Xavier Women’s Basketball At Musketeer Madness

Heading To Cincy For Musketeer Madness

When I got the email asking me if I would shoot Musketeer Madness I will admit that I was a bit skeptical. I am not really into shooting practice. I like a game situation as it is usually easier to guess where the action will be, and you get some emotion as well. Then I googled Musketeer Madness and realized that this was a bigger deal than I am used to. I live in a town where they don’t do anything special for the beginning of the season. The big shows are not something that the local team is about. That is okay as it is kind of what they are about as a whole. It was interesting to see just what I have been missing though at Xavier. It was a special deal including cool lights that would be a dream to have in the background for a season. Watching some videos before I left I knew that I was in for a treat. I was not wrong.

Waiting For The Moment

Sometimes you can sit and wait forever on something and it does not materialize. Other times you happen into the middle of something really cool. I was getting some shots of the Xavier teams signing autographs during their fan fest when I saw two women slowing sneaking up on a player. The were having fun and filming it so I knew that nothing bad would happen so I turned my camera towards the player. It was a tearful reunion full of emotion, and proof that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

The Cintas Center

One real highlight of the day was walking around the Cintas Center with Greg the SID for women’s basketball. That really is an amazing facility for college basketball. There are many highlights as you walk around, and a couple of things that maybe aren’t too well known yet. If you are a donor though you have so much there waiting for you it is unbelievable. I can only imagine this intimate venue packed and loud. Hopefully after this year I won’t have to imagine that. The bar on the upper level is pretty cool as well. It is the actual bar from a popular local bar that was torn down reconstructed down to the floor. I could only imagine walking into Mackey Arena and sitting at the TA Toms bar again. I am pretty sure that any and all health codes would not allow the filth of Toms into Mackey though so it would not be too accurate.

The Team Introductions

The team came out to start the night with a really cool intro with lights and smoke all around. I tried to move around a bit to show it from all angles. If I ever shoot this again I would like to set up a few extra remotes to cover it from a few angles now that I know what to expect. That way no player is left out as I move from position to position. Continue reading


Hanging With John Purdue

The John Purdue Statue at Purdue University

A while back while photographing some yoga on the Memorial Mall I made a couple of pictures of the John Purdue statue while waiting for everything to start. The light was hitting him in such a way to kind of give him a light and a dark side. I thought that it could make for some interesting photos. I don’t photograph this statue very often. In fact I think that I have photographed it more this year than ever before. It does provide for some interesting shots, and I will try to get back here more often.

Telling My Assistant About John Purdue

For the yoga shoot I had my best assistant with my. My little three year old is very good at getting people to smile and be real. She had a lot of questions about John Purdue and who he was. I tried to explain that the university was named after him, but to her Purdue is a school not a man. I think she got the gist of it though, and as the years go on we can expand on the topic. How cool would it be to come back here on graduation day from Purdue? By then she will be explaining things to her old man.

Xavier Soccer Advances To Their First Big East Tournament

Walking Over to the Xavier Soccer Complex

Thursday night after swimming was over I walked over to the Xavier Soccer Complex to catch the end of that game. It was not a long walk, but rather a short stroll across the parking lot. Originally this was supposed to be a longer shoot, but with swimming moved back an hour I was only able to catch the end of the game. It was an exciting finish though as Xavier clinched their first ever Big East tournament berth with the win. It was well worth the short walk to the game

Catching a Break

Walking into a game late you always wonder if you will miss anything trying to get into position. As I was walking down the sidelines I saw a position with a couple of huge Xavier banners in the background. After watching the video of the first goal during a break in the swim meet I saw that the team celebrates running away from their bench. I made a choice to stay in my position to put those backgrounds in any potential celebration shots. I would probably not get the shot of the goal, but this was my choice. As luck would have it the goal was scored, and they ran right in front of one of the backgrounds during their celebration. Sometimes a little gamble can pay off.

Xavier Swimming Takes On Cleveland State

A Visit To Xavier

I have worked for Xavier many times now, but never on the campus of the university. This weekend that will all change. Over the course of the next couple of days I will shoot four sports on campus. This is a fun week in a cool city that we have visited as a family lately. It is cool to get to do a little work here. I have shot for the Xavier swim team in the past, but this was cool to see them on their home turf. One the course of the next couple of days you will see some of the fun that I will have here in town.

