Illinois. I made a few pictures of the team while waiting for my athletes to play their ball. It was fun to see Purdue on such a big stage, and I can’t wait to see what they do at the next level.

In The Bunkers

After day two one of the other photographers was talking on Twitter about how much fun it is to photograph players in the bunker. The problem with that is that it probably is not much fun for the golfer being in the bunker. Our pleasure comes at their pain. Moving around quite a bit over the course of the three days I did not see many bunker shots. That is until day three. I seemed to be in the right place at the right time quite a bit to capture the sand flying. On the 18th green alone at the end I saw two players play out of the bunker. I think that it is so fun for photographers because it is so visual. The sand flying gives you a sense of motion that you don’t always get in golf. No matter the case it is fun to photograph.

Good Backgrounds Everywhere

One other great thing about photographing golf is that for the most part you can choose your backgrounds. You can move around as needed to get a good look for your shot. Sometimes a stray object will be there, but for the most part you can avoid it. Here at the 7th tee is a great example. The lush green background gives this shot a great look. The layout of the hole also allows for me to get a nearly head on look at the golfer. the end result is a picture that I made multiple times all three days of the tournament. It was a great way to get a fantastic shot of the golfers.

Indiana State Baseball Defeats Ball State

Indiana State Uses A Couple of Home Runs to Defeat Ball State

Indiana State beat Ball State on the back of a couple of three run bombs Tuesday night. This team seems to be peaking at the right time to make a run in the MVC Tournament. With the right matchups anything could happen. The team seems to have it all right now with the hitting and pitching working well together. On a day with the wind blowing out the ISU pitchers did a good job of keeping the score low.

My Last Indiana State game of the Year?

This could have been the last Indiana State game that I shoot this year. If it was it was a great finale to a fun year photographing for the Sycamores. The year started off with the trip to Minnesota with the football team, and may have just ended Thursday night with a fun win for the baseball team. In between were some great moments. Next year is already shaping up to be a fun one. A football season opener under the lights followed by a trip to Tennessee to take on the Volunteers. It is hard to look ahead to the fall now, but with that much fun waiting it is hard not to.

Sean Kennedy Does It Again

It seems like every time that I see Ball State play Sean Kennedy hits a dinger. He really has been a fun player to cover this year. As I photograph him I wonder if I will see him again someday in a MiLB or Major League game. He is a gamer for sure. It will be interesting to see where he goes after he leaves Ball State. Continue reading