Indiana State Gets a Win on Senior Day

The Sycamores Use a Strong Start to Knock off Northern Iowa on Senior Day

Wednesday night I was back in Terre Haute to see the Indiana State men’s basketball team play in the Hulman Center one last time this year. This has been an interesting season for the team to say the least. Back in December I really thought that this team was going to go far in the MVC this season. They beat a Butler team that has shown that they can play with anyone this season. Things have not gone according to plan since then, but the team is playing better with the MVC Tournament on the horizon. If they play like they did Wednesday night then they will have a chance to make some noise in the tournament. They came out strong, and used that momentum to get one last win on their home court.

The Senior Day Speech

When I am photographing senior day I never know what to expect from the speeches. One speech can be labored, and another well thought out and on point. Last night it was fun listening to the seniors describe their time at Indiana State. The night was going along as planned until the final speaker of the night. Niels Bunschoten came out and gave a great speech that was the highlight of the night. He was funny and was just what you would expect from him.

More Photos From the Night

I put together an Exposure page from the game with some of my favorite photos from the night. It was a fun night shooting the game and the senior ceremonies, and I thought that it deserved its own page. You can view that page here.

The Old Mill

The Mansfield Roller Mill and Big Raccoon Creek

Yesterday I made a road trip to Indiana State a bit longer taking a new route. The ultimate goal at the end of the trip was to see the wildlife at Goose Pond, but I found some cool things along the way. This old mill in Mansfield, Indiana was one of them. I have heard of the large covered bridges festival, but I have never attended. To me I would want to see the bridges with minimal people around them for my purposes. This was my first trip there, and I realized that I should make a tour of these bridges someday when the conditions are better. I love this scene that is above, and I knew that it would make a good photo. I walked down to the water’s edge to use my dSLR, but I couldn’t get the angle that I wanted. I went back to the car to get the quadcopter to get the view that I needed.

Using the DJI Phantom 4 Pro To Make the Photo

To get this photo I had to take off and almost immediately duck under some power lines. Getting under the lines should be easy, but they really messed with my quadcopter as I went under them. The interference is something to keep in mind. By using the quadcopter I was able to get out over the water to make my photo. This thing really has come in handy even if it was only out for a shot time. I could have spent a lot of time there flying it, but I had to keep moving.

More Photos From the Day

I made a lot of photos yesterday. I had a productive car ride down to Goose Pond, and I really got lucky there as I was pulling away to see a large flock of snow geese. After all of that I finally made it to Indiana State to photograph their senior night. I will have plenty of time to write up those posts as I will be on a long bus ride today with the ISU track team headed to the MVC Championships. If you want a sneak peak at my basketball shots from last night you can see them on my Exposure page here.

The Snow Moon Over Purdue University

The Waning Snow Moon Rises Over the Campus of Purdue University

When the snow moon was full I wanted to head down to campus to try something out. I figured out where the best place to be was, and I had my time all set. Things got in the way of making that photo though that night. Two days later I went back to the same spot I was going to be at to give it a try. The moon was not quite full, and it was about an hour and a half later when I made my photo. It was much darker, but I feel that I still was able to make something that I really liked.

Giving the Moon Some Perspective

I learned a lot during my short time setting up this photo. I don’t often photograph the moon with other objects. When you shoot the moon by itself it is very easy to dial in your settings. When you put something else in the frame you really complicate things. The moon is so bright that you really need a well lit subject near the moon. The clock tower seems well lit, but it is nowhere near as bright as the moon. To our eye you can see a lot of detail, but your camera does not have that kind of dynamic range. I had to rely on the power of the RAW file here to get things close to what my eye saw on the scene that night. I like the idea of putting recognizable objects in front of the moon. I will have to see what I can do to light some things up so that they balance with the moon in the future.

The Shadow Train

The Sun Changes Everything

A while back I was back at a familiar location that I had already flown with my quadcopter. Just a couple of days apart the conditions were completely different. There was not wind the second day, and this thing that we had not seen for quite sometime was out. It is called the sun. We went through a long stretch without seeing it. Only once before that day while I had my quadcopter in fact. The shadows the sun creates changed everything about my flight that day. I would probably not have made another photo of the bridge, but the stopped train along with the great shadow made the decision a no brainer. At first look the photo can be a little confusing, and I like that about it.