The First Trial of Lightroom Classic

I had played around with the new Lightroom Classic before my trip to Cincinnati, but I had yet to give it a real test. That test was of course ingesting several cards from the swim meet. I still don’t know what I think about the new way the program works. I think that it really is just as fast as it once was. It took a little longer to ingest the cards, but then it seemed to be quick once they were there. Over the next couple of weeks I will have a much better sense of what exactly I am working with. I love staying inside of Lightroom and needing no other programs in my workflow. Maybe we are finally there for the most part.

Getting Wet To Get the Shot

For some reason I think that I was splashed more last night then ever before shooting a swim meet. I was absolutely soaked by the time I walked over to soccer. It must have been the pool, but after getting hit a lot early I quickly learned to get out of the way once I was out of range for the 400mm lens. I was happy with my take though so it was well worth the water.

Over The Purdue Bell Tower

Flying the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Over the Purdue Bell Tower

This is yet another one of the photos that I made of the Purdue bell tower during my first flight over campus last winter. I made a lot of photos that I liked that day, and some like this one kind of got lost in the shuffle as far as posting goes. There is something here that I really like though. I decided to ignore the sunset and stay with the tower and everything below it. That golden light just looks amazing as it hits campus. Sometimes it is good to forget about the obvious part of a photo. I normally would also have the bell tower above the horizon to show how tall it is. There is something that I like here where it is down in the frame. Maybe it is just the fact that I am breaking one of my rules.

Flying Your Drone Responsibly

As of my writing this post I have seen a lot of videos lately showing people flying their drone without regard for anyone or anything. The viral videos get a lot of likes and retweets but they also showcase the bad side of having a drone. Nobody shares videos of a safe drone flight so all the general public sees are crazy pilots who will do anything to get a thumbs up. When drones first started becoming a thing I resisted buying one because I thought that they would all be banned soon. I still think that we are one big accident away from that happening. Right now there are too many people abusing the privilege.

Using the ‘New’ Lightroom

This has been a year of change for me. My Coke Zero went away and was replaced by Coke Zero Sugar. It was supposed to be something completely different, but it turned out to tasted exactly the same as Coke Zero. Now my beloved Lightroom goes away and is replaced with Lightroom Classic. I have not gotten very much time to use the new program yet, but from what I have tried it is improved. Masking inside of Lightroom that is pretty accurate is always a good thing. I have not had a chance to see what the speed boost is yet, but with four games in three days I think that I will get to test that out very well. I have played around with the new Lightroom CC which is the cloud based edition, and so far I am not impressed. With that said I don’t save everything to the cloud, and I have not had time to figure out where everything is yet. I like the idea of easily transferring photos from my phone to my laptop. I used to text or email them to myself, and then I finally just started sending them through the bluetooth. Having a way to edit and upload my mobile images is a great idea. Right now I have both versions of Lightroom on my computer with the intent to try them out a bit this weekend. We will see how that plays out.

A Morning Drive

Taking A Drive In The Morning

Yesterday they were working on my road making it impossible to drive back home during the early morning hours. After I dropped my daughter off at school I just went for a drive. I had no real idea of where I was going, but sometimes those are the best rides. I ended up out in the country by the windmills, but there was not much color there. I wound my way back towards town and thought about stopping at the soldiers home. The property is full of all kinds of trees that are in various stages of losing their leaves. There was not enough color to do big landscapes. I decided to focus on little pockets of light with a darker background. The idea was just to do some little studies of light throughout the woods. I don’t think that I will ever sell any of the photos that I made there, but it was fun to go out and just try and find little micro compositions. I had my 100-400 with me to allow me to get in tight. On a day when I needed to waste a little time it was a good way to do just that.

Making Photos In A Cemetery

I am not one to make gravestone photos. Many of the early subjects for photos I seem to have missed. As I was driving by this scene though I had an idea for what it would look like in post so I made the photo.