Cleaning Things Up

The part of photography that nobody tells you about when you start is just how much you start to collect after a while. I started taking this a little more seriously just over five years ago. When I started shooting sports I kept everything. At some point though you find yourself with terabytes worth of files that are just sitting there. I had a plan of going through and cleaning my Drobo of a lot of these old sports files as the weather turned bad this winter. The nice weather has delayed that job a little bit. I have gone through and pitched a bunch of the photos that I didn’t consider keepers early on. I don’t like the majority of my keepers from back then so why keep the photos that I didn’t consider good enough then? My process has become much more streamlined over the years, but those early days of shooting has left me with a job to do. Slowly but surely I have rid my Drobo of the files that I don’t need anymore. I have saved some of the better stuff, but if I didn’t get paid to shoot the event it will be purged.

The Overview Effect

The day that I made this shot I picked up a book at Barnes and Noble. I had another book in hand to buy, but that all changed when I saw Overview by Benjamin Grant. The book looks at the Earth as the astronauts see it from space. The book collects some amazing satellite photos that show just how amazing this planet is. The book is inspired by the “Overview Effect” which is what astronauts feel after looking down on the Earth from above. I have become infatuated with the top down look with my drone. It was one of the reasons I bought the drone after using one for a few days. I love the different perspective that it gives me. The photos that I make are anywhere from three to four hundred feet above the ground. Seeing the Earth from space gives you a completely different take on things, and makes me want to hit several lotteries so I can get my own orbiting camera up there.   If you want to know more about the book you can click here. You can gets details on the book as well as a few ways to follow their accounts on social media. Just following the Instagram account is inspiring. I get nothing for recommending the book. I always feel the need to talk about things that really inspire me. This is one of them.

The Week in Photos

Last week was a fun week that saw me get back into sports a little bit again. I really have strayed since the start of the year, but the next few weeks will see the action pick up a bit. You can see some of my favorite photos from last week here on my Exposure site. This is a fun post that is fun to put together each week.

Thank You!

I periodically like to say thank you to the people who take the time to read this blog. Today seems like a good day to do so again. Yesterday this little blog had the third best numbers day in the over five year history of it. I have always been a numbers guy, but the numbers on the blog are not my priority. The blog is more of a creative outlet for me as it allows me to write a bit. I do notice when the numbers spike though. Eyes on my work and the blog also provide a little incentive to keep going through the process. It is one that I enjoy doing, but knowing that people are reading makes it easier to make time for. Thank you for reading this little blog, and I hope that I can keep creating things to keep you coming back to read more.

Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Day Four

Michigan Wins the Day and the 2017 Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships

Going into the final day of the Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships I would say that both Michigan and Indiana were the two favorites to win the title. On Saturday night Michigan was the better team, and they cruised to the title. This is my second year covering the Big Ten Swimming Championships as I covered the men’s last year. This is a great event to cover as you have high emotion for four straight days. You can’t beat that. I am sure that this time next year I will be wondering why I am not going to wherever they are holding the Big Tens. It is a great way to spend a few days.

Getting Up Close and Personal

I made a point to take my 8-15mm lens to the final day to allow me to get a little closer to the action. When the final scrum happened last year I was right up against the athletes, and I wanted something that would help me capture the scene. As the final races were ready to start I had my two full frame cameras on my body with the 24-105 on one, and the 8-15 on the other. This would allow me to capture a wide range of scenes. The 8-15mm gave me another different look after four days of shooting. In those four days I don’t think that I ever used the same combination of cameras and lenses twice. I was trying to change up my look as well as how I had to shoot from day to day. I didn’t want to keep sending in photos that looked the same.

What to Do Next?

For the last few weeks I have had a very light sports schedule. This championship allowed me to really get my feet wet again both literally and figuratively. The next couple of weeks will be busy as well with two more conference championships to cover. For some reason people shy away from these events, but I love them. When I played sports way back when I would always play better after I got going a bit. Getting immersed in a tournament like this is a great way to keep going and challenging yourself. I usually get very busy in March, but this year that was moved up by a couple of weeks. This could be an interesting month or so for me. There are a lot of great shots ahead, and I have to keep moving to improve myself. I also have to get out and fly the quadcopter a bit as I only flew it once last week.

The Week in Photos

After not having a lot of sports in my weekly collection of photos I have a majority of the collection as sports photos here. This was a week full of celebrations as well as the sports moments. I shot two Valentine’s Day parties as well as the events surrounding the 8th birthday of my step-daughter. I love being swamped, and I was that for sure this week. You can view some of my favorite photos from the past week here on my Exposure page.

Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Day Three

The Emotion Starts to Heat Up On Day Three of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships

Friday night was the finals for day three of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships on the campus of Purdue University. It seems as if the emotion is ramping up with each day as the Big Ten Tournament Championship gets closer. Each race means more to the teams in contention. On the flip side is the fact that some racers are now starting to compete in their final collegiate races. There were some genuine moments Friday night that I was lucky enough to capture. As I write this I am just a few hours away from shooting the finals. Last night I did not really shoot the action, but rather I sat on a few situations where I thought emotion might come into play. Tonight I plan on doing the same thing. At this point teams have action shots from throughout the season. Getting tight shots of the swimmer in the pool does not show the setting. I have been trying to show what it feels like to be on the pool deck at the Big Ten Championship. Those are the photos I think that will stick around from this tournament.

Lilly King Breaks Records

One of the stars of the event has to be Lilly King. It is no secret that I love Purdue. Some people think that you should dislike all things IU, but in reality those are kids just like the ones on our teams. One of the Indiana swimmers is not like any other kids though. Lilly King smashed the Pool, School, Big Ten, NCAA, and American records for the 100m Breaststroke last night by knocking over 30 seconds off of her previous best time. She really is the star of the event, and one reason that Indiana is near the top of the leaderboard overall. I made a point of making some photos of her over the course of the week to document this run she is on.

Shooting the Action in the Prelims

One thing that I decided during days two and three of the tournament was to get my action shots in during the prelims. My job during the event was not to get a tremendous amount of action, but rather the podiums and emotion of the event. As a sports photographer I love capturing emotion, and that is a great job for me to do. I also like shooting swimming as I don’t get to do it as often as I would like to do. With that in mind I went to the prelims with the action as my priority. The emotion is not there as much so I can focus on making some images of the swimmers. So far in the championship this has been a good strategy as I was able to get the swimmers in the pool, and then at night focus on the emotions of the night. For the final night I will not be able to attend the prelims, but I think that I have one job one the final night, and that is to cover the emotions that the teams are going through. Two teams have a great shot at the overall title, and of course with a good night a couple of other teams can get into that picture as well.

Photographing the Divers

This season I had not shot diving yet. The two teams that I have covered during the year do not have a diving squad. So of course my first diving of the year comes at the Big Tens. I didn’t have to get much of the diving, but I photographed some of it just to get some in this year. I like the beauty of it, and I need to find a time to get serious and dial up my diving coverage a bit.

More Photos From the Night

I put together an Exposure page with my favorite photos from the night that you can find here. It is on the Purdue Exposure site so it is all about Purdue, but I am very proud of some of the images in it. Give it a look. Tonight I will be putting together my Exposure post on my site with some of my favorite photos from the week in it. With four days of a tournament in a row it should be a good one. My landscape and quadcopter photography took a hit this week, but I made some images that I really like.

Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Day Two

Day Two of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships

The first day of the swimming championship is a pretty easy one session two event deal. It is a great way to kick things off. Day two starts the multi event format with a morning session and a night session. For what I am doing I am only getting paid to be at the night sessions. I have been attending the prelims during the day though to get stuff for myself, but also to get some action shots that I would not get at night. We are more focused on the emotion and the event for what we are doing, but I am almost shooting the action during the day like a videographer would shoot b-roll. The little action compliments the story, and it is fun to shoot as well.

Slowing Things Down

If you have ever shot swimming then you know that the freestyle gives you very little to photograph. The head only comes out of the water for a second, and it may or may not be on your side of the pool. A long event such as the 500 freestyle can seem like forever unless you give yourself a challenge. I played the how low can I go game with my shutter speed. I just keep going lower until I can’t get a usable image. With a stroke like the freestyle it makes it harder, but when you get something good it makes it that much more rewarding. I love how the water smooths out into an almost painting like look. As I said on social media yesterday, this is not for anyone else usually. This is just for me to make a pretty picture.

When Your Team Medals

During the second night Kaersten Meitz was having a heck of a swim. As the 500m freestyle moved on her team was getting more and more animated. I was across the pool from the team where Kaersten was swimming, but I made my way as fast as you can on a slick pool deck to a spot in front of the Purdue team. I wanted their reaction to the performance. As Kaersten finished third and medaled the team went crazy, and I was rewarded with some nice photos.

More Photos From Day Two

Here is an Exposure page that I was a part of from day one of the championships. It is just based on the Purdue side, but it still has some images in it that I am pretty proud of. Since I am writing this late the page for day two is up here as well if you want to look ahead a bit.

Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Day One

Lots of Emotion at the Opening Night Relays

Thankfully this is not a news source so I don’t have to post things as they happen. The races featured in the post actually occurred on Wednesday night as the Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships opened up. Last year I helped cover the men’s Big Ten Championships at Purdue, and they were a blast to cover. You finally see some emotion in swimming. This was one event that I had marked on my calendar to shoot if I was getting paid or not this year. I love the spontaneous moments that occur throughout the week. It is impossible to get the all, but the fun is trying to do so.

Putting the Action on the Back Burner

For the opening night I really did not shoot much action. In fact I made the picture above of a Purdue swimmer, and one other of an Illinois swimmer during the night. The rest of my efforts were spent trying to capture the emotion of the night. As the week goes on I usually make more action images during the prelims, and then when the Big Ten Championship is on the line I focus on the emotion. That worked well last year, and hopefully will work well again this year. Continue reading

Flying High Over the Purdue Olympic Sports Venues

Flying Over Alexander Field

The first venue that I made sports images at in the new athletic complex just off of campus was Alexander Field. That seems like a good place to start this post. I have made a couple of flights over the field, and it really amazes me just how good it looks for mid February. My yard doesn’t look this good at the beginning of summer let alone in the middle of winter. I wanted to go up and try and get some views of the stadium that I have not been able to get on the ground. I have made a lot of images of Alexander Field over the years so it was cool to have a new view of it. The photo above is probably my favorite of all of the photos that I made over the course of a couple of days. After making photos of the stadium under cloud cover late in the day I decided to head back one morning in some good light. The sun was coming up perfectly here for me to make an interesting photo.

Flying Over Bittinger Stadium

One of the main goals of my early morning flight was to make some photos of the newly named Bittinger Stadium. The new signage on the stadium is something that I do not have any photos of so I wanted to get them in good light. I think that part of the reason for these two flights I took was the fact that the bat and ball season is starting. Being this far north I will not get to see either of these two teams play for a month or so. I am getting antsy to start photographing these sports again so I am doing the only thing that I can.

Flying Over Folk Field

I had some ideas for Folk Field, but a large white tarp on the field took most of them away. I had one idea left though, and it ended up turning out pretty good. One thing that I love to do in case you haven’t figured that out already is to shoot into the sun. Even with one RAW file you normally cannot get away with this. What I did here though is to take two sets of five exposures of the scene, and merge them into one HDR photo. I was shooting in aperture priority mode with the aperture closed down to get a starburst. In aperture priority I exposed for the sky and made five images. Then I exposed for the building and made five images. A ten image HDR seems like overkill, but I wanted to be sure that I had all of the data that I needed to make the scene look close to what I could see with my eye. At the end of the day I loved this photo, and it might have been my favorite of the trip. Continue reading

More Snow on the Campus of Purdue University

The Snow Falls on the Neil Armstrong Statue at Purdue University

A while back I posted some photos from my snowy photowalk around the campus of Purdue University. For some reason I left a few photos out of that post. I was going to go back and re-insert them, but I decided that they could have their own post. This photo of Neil Armstrong was one of the reasons that I decided to break this out into a second post. I really like the way that this turned out. The pose by Neil along with the way the snow is falling really worked for me here. Neil looks as heroic as he should, and the snow does the rest for the photo. I love the campus of Purdue University, and snow just adds to the beauty of it.

Making Good on a Promise

As I was writing up my ‘best of’ posts for last year I realized just how little I explored my own area. When I visit a new town I try and get out and see what makes it worth visiting. The problem with having a place as cool as Purdue in your own backyard is that you take it for granted. You can go out tomorrow and make images of it. This year I decided to really bear down and photograph the place where I live with the same ferocity that I photograph towns that I visit. So far I have kept that promise to myself. It has also been very rewarding as I have made a lot of images that I really liked. This is something that I intend to keep going long after 2017 is over. There is always something new to explore around here. The campus changes so much that you can be sure of that.

The Week In Photos

Last week I had a lot of fun making photos. I think that it shows in my weekly collection of my favorite photos. Near the end of January I decided that I would start making the photos I wanted to make. I have been banging my head into the wall for a couple of years doing the same things over and over hoping for a different result. I decided that I would go back to really enjoying what I am doing, and it has paid off. I have really been enjoying myself, and I think that it shows in my work. Here is a link to my favorite photos from last week.