Follow the Contrails

Yesterday morning the only reason we had any light in the sky was the large amount of contrails present. As I saw this plane flying overhead I wanted to make a photo like this. Yet again this will not win any awards, but on a day of just making some photos it was one that I liked.

End With An Eagle

The morning ended with my just checking out some of my eagle spots. I had the idea of some fall eagle photos which I have not seen much of. As I pulled in to my best spot I saw an eagle flying over head. It was not mature yet, but an eagle already! With all of the leaves on the trees I struggled to find where he went. He finally moved to some dead branches so I could see him. After watching for about twenty minutes I realized that a beautiful mature eagle was in the same tree just under better cover. By the end of the morning I had seen three eagles flying around at different times. For this time of year that is better than I could expect. The light was not right for photos, but if one dove for the river I would have made one anyway. That did not happen though, and I ended up making this photo of the first eagle that I saw sitting in the tree. There is still plenty of time for eagle photos. That season has not even started yet. A couple of early eagle photos is never a bad thing though.

Vote For My Photo In The MiLBY’s!

Once again a photo of mine is up for the photo of the year in the MiLBY’s. Looking through the photos this year it is just cool to be mentioned with some of these photographers. Two years ago thanks to all of you I was able to win. You can vote here this year for my photo of Yoan Moncada signing for the fans in Indy. Yoan was the #1 prospect in baseball at the time, and was on his way from the Charlotte Knights up to the Chicago White Sox. It is cool to be honored, but even cooler to have a photo of someone on your favorite team get honored.

Fall In The Back Bay

Taking In A Fall Day In The Back Bay Of Boston

On my last day in Boston I went for a long walk to try and see as much as I could of the city. I walked into the old town for a while and then made my way down the Charles to see the crew race going on. During that walk I made this photo along one of the walking paths. I always love a good reflection shot, and there were plenty to choose from here. Boston is a great city I would guess if you are a photographer. In my few days there I saw a lot worth photographing.

Getting Better At Getting Closer

One thing that I need to get better at as a photographer is getting closer to my subject. Here I obviously could not zoom with my feet unless I wanted to get wet. I was at the 24mm end of my 24-105 though. I think a tight shot of just the middle portion of this photo would have been pretty awesome looking at it today. I like to stay at the wide end of my zooms too much sometimes. I have been working on getting in closer at times as well.

Vote For My Photo In The MiLBY’s!

Once again a photo of mine is up for the photo of the year in the MiLBY’s. Looking through the photos this year it is just cool to be mentioned with some of these photographers. Two years ago thanks to all of you I was able to win. You can vote here this year for my photo of Yoan Moncada signing for the fans in Indy. Yoan was the #1 prospect in baseball at the time, and was on his way from the Charlotte Knights up to the Chicago White Sox. It is cool to be honored, but even cooler to have a photo of someone on your favorite team get honored.

Lafayette Roller Derby vs. South Shore Roller Girls

Lafayette Roller Derby Skates To A Win

Saturday night I was back shooting roller derby. I was never planning on shooting this game as I had been booked on another gig out of state. When that fell through I was able to get out and shoot some derby. The Lafayette team has been good to me over the years, and it is fun to get back out there and see some familiar faces. It is even more fun when they are winning. They were winning for the entire bout Saturday night, and they were playing a team that they liked so the moments were great from the get go.

Why I Love Photographing Roller Derby

The photo above is one of the reason why I love photographing roller derby. The skaters really do love each other. This was a photo from before the game with two skaters on two separate teams warming up and hugging. This is what makes roller derby so much fun as the emotion always seems to be there.

A Familiar Face

The last time I had made roller derby photos I was saying goodbye to a LRD favorite. The good news in that situation was that she would be back for the next match as she was skating for South Shore. While I will admit that it was weird to see Roller Vortex in something other than LBD black and pink it was still great to see her interacting with her old teammates again. One of these days I need to make it up to the Hammond Civic Center to photograph the South Shore team as that looks like a cool venue.

Traveling Light

Normally I try all kinds of things during a roller derby game. This week I decided to just keep it simple. I took my 70-200mm and my 24-70mm to the bout to just focus on the action and not what lens to put on the camera at what time. I really have become used to using my 24-105mm everywhere, but I wanted the extra stop of light that the 24-70 would give me. I think this year I will be using that much more. It still is a great lens after all of these years.

The Week In Photos

This past week was an interesting one. It started off with me using the mirrorless and ended with me lugging the big stuff around again. Using a mirrorless camera for a while really can get you thinking. I put together some of my favorite photos from the week here on my Exposure page. Take a look.

More Photos From the Game

You can find my complete gallery from the game here. Sometimes I feel that I overshoot derby, but I want to try and get a few of each skater. When they are constantly in the middle of a pack you tend to burn through some frames.

Vote For My Photo In The MiLBY’s!

Once again a photo of mine is up for the photo of the year in the MiLBY’s. Looking through the photos this year it is just cool to be mentioned with some of these photographers. Two years ago thanks to all of you I was able to win. You can vote here this year for my photo of Yoan Moncada signing for the fans in Indy. Yoan was the #1 prospect in baseball at the time, and was on his way from the Charlotte Knights up to the Chicago White Sox. It is cool to be honored, but even cooler to have a photo of someone on your favorite team get honored.

Art In Downtown Lafayette

Loving All of the New Art in Downtown Lafayette

Downtown Lafayette, Indiana is going through an overhaul. A lot of construction over the last couple of years is finally starting to yield some results. One great new addition is the various forms of art that can be found downtown. I have not really taken the time that I should to take a walk downtown to take in all of the new art. I really need to. I did stop to take a look at this new sculpture as I walked by it one night after dinner.

iPhones Taking Over the World

The new iPhones that have been announced are the upgrades that we are all used to. The one thing that I look for on each new phone is the camera. The camera on the iPhone 7 Plus was good enough for me to upgrade. The photo above was made with it. With the right light they are great cameras. It will be interesting to see just what the new phones can really do. Will portrait photographers be out of a job as the new portrait mode takes over? I don’t think so, but it will be fun to play with and see.

The West Lafayette Red Devil Football Team Wins Big On Senior Night

Back Under The Friday Night Lights

This season I had not shot a single high school football game this season. I love high school football, but the schedule just hasn’t worked out until last night. Last year volleyball really seemed to take up my Friday nights, but this year it has been a travel day more than anything. I am glad that I was able to make it to at least one game this year. This was a pretty good one as you had a little bit of everything. You had a senior ceremony, a great entrance at sunset, a big win, and a little trophy time at the end.

A Familiar Player

While shooting the game I realized that I had a lot of images of Red Devil quarterback Luke Touloukian. On this blog I talk about how sometimes the player of the game is easy to tell as he is all over my gallery. Luke had that kind of night last night. It was good to see the senior end the regular season at home on a high note. He used to play basketball with my nephew so I have photographed him for a long time now. It was cool to make a few football images of him.

A Cool Runout

I had an idea for the runout just before the players took the field. I had my speed light with a warm gel on it, and I thought that I would pan with the players with the gel on my camera. I didn’t want to waste the sunset though so I took two cameras to my spot that I picked out. The first was my Canon 1DX with the 11-24mm lens on it. That made the sunset photo at the top of the post. As the players started to run out I grabbed my Canon 5D Mark IV to make my motion photo. I had the camera set up to shoot at 1/15th of a second, with the white balance set to tungsten, and the warm gel on my flash in the hot shoe. All of that combined for a few interesting photos. I need to try this again this season when I am just concentrating on it.

Patience Pays Off

I went to the game to photograph the son of my daughters teacher. He plays right guard on the team, and that is not the easiest position to capture. In the fourth quarter a little luck came my way. He chipped off a lineman, and headed to the second level. He met a linebacker head on right in front of me. I had my photo that I came for. All I needed in reality was a fill flash on the jersey of the linebacker to make this perfect.

A Couple of Galleries

You can find a couple of galleries on the web. The first can be found here. It is my Exposure page for the game. With all of the senior day festivities I thought that it could make for a cool story. I like the way that it turned out. The second gallery is the full gallery for the game on my site here. The gallery is unlocked, and you can download any photo that you want from it